Slicer/applicators, a mainstay for applying pepperoni to pizzas, took on a new assignment: bagel chips and biscotti. The Grote Co., Columbus, OH, fills this niche in slicing for bread products with its slicer/applicator, which slices the products and applies them directly to an oven belt or baking tray.

The Grote Co. applied this technology to these bread and snack products about 25 years ago, but in recent years, the products’ gain in popularity has increased demand for the equipment by snack manufacturers, especially in Canada, according to Andy Schneider, sales manager, Americas, The Grote Co.

This slicer/applicator automates not only slicing baguettes and other breads used to make bagel chips, but also the loading of the oven belts or baking trays. This eliminates substantial labor costs and potential bottleneck situations.

“Some of these belts are 40 to 50 in. wide, and trying to constantly fill up an oven belt that’s 4 ft wide takes a lot of people,” Mr. Schneider said.