KANSAS CITY — Although the gluten-free trend has leveled out, people diagnosed with celiac disease and other legitimate gluten intolerances will always maintain demand for gluten-free versions of products like pizza.
Not only because this allergen requires dedicated processing space also because of its sticky — almost soupy — texture, gluten-free pizza dough requires very specific processing parameters.
Rheon has experience processing particularly sticky doughs.
“We do have customers running gluten-free products,” said John Giacoio, vice-president, sales, Rheon. “When it comes to sheeting (gluten-free dough) to make a pizza, it’s a lot more challenging because it’s so sticky. But we are able to effectively put down the dough sheet with our dividers because it can handle those stickier materials.”
Rollers become tricky, and many bakers use compression or multi-rollers or, as Rheon calls it, a stretcher.
“It’s a series of rolling pins doing the reduction,” Mr. Giacoio said.
At Tromp Group Americas, the company considers gluten-free processing with the design of its forming equipment.
“Tromp Group can provide different dough band forming where gluten-free dough can be extruded while traditional crusts are processed stress-free,” said Jim Cummings, president. “It’s all about flexibility.”
When processing a non-traditional crust, especially one as challenging as gluten-free, testing is vital.
“We see a wide variety of what each dough can handle from a processing standpoint,” said David Moline, vice-president of sales and marketing at Moline Machinery, “so testing to ensure you are investing in the proper type of equipment, especially with non-traditional products, is very important.”