Swiss multinational Nestec was awarded US patent 6187364 13 February for a Swedish Inventor’s method: “Encapsulation of pasta product portions with an edible substance for improved cooking properties.”

The invention is a method to prevent sticking while cooking a filled, frozen pasta product. Kraft (currently) and Nuitoni Foods Corporation (in the eighties), are the other players in this field.


Abstract:



    Segment portions of a layered pasta product, particularly portions of a lasagne product, having layers of a filling between pasta sheet layers are prepared so that a bottom base pasta sheet surface is not coated with the filling material, and then an edible substance is applied to the product segment portions so that the portions are encapsulated by the edible substance which is one which upon heating a pasta sheet of the bottom base surface of the product on a cooking surface reduces adherence of the sheet, and hence the product, to the cooking surface, and then, the encapsulated portions are frozen.


First of 26 Claims:


In a process for preparing a lasagne product comprising steps of superposing a plurality of layers of pasta sheets and layers of a filling component wherein, with respect to a vertical orientation, the pasta sheets extend transversely and one pasta sheet defines a product base which comprises a product base surface and wherein the layers are superposed so that the filling layers are positioned between superposed pasta sheet layers to obtain a layered product comprising superposed pasta and filling component layers and so that the product base surface defines a surface which consists essentially of a pasta layer surface and wherein, thereafter, a step of segmenting the layered product into product portions defined by portion sides which comprise pasta sheet layer edges and which extend transversely with respect to and between the base surface and a portion surface which opposes the base surface and a step of packaging the product portions in a packing material wrapping, the improvements comprising:



    subsequent to the segmenting of the layered product into the layered product segment portions, a step of applying an edible substance to the individual layered product segment portions to coat the portions separately so that the portions coated are individually encapsulated by  the edible substance to obtain individual product segment portions encapsulated by the edible substance, wherein the edible substance has a Bostwick viscosity at 60 seconds and at 15° C. of less than 2 cgr and is one wherein upon heating the encapsulated product segment portions to cook the portions with the coated product base on a cooking surface, adherence of the product to the cooking surface is, as compared with like heating of a like product segment portion having an uncoated sheet on the cooking surface, reduced; and
    prior to any packaging step, freezing the encapsulated product segment portions to obtain frozen portions and then packaging the frozen portions.


By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent