(19)
(11)EP 3 357 353 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 18161846.3

(22)Date of filing:  08.01.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A23N 1/02  (2006.01)

(54)

A PLANT AND A METHOD FOR EXTRACTING PUREE, OR JUICE FROM FOOD PRODUCTS OF HIGH SIZES

ANLAGE UND VERFAHREN ZUR EXTRAKTION VON MUS ODER SAFT AUS GROSSEN LEBENSMITTELN

USINE ET PROCÉDÉ D'EXTRACTION DE PURÉE OU DE JUS À PARTIR DE PRODUITS ALIMENTAIRES DE GRANDES TAILLES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 13.01.2012 IT PI20120004

(43)Date of publication of application:
08.08.2018 Bulletin 2018/32

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
13719605.1 / 2802224

(73)Proprietor: Bertocchi, Alessandro
43125 Parma (IT)

(72)Inventor:
  • Bertocchi, Alessandro
    43125 Parma (IT)

(74)Representative: Celestino, Marco et al
ABM Agenzia Brevetti & Marchi, Viale Giovanni Pisano, 31
56123 Pisa
56123 Pisa (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-03/034843
WO-A2-2009/063309
FR-A5- 2 127 299
US-A- 4 924 770
WO-A1-2010/070437
WO-A2-2010/070433
US-A- 2 696 440
US-B1- 7 807 209
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to the field of machines for the food industry, and, in particular, it relates to a plant for extracting puree, or juice from food products, such as food vegetables, for example fruit, or animal, which when initially fed have large size.

    [0002] The invention relates, furthermore, to a plant for extracting juice and puree from food products, in particular of vegetable origin, or animal, which carries out this method.

    Description of the prior art



    [0003] As well known, a variety exists of types of plants for extracting juice or puree mainly from food products of vegetable origin, fruit and vegetables, but also from animal food, such as meat and fish.

    [0004] Normally, the product to be treated is previously softened or chopped more, or less, finely in a first step, for being then fed in an extraction machine in a second step. The extraction machines of prior art are essentially made up of a fixed structure that comprises a perforated sheet of cylindrical or conical shape, so-called "sieve", and of an armature with blades that rotates inside. The armature is mounted on a shaft and caused to rotate by a motor.

    [0005] The chopped, or softened, product which enters the extraction machine is pushed radially continuously by the blades against the sieve by centrifugal force. This way it is filtered through the holes of the sieve, producing a puree and a liquid part of the product that is conveyed for being then subject to further treatments. The solid part that cannot pass through the sieve, instead, is conveyed axially opposite to the inlet of the sieve and is automatically brought to a discharge station as a waste material. See on this argument patent No. IT1199392.

    [0006] A known process of this kind, for example, is the so-called extraction at room temperature, which is carried out in two steps: a first step of softening the food pulps through a plurality of pulses in quick succession and a second step of separation of the useful part (puree or juice) from the waste solid parts, which is carried out in an extracting machine as above described.

    [0007] During the softening step the pulses in quick succession are obtained by a cylindrical or conical body, or stator, which has protrusions on its inner surface, and by an armature having blades that rotates in the stator pushing by centrifugal force the food pulps against the protrusions, and generating a series of pulses that cause the softening of the food product. See on this subject matter patent n. IT1249363.

    [0008] In the extraction process at room temperature, according to the state of the art above described, the steps of softening and extracting are carried out in a single compact working unit that has a single motor: the respective softening and extracting armatures are mounted on the same axis and rotate then at the same speed.

    [0009] See Fig. 1 and the relative description below.

    [0010] Another solution of the prior art described for example in WO2005039308 comprises, instead, two different drives, respectively one for the softening step and another for the extracting step. This solution permits to treat more or less sensitive products, which are affected by the softening step in a different way, and so to calibrate better the separation between puree and solid parts.

    [0011] The vegetables from which the puree can be obtained may be fresh or frozen. Even if treating frozen products is much more expensive, because they stay more time in the production cycle than fresh products, using frozen products can be advantageous for keeping the vegetables with time, for covering long distances of transportation and for keeping at most the organoleptic qualities of the vegetables that would be quickly reduced after harvesting.

    [0012] Presently, in order to extract puree and/or juice from a vegetable product loaded at a temperature lower than zero degrees or in any case completely or partially frozen many different processes can be used.

    [0013] The product is normally kept at different temperature under zero in various forms and size, such as blocks, barrels, or IQF (Individually Quick Frozen). In the first cases, they are vegetables previously frozen in parallelepiped shape, or also cylindrical shape with the size of a standard barrel of 200 kg. In the IQF case the vegetable product is frozen singularly or in blocks and stored.

    [0014] Being generically products that are kept frozen for many months and then put on the market, it is necessary to maintain the taste and the qualitative features as much as possible unchanged, for not to spoil products with a higher value than the fresh products.

    [0015] When exiting from a cold store (temp. from -40°C to 0°C) the frozen products have a hardness assimilated to that of the ice and cannot be treated with the devices for making puree from fresh vegetables or already completely defrosted vegetables. Therefore, the product must first be completely defrosted.

    [0016] Normally, the mostly used defrosting systems are those that use vapour as heat exchange fluid, even if plants are known that use the electric energy directly by means of resistances or indirectly by microwave systems or other devices that exploit electric or magnetic fields. They provide normally a conveyor belt for the product, which is of IQF type, up to a screw conveyor where a direct or indirect injection of the vapour is carried out. In the screw conveyor the product moves slowly and is subject to gradual continuous heating up to a complete defrosting. A possible softening step to assist the extraction can be carried out.

    [0017] One of the major problems that is met is that a completely defrosted product, in particular of vegetable nature, deteriorates quickly and easily after defrosting. In fact, after only a few minutes from defrosting, enzymatic phenomena occur such as oxidation, that cause a change of the colour, of the consistency and of the taste of the product.

    [0018] In case of frozen product the extraction plant has some limits to the production rate, mainly given to the size of the blocks of frozen product to treat. Usually, in fact, the not IQF blocks of frozen product fed to the extraction plant are larger than 300x100x500 mm. In this case the vegetable product is simply put in a plastic bag and frozen such that before freezing it forms a humid mix and by freezing it forms a large single frozen block comprising a certain number of fruit pieces, or vegetables.

    [0019] Some production rate limits also exist to the extraction plants also in case of fresh product of size larger than about 130 - 150 mm, as in the case of pumpkins, watermelons, melons, etc. In fact, for treating the above described types of vegetable products, the machines should have excessive size with respect to the capacity of the production line in which they are installed.

    [0020] For overcoming the above described drawbacks, presently, upstream of the machines that perform the extraction of the puree, or the juice, from the starting vegetable product, grinding machines are arranged that cut and chop the fresh product, or frozen product, into parts of reduced size and precisely from several mm to 1-2 cm. These grinding machines are designed for cutting, or chopping, the vegetable product, or frozen product, into parts of size as small as possible, since the smaller the size of the parts fed to the machines that perform the extraction, the higher the efficiency of such machines.

    [0021] For the above described features, the grinding machines presently used, therefore, often cause a deterioration of the vegetable product. In fact, both in the case of fresh product having temperature between about 2°C and 5°C, and in the case of frozen product having temperature between about -40°C and 0°C, the grinding step operated by the grinding machine causes a break of the vegetable product, then freeing oxidative and pectolytic enzymes from the product before completing the extraction of the juice, or the puree, and, accordingly, jeopardizing the quality of the final product.

    [0022] Another drawback of the presently known extraction plants that treat frozen vegetables, or fresh, of large size, consists of a feeding discontinuity that occurs in the extraction line owing to the presence of both of machines that are only sized for operating with substantially constant capacity, such as the extraction machines and the softening machines, and machines that work in a discontinuous way, like the machines that move bags, or barrels, of frozen product and that load the product in it contained on the conveying lines.

    [0023] In WO2009/063309, in the name of the same applicant, a machine is described for extracting puree or juice from frozen food. The machine comprises an inlet duct through which the food products in the frozen status are fed. More in detail, the products enter the machine directly as IQF or, in case of frozen products, from barrels, into parts smaller previously triturated and having, for example, size set between 50 mm and 200 mm.

    [0024] The frozen products that are fed to the machine enter a shredding section comprising a rotor which can rotate at a high speed in a stator, where the product is subjected to pressure pulses in quick succession by the movement of the frozen product between the rotor and the stator. This way, a shredding of the product into fragments of size less than 6 mm and a partial defrosting of the same is obtained. Then, the partially defrosted fragments are fed to an extractor to obtain a puree or juice by moving a sieve.

    [0025] Also this solution has, therefore, the drawback above described and, in particular, the possibility of damaging the food product during the step of shredding the frozen product into fragments.

    [0026] In US7807209 a process for producing a watermelon juice extract is described comprising a step of steaming whole watermelons for removed bacteria from the exterior surface of the watermelons. Then the watermelons are transferred to a chopper to reduce the size of the watermelon. The watermelons pieces so obtained are then sent to a receiving tank. From the receiving tank the watermelons pieces are fed to a finisher where the watermelon flesh is separated from the watermelon rind. The watermelon flesh and juice are transferred to a second finisher.

    Summary of the invention



    [0027] It is then a feature of the invention to provide a plant for extracting puree, or fruit juice, which allows treating fresh vegetables of large size, i.e. of size larger than about 150 mm, without affecting the soundness of the treated vegetables and, accordingly, avoiding affecting the quality of the final product.

    [0028] It is also a feature of the present invention to provide such a plant for extracting puree, or fruit juice, which allows treating fresh vegetables of large size, obtaining a high production rate.

    [0029] It is a further feature of the present invention to provide a method for extracting puree, or fruit juice, from vegetables of large size that has the same advantages.

    [0030] These and other objects are achieved by a plant for cold extraction of puree, or juice, from a fresh food product, in particular a food product of vegetable, or animal, origin according to claim 1 and comprising:
    • a treating machine for treating of a product entering the treating machine obtaining a treated product, wherein the treating machine is selected from the group consisting of:
      • a softening machine arranged to soften the product entering the machine through a plurality of pulses in quick succession obtaining a softened product;
      • a grinding machine arranged to grind the product entering the grinding machine;
      • a chopping machine arranged to chop the product entering the chopping machine;
      • a machine in which the product is caused to pass through a sieve;
      • a machine in which a cut is obtained of the product entering the machine;
      • or a combination thereof;
    • a cold extraction machine located downstream of the treating machine, in said extraction machine a rotor is arranged configured to work in combination with a sieve having a plurality of holes, in order to separate said treated product into a main product comprising said puree, or juice, which crosses said sieve and is discharged through a first outlet, and into a waste material that, instead, cannot cross said sieve and is discharged through a second outlet;
    whose main feature is that it furthermore provides:
    • a division machine located upstream of said treating machine, in said division machine a division means is arranged to divide said food product into parts of reduced size that can be fed to said treating machine,
    said division means being arranged to divide said food product into parts of predetermined size set between 50 mm and 130,
    that said division machine is positioned above said treating machine in such a way that the movement of said parts of food product of predetermined size from said division machine to said treating machine is carried out by gravity;
    and that a lifting conveyor means is, furthermore, provided positioned upstream of said division machine, said lifting conveyor means arranged to lift said fresh food product from a first height h1 to a second height h2 at which said food product is introduced in said division machine.

    [0031] Further features and related embodiments of the invention are defined in the dependent claims 2 to 12
    In particular, the division means can divide the fresh food product into parts of size set between 80 mm and 110 mm.

    [0032] Advantageously, the division means is arranged to divide the food product into parts of size set between about 95 mm and about 105 mm, for example about 100 mm.

    [0033] According to a further aspect of the invention, a method for cold extracting puree, or fruit juice, from a food product, in particular from a food product of vegetable origin, or animal, comprises the steps of:
    • treating in a treating machine an entering product obtaining a treated product, wherein said treating step is selected from a group of steps consisting of:
      • a softening step for softening the entering product through a plurality of pulses in quick succession obtaining a softened product;
      • a grinding step for grinding the entering product;
      • a chopping step for chopping the entering product;
      • a step in which the entering step is caused to pass through a sieve;
      • a step in which a cut is obtained of the entering product;
      • or a combination thereof;
    • carrying out a cold extraction of the product, by a rotor that is configured to work in combination with a sieve having a plurality of holes, in order to separate said treated product into a main product comprising said puree, or juice, which crosses said sieve and is discharged through a first outlet, and into a waste material that, instead, cannot cross said sieve and is discharged through a second outlet;
      • dividing by means of a division means said fresh food product into parts of predetermined size set between 50 mm and 130 mm, the dividing step carried out in a division machine positioned above said treating machine in such a way that the movement of said parts of food product of predetermined size from said division machine to said treating machine is carried out by gravity;
      • lifting said food product from a first height h1 to a second height h2 at which said food product is introduced in said division machine, said lifting being carried out by a lifting conveyor means positioned upstream of said division machine.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0034] The invention will be now shown with the following description of an exemplary embodiment thereof, exemplifying but not limitative, with reference to the attached drawings in which:
    • figure 1 diagrammatically shows a perspective elevational side view of a first exemplary embodiment of a plant, according to the invention, for extracting puree, or juice, from products of vegetable origin of large size;
    • figures 2 to 4 show an elevational side view of some possible exemplary embodiments of the plant of Fig. 1 provided by the present invention;
    • figure 5 shows an elevational side view of the division machine in which division means are housed;
    • figure 6 shows a partial cross sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of the division machine according to the invention;
    • figure 7 shows in detail an elevational front view of the division means housed within the division machine of Fig. 6;
    • figure 8 diagrammatically shows a partial cross sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of the division machine of Fig. 7;
    • figure 9 shows a perspective elevational side view of the auxiliary fixed cutting means that has the machine of Fig. 8.

    Description of exemplary embodiments



    [0035] In Fig. 1 for example a plant 1 is shown, according to the invention, for cold extraction of puree, or juice, from a food product, in particular of vegetable origin, or animal. The plant 1 comprises a treating machine, for example a softening machine 20 arranged to soften a product entering the softening machine 20 obtaining a softened product through the transmission of a succession of pulses in quick succession, as described in IT1249363.

    [0036] Downstream of the treating machine 20 a cold extraction machine 30 is then provided in which, in a known way and for example as described in IT1199392, but not shown in detail in the figures, advantageously a rotor is arranged that operates in combination with a sieve having a plurality of holes, in order to separate the product, in particular softened, or chopped, into a main product comprising the puree, or the juice, which crosses the sieve and is discharged through a first outlet, and into a waste material that, instead, cannot cross the sieve and is discharged through a second outlet. The treating machine, for example the softening machine 20 and the extraction machine 30, can be combined in a single machine as shown in Fig. 1, or two separate machines. In the latter case the outlet of the softening machine 20 is connected to the entrance of the extraction machine 30 by at least one connection duct.

    [0037] According to the invention, upstream of the treating machine 20 a division machine is provided 40, or 40', in which a division means operate arranged to divide the food product entering the division machine into parts of predetermined size.

    [0038] The division means 50 is provided arranged to cause the division of the fresh vegetable product 100, i.e. preserved at a temperature set between about 2 and 4°C, into parts 105 of size set between 50 mm and 130 mm, advantageously, set between 80 mm and 110 mm, for example about 100 mm, which are fed to the above described treating machine 20.

    [0039] In an exemplary embodiment, the division means 50 comprises a cutting means 53 arranged to cut the food product 100, for example pumpkins, watermelons, and other pieces of food of similar size, for dividing them into a predetermined number of parts of a predetermined size, for example set between 50 mm and 130 mm.

    [0040] The cutting means 53 can comprise a certain number of knives, for example 3 cutting blades 53a, 53b and 53c, integral to a tubular support 57 mounted directly to the shaft 54 of a motor 55.

    [0041] The plant 1 furthermore comprises a lifting conveyor means 90.

    [0042] According to the invention, the lifting conveyor means 90, for example a sloped conveyor belt, is located upstream of the division machine 40, or 40', and performs the lifting of the still integer fresh products, such as fruit and vegetables of large size that require the division into parts of size set between 50 mm and 130 mm. The fresh vegetables are raised by the lifting conveyor means 90 by a starting height h1 to a final height h2, with h2>h1, at which they are introduced, for example by a hopper, in the division machine 40' (Figs. 1 and 4).

    [0043] In a preferred exemplary embodiment, the lifting conveyor means 90 is associated with a weighing means 190, for example one or more load cells, configured to measure instantly the weight of the food, or pieces of food, which are arranged on the lifting conveyor means 90 and to generate a corresponding electric weight signal that is sent to a control means operatively connected to the motor means 47, or 56, of the division machine 40, or 40'. This way, it is possible to adjust the motor means 47, or 56, and the conveyor means 90 on the basis of the electric weight signal, for feeding in a controlled and fixed way the food, or the parts of food to the treating machine 20.

    [0044] As shown in detail in Fig. 6, in the cutting machine 40' a conveying means 156 is provided, for example a screw conveyor, operated by a first motor means 56, for causing the movement of the food product inserted through an inlet 51, along a conveying direction 155 with a predetermined speed.

    [0045] In the cutting machine 40', furthermore, cutting means 53 is arranged along the conveying direction 155 and configured to cut the fresh product of vegetable origin 100 into parts 105 of size set between 50 mm and 130 mm with a predetermined cutting speed for being then discharged by the machine through an outlet 52.

    [0046] As shown in detail in Figs. 6 and 7, the cutting means 53 can be movable, for example operated by a second motor means 55, or it can be fixed, i.e. integral to the body 151 of the machine 40, or it can be a combination thereof.

    [0047] The cutting means 53 can comprise a tubular portion 57 integral to a predetermined number of cutting knives, for example three cutting blades 53a, 53b and 53c (Fig. 7). The tubular portion 57 can be advantageously mounted directly to a drive shaft 157 of the motor means 55. Such technical solution avoids the use of a shaft held by two couples of bearings and connected to the motor 55 by means of a joint and, accordingly, of making remarkably easier the structure of machine 40'. However, for reducing the actions on drive shaft 157 and, in particular, the axial forces, a thrust bearing 59 is mounted between the tubular portion 57 and the body of machine 40'. In particular, the tubular portion 57 is slidingly arranged on the drive shaft 157 by a axial flexible connection, for example a ring of deformable material, or with a spring ring.

    [0048] In the exemplary embodiment of Figs. 15 and 16, in addition to the movable cutting blade 53 a fixed cutting blade 153 can be provided, for example with an arc shape. More in detail, the fixed blade 153 is arranged integral to the body 151 of the cutting machine 40' upstream of the movable cutting means 53 with respect to the conveying direction 155 of the product in machine 40'. In particular, the fixed cutting means 153 is adapted to provide a preliminary cut of the food product by a profiled cutting edge 154 before it reaches the movable cutting means 53.

    [0049] Furthermore, an adjustment means can be provided 300 of the first and/or the second motor means 55, 56, for example having an inverter. More in detail, according to the invention the adjustment means 300 allows adjusting the speed and, accordingly, the cutting speed in order to control the size of the cut parts 105 of the food product.

    [0050] More in detail, if both movable cutting means 53 operated by a motor means 55 and fixed cutting means 153 are provided, or only a movable cutting means 53 is provided, it is possible to control the speed of the cut made through the machine by adjusting the motor means 55 and/or the motor means 56.

    [0051] In the exemplary embodiment of Fig. 2, instead, only the loading means 120 are provided upstream of the division machine 40. In this case, the layout of the plant 1 provides the division machine 40 above the treating machine 20 such that the movement of the parts of food product by the division machine 40 to the treating machine 20 is made through gravity.

    [0052] As shown in Figs. 1 to 4, the plant 1 can comprise also a de-aeration station 110, in which de-aerating the product, and/or a station of enzymatic inactivation 140 in which, as well known, the product is heated for being brought to a temperature higher than a temperature of enzymatic inactivation. Furthermore, other machines can be provided to treat the product by further processes before its final exit from plant 1.

    [0053] The foregoing description of specific exemplary embodiments will so fully reveal the invention according to the conceptual point of view, so that others, by applying current knowledge, will be able to modify and/or adapt in various applications the specific exemplary embodiments without further research and without parting from the invention, and, accordingly, it is meant that such adaptations and modifications will have to be considered as equivalent to the specific embodiments. The means and the materials to realise the different functions described herein could have a different nature without, for this reason, departing from the field of the invention. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology that is employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.


    Claims

    1. A plant (1) for cold extraction of puree, or juice, from a fresh food product (100) of vegetable, or animal, origin comprising:

    - a treating machine (20) of a product entering the treating machine (20) obtaining a treated product, wherein said treating machine (20) is selected from a group consisting of:

    - a softening machine arranged to soften the product entering the machine through a plurality of pulses in quick succession obtaining a softened product;

    - a grinding machine arranged to grind the product entering the grinding machine;

    - a chopping machine arranged to chop the product entering the chopping machine;

    - a machine in which the product is caused to pass through a sieve;

    - a machine in which a cut is obtained of the product entering the machine;

    - or a combination thereof;

    - a cold extraction machine (30) located downstream of said treating machine (20), in said cold extraction machine (30) a rotor being arranged configured to work in combination with a sieve having a plurality of holes, in order to separate said treated product into a main product comprising said puree, or juice, which crosses said sieve and is discharged through a first outlet, and into a waste material that, instead, cannot cross said sieve and is discharged through a second outlet; said plant being characterized in that it furthermore provides:

    - a division machine (40,40') located upstream of said treating machine (20), in said division machine (40,40') division means (50,50') being provided arranged to divide said fresh food product (100) into parts of predetermined size set between 50 mm and 130 mm;
    in that said division machine (40,40') is positioned above said treating machine (20) in such a way that the movement of said parts of food product of predetermined size from said division machine (40,40') to said treating machine (20) is carried out by gravity;
    and in that a lifting conveyor means (90) is, furthermore, provided positioned upstream of said division machine (40,40'), said lifting conveyor means (90) arranged to lift said fresh food product from a first height h1 to a second height h2 at which said food product is introduced in said division machine (40, 40').


     
    2. The plant (1) according to claim 1, wherein said division means (50,50') is a cutting means (53,153) arranged to cut said food product of vegetable origin into parts of said predetermined size.
     
    3. The plant (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said division means (50,50') is operatively connected to a shaping means arranged to establish a predetermined size of a single food treated product.
     
    4. The plant (1) according to any previous claim, wherein said division means (50,50') is arranged to divide said food product into a predetermined number of parts having size set between 80 mm and 110 mm, advantageously set between 95 mm and 105 mm.
     
    5. The plant (1) according to any previous claim, wherein said treating machine (20) comprises:

    - a first feeding duct (23) arranged to connect said division machine (40,40') with said treating machine (20) ;

    - at least a second feeding duct (24) of a food product arranged to connect the treating machine (20) with a device for loading a food product of vegetable origin that do not require to pass through the cutting machine for a reduction of the size because already of the predetermined size;

    - a means for selectively connecting said first and said second feeding duct (23,24) with said treating machine (20), in order to feed to said treating machine (20), respectively, parts of said predetermined size obtained by said division machine (40,40'), or a food product of vegetable origin that has a size already of said predetermined size and does not require a reduction of the size.


     
    6. The plant (1) according to claim 1, wherein the lifting conveyor means is associated with a weighing means (190) configured to measure the weight of said food products in order to feed in a controlled way the food product to the division machine (40,40'), or to the treating machine (20), the lifting conveyor means and the weighing means (190) being configured to provide a substantially constant supply of the food product of vegetable origin.
     
    7. The plant (1) according to any previous claim, wherein the division machine (40,40') is a cutting machine comprising:

    - a conveying means (156) operated by a first motor means (56), said conveying means (156) being arranged to move said food product of vegetable origin along a conveying direction (155) at a determined speed;

    - a cutting means (53) positioned along said conveying direction (155) and arranged to cut said food product of vegetable origin into cut parts of said predetermined size.


     
    8. The plant (1) according to claim 7, wherein the cutting means (53,153) is selected from the group consisting of:

    - a movable cutting means (53);

    - a fixed cutting means (153) integral to a body of the cutting machine;

    - or a combination thereof.


     
    9. The plant (1) according to claim 8, wherein the movable cutting means (53) comprises at least one cutting blade (53a,53b,53c), the movable cutting means being operated by a second motor means (55) arranged to cause the at least one cutting blade (53a, 53b,53c) to rotate about a rotation axis.
     
    10. The plant (1) according to claim 9, wherein an adjustment means is provided for adjusting the speed of rotation of at least one between the first motor means (56) and the second motor means (55) responsive to the size of the cut parts of said food product of vegetable origin, in order to control the size of the cut parts into which the food product is cut by the cutting means.
     
    11. The plant (1) according to claim 9 or 10, wherein the movable cutting means (53) comprises a tubular portion (57) integral to the, or each, cutting blade (53a,53b,53c), the tubular portion (57) being slidingly mounted directly to a drive shaft (157) of the second motor means (55) by an axial flexible connection, and wherein the cutting means, furthermore, comprises a thrust bearing (59) mounted on said tubular portion (57) .
     
    12. The plant (1) according to any claim from 8 to 11, wherein the cutting means (53) comprises a movable cutting means and a fixed cutting means (153), the fixed cutting means (153) being arranged at an upstream position of the movable cutting means (53) with respect to the conveying direction (155) of the product in the cutting machine, the fixed cutting means (153) having a profiled cutting edge arranged to provide a preliminary cut of said food product of vegetable origin before that it reaches the movable cutting means.
     
    13. A method for cold extraction of puree, or juice, from a fresh food product of vegetable, or animal, origin, the method comprising the steps of:

    - treating in a treating machine (20) an entering product obtaining a treated product, wherein said treating step is selected from a group of steps consisting of:

    - a softening step for softening the entering product through a plurality of pulses in quick succession obtaining a softened product;

    - a grinding step for grinding the entering product;

    - a chopping step for chopping the entering product;

    - a step in which the entering step is caused to pass through a sieve;

    - a step in which a cut is obtained of the entering product;

    - or a combination thereof;

    - carrying out a cold extraction downstream of said treating step, said cold extraction being carried out by a rotor configured to work in combination with a sieve having a plurality of holes, in order to separate said treated product into a main product comprising said puree, or juice, which crosses said sieve and is discharged through a first outlet, and into a waste material that, instead, cannot cross said sieve and is discharged through a second outlet;

    the method characterized in that it, furthermore, provides the steps of:

    - dividing by means of a division means said fresh food product into parts of predetermined size set between 50 mm and 130 mm, said dividing step being carried out in a division machine (40,40') positioned above said treating machine (20) in such a way that the movement of said parts of food product of predetermined size from said division machine (40,40') to said treating machine (20) is carried out by gravity;
    and in that a lifting step is, furthermore, provided for lifting said food product from a first height h1 to a second height h2 at which said food product is introduced in said division machine (40,40'), said lifting being carried out by a lifting conveyor means (90) positioned upstream of said division machine (40, 40').


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Anlage (1) zur Kaltextraktion von Mus oder Saft aus einem frischen Lebensmittelprodukt (100) pflanzlicher oder tierischer Herkunft, umfassend:

    - eine Behandlungsmaschine (20) eines in die Behandlungsmaschine (20) eintretenden Produkts, wodurch ein behandeltes Produkt erhalten wird, wobei die Behandlungsmaschine (20) ausgewählt ist aus einer Gruppe, bestehend aus:

    - eine Enthärtungsmaschine, angeordnet, um das in die Maschine eintretende Produkt durch eine Vielzahl von Impulsen in schneller Abfolge zu enthärten, wodurch ein enthärtetes Produkt erhalten wird;

    - eine Schleifmaschine, angeordnet, um das in die Schleifmaschine eintretende Produkt zu schleifen;

    - Häckselmaschine, angeordnet, um das in die Häckselmaschine eintretende Produkt zu häckseln;

    - eine Maschine, in der das Produkt veranlasst wird, ein Sieb zu passieren;

    - eine Maschine, in der ein Schnitt des in die Maschine eintretenden Produkts erhalten wird;

    - oder eine Kombination daraus;

    - eine Kaltextraktionsmaschine (30), die stromabwärts von der Behandlungsmaschine (20) positioniert ist, wobei in der Kaltextraktionsmaschine (30) ein Rotor angeordnet ist, konfiguriert, um in Kombination mit einem Sieb mit einer Vielzahl von Löchern zu funktionieren, um das behandelte Produkt in ein Hauptprodukt, umfassend das Mus oder den Saft, welches das Sieb durchquert und durch einen ersten Auslass abgegeben wird, und in ein Abfallmaterial, das hingegen das Sieb nicht durchqueren kann und durch einen zweiten Auslass abgegeben wird, zu trennen; wobei die Anlage dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass sie ferner bereitstellt:

    - eine Teilungsmaschine (40, 40'), die stromaufwärts von der Behandlungsmaschine (20) positioniert ist, wobei in der Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') Teilungsmittel (50, 50') bereitgestellt sind, die angeordnet sind, um das frische Lebensmittelprodukt (100) in Teile vorgegebener Größe, die zwischen 50 mm und 130 mm eingestellt ist, zu teilen; dass die Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') über der Behandlungsmaschine (20) so positioniert ist, dass die Bewegung der Teile des Lebensmittelprodukts vorgegebener Größe von der Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') zur Behandlungsmaschine (20) durch Schwerkraft ausgeführt wird; und dass ferner ein Hebefördermittel (90) bereitgestellt ist, das stromaufwärts von der Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') platziert ist, wobei das Hebefördermittel (90) angeordnet ist, um das frische Lebensmittelprodukt von einer ersten Höhe h1 zu einer zweiten Höhe h2 zu heben, in der das Lebensmittelprodukt in die Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') eingeführt wird.


     
    2. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Teilungsmittel (50, 50') ein Schnittmittel (53, 153) ist, angeordnet, um das Lebensmittelprodukt pflanzlicher Herkunft in Teile der vorgegebenen Größe zu teilen.
     
    3. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das Teilungsmittel (50, 50') operativ mit einem Formmittel verbunden ist, angeordnet, um eine vorgegebene Größe eines einzelnen behandelten Lebensmittelprodukts festzustellen.
     
    4. Anlage (1) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Teilungsmittel (50, 50') angeordnet ist, um das Lebensmittelprodukt in eine vorgegebene Anzahl von Teilen mit einer Größe, die zwischen 80 mm und 110 mm eingestellt ist, die vorteilhafterweise zwischen 95 mm und 105 mm eingestellt ist, zu teilen.
     
    5. Anlage (1) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Behandlungsmaschine (20) umfasst:

    - eine erste Zufuhrleitung (23), angeordnet, um die Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') mit der Behandlungsmaschine (20) zu verbinden;

    - mindestens eine zweite Zufuhrleitung (24) eines Lebensmittelprodukts, angeordnet, um die Behandlungsmaschine (20) mit einer Vorrichtung zum Laden eines Lebensmittelprodukts pflanzlicher Herkunft zu verbinden, das die Schnittmaschine für eine Verringerung der Größe nicht passieren muss, da es bereits die vorgegebene Größe hat;

    - ein Mittel zum selektiven Verbinden der ersten und zweiten Zufuhrleitung (23, 24) mit der Behandlungsmaschine (20), um der Behandlungsmaschine (20) jeweils Teile der vorgegebenen Größe, die durch die Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') erhalten wurden, oder ein Lebensmittelprodukt pflanzlicher Herkunft zuzuführen, das bereits eine Größe der vorgegebenen Größe aufweist und keine Verringerung der Größe benötigt.


     
    6. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Hebefördermittel einem Wiegemittel (190) zugeordnet ist, konfiguriert, um das Gewicht der Lebensmittelprodukte zu messen, um das Lebensmittelprodukt auf gesteuerte Art und Weise der Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') oder der Behandlungsmaschine (20) zuzuführen, wobei das Hebefördermittel und das Wiegemittel (190) konfiguriert sind, um eine im Wesentlichen konstante Zufuhr des Lebensmittelprodukts pflanzlicher Herkunft bereitzustellen.
     
    7. Anlage (1) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') eine Schnittmaschine ist, umfassend:

    - ein Fördermittel (156), betrieben durch ein erstes Motormittel (56), wobei das Fördermittel (156) angeordnet ist, um das Lebensmittelprodukt pflanzlicher Herkunft entlang einer Förderrichtung (155) bei gegebener Geschwindigkeit zu bewegen;

    - ein Schnittmittel (53), platziert entlang der Förderrichtung (155) und angeordnet, um das Lebensmittelprodukt pflanzlicher Herkunft in geschnittene Teile der vorgegebenen Größe zu schneiden.


     
    8. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 7, wobei das Schnittmittel (53, 153) ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe, bestehend aus:

    - einem beweglichen Schnittmittel (53);

    - einem festen Schnittmittel (153), einstückig mit einem Körper der Schnittmaschine;

    - oder eine Kombination daraus.


     
    9. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 8, wobei das bewegliche Schnittmittel (53) mindestens eine Schnittklinge (53a, 53b, 53c) umfasst, wobei das bewegliche Schnittmittel durch ein zweites Motormittel (55) betrieben wird, angeordnet, um die mindestens eine Schnittklinge (53a, 53b, 53c) zu bewirken, sich um eine Rotationsachse zu drehen.
     
    10. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 9, wobei ein Einstellungsmittel zum Einstellen der Drehgeschwindigkeit von mindestens einem unter dem ersten Motormittel (56) und dem zweiten Motormittel (55) in Reaktion auf die Größe der geschnittenen Teile des Lebensmittelprodukts pflanzlicher Herkunft einzustellen, um die Größe der geschnittenen Teile zu steuern, in die das Lebensmittelprodukt durch das Schnittmittel geschnitten wird.
     
    11. Anlage (1) nach Anspruch 9 oder 10, wobei das bewegliche Schnittmittel (53) einen schlauchförmigen Abschnitt (57) umfasst, einstückig mit der oder jeder Schnittklinge (53a, 53b, 53c), wobei der schlauchförmige Abschnitt (57) gleitbar direkt an einer Antriebswelle (157) des zweiten Motormittels (55) durch eine flexible Axialverbindung montiert ist, und wobei das Schnittmittel ferner ein am schlauchförmigen Abschnitt (57) montiertes Schublager (59) umfasst.
     
    12. Anlage (1) nach einem der Ansprüche von 8 bis 11, wobei das Schnittmittel (53) ein bewegliches Schnittmittel und ein festes Schnittmittel (153) umfasst, wobei das feste Schnittmittel (153) an einer stromaufwärtigen Position des beweglichen Schnittmittels (53) bezüglich der Förderrichtung (155) des Produkts in der Schnittmaschine angeordnet ist, wobei das feste Schnittmittel (153) eine profilierte Schnittkante aufweist, angeordnet, um einen Vorbereitungsschnitt des Lebensmittelprodukts pflanzlicher Herkunft zu erhalten, bevor es das bewegliche Schnittmittel erreicht.
     
    13. Verfahren zur Kaltextraktion von Mus oder Saft aus einem frischen Lebensmittelprodukt pflanzlicher oder tierischer Herkunft, umfassend die folgenden Schritte:

    - Behandeln in einer Behandlungsmaschine (20) eines eintretenden Produkts, wobei der der Behandlungsschritt ausgewählt ist aus einer Gruppe, bestehend aus:

    - einem Enthärtungsschritt zum Enthärten des in die Maschine eintretenden Produkts durch eine Vielzahl von Impulsen in schneller Abfolge, wodurch ein enthärtetes Produkt erhalten wird;

    - einem Schleifschritt zum Schleifen des eintretenden Produkts;

    - einem Häckselschritt zum Häckseln des eintretenden Produkts;

    - einem Schritt, in dem der eintretende Schritt veranlasst wird, ein Sieb zu passieren;

    - einem Schritt, in dem ein Schnitt des eintretenden Produkts erhalten wird;

    - oder eine Kombination daraus;

    - Ausführen einer Kaltextraktion stromabwärts vom Behandlungsschritt, wobei die Kaltextraktion durch einen Rotor ausgeführt wird, konfiguriert, um in Kombination mit einem Sieb mit einer Vielzahl von Löchern zu funktionieren, um das behandelte Produkt in ein Hauptprodukt, das das Mus oder den Saft umfasst, welches das Sieb durchquert und durch einen ersten Auslass abgegeben wird, und in ein Abfallmaterial, das hingegen das Sieb nicht durchqueren kann und durch einen zweiten Auslass abgegeben wird, zu trennen;

    wobei das Verfahren dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass es ferner die folgenden Schritte bereitstellt:

    - Teilen mittels eines Teilungsmittels des frischen Lebensmittelprodukts in Teile vorgegebener Größe, die zwischen 50 mm und 130 mm eingestellt ist, wobei der Teilungsschritt in einer Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') ausgeführt wird, die über der Behandlungsmaschine (20) so platziert ist, dass die Bewegung der Teile des Lebensmittelprodukts vorgegebener Größe von der Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') zur Behandlungsmaschine (20) durch Schwerkraft ausgeführt wird; und dass ferner ein Hebeschritt zum Heben des Lebensmittelprodukts von einer ersten Höhe h1 zu einer zweiten Höhe h2 bereitgestellt ist, in der das Lebensmittelprodukt in die Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') eingeführt wird, wobei das Heben durch ein Hebefördermittel (90) ausgeführt wird, das stromaufwärts von der Teilungsmaschine (40, 40') platziert ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Installation (1) pour l'extraction à froid d'un concentré ou d'un jus d'un produit alimentaire frais (100) d'origine végétale ou animale, comprenant

    - une machine de traitement (20) d'un produit s'introduisant dans la machine de traitement (20) pour obtenir un produit traité, ladite machine de traitement (20) étant sélectionnée dans un groupe composé :

    - d'une machine de ramollissement agencée pour ramollir le produit s'introduisant dans la machine, par le biais d'une pluralité d'impulsions à fréquence rapide, pour obtenir un produit ramolli ;

    - d'un broyeur agencé pour broyer le produit introduit dans le broyeur ;

    - d'un hachoir agencé pour hacher un produit introduit dans le hachoir ;

    - d'une machine dans laquelle le produit est amené à passer dans un tamis ;

    - d'une machine pratiquant une coupure dans le produit s'introduisant dans la machine ;

    - ou d'une combinaison de ces derniers ;

    - une machine d'extraction à froid (30) située en aval de ladite machine de traitement (20), un rotor, situé dans ladite machine d'extraction à froid (30), étant configuré pour fonctionner conjointement avec un tamis doté d'une pluralité de trous, de façon à séparer ledit produit traité en un produit principal, comprenant ledit concentré, ou jus, traversant ledit tamis, et étant déchargé par un premier orifice de sortie, et des matières de rebut, qui, elles, ne peuvent traverser ledit tamis, et sont refoulées par un deuxième orifice de sortie ; ladite installation étant caractérisée en ce qu'elle comporte en outre :

    - une trieuse (40,40') située en amont de ladite machine de traitement (20), ladite trieuse (40,40') comprenant un dispositif de tri (50,50') agencé pour subdiviser ledit produit alimentaire frais (100) en pièces d'une taille prédéterminée, établie entre 50 mm et 130 mm ; en ce que ladite trieuse (40,40') est positionnée au-dessus de ladite machine de traitement (20) de sorte que le déplacement desdites pièces du produit alimentaire d'une taille prédéterminée de ladite trieuse (40,40') à ladite machine de traitement (20) s'effectue par gravité ;
    et en ce qu'un convoyeur-élévateur (90) est également positionné en amont de ladite trieuse (40,40'), ledit convoyeur-élévateur (90) étant agencé pour assurer le levage dudit produit alimentaire frais d'une première hauteur h1 à une deuxième hauteur h2, à laquelle ledit produit alimentaire frais est introduit dans ladite trieuse (40,40').


     
    2. Installation (1) selon la revendication 1, ledit dispositif de tri (50,50') étant un dispositif de coupe (53,153) agencé pour découper ledit produit alimentaire d'origine végétale en pièces d'une taille prédéterminée.
     
    3. Installation (1) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, ledit dispositif de tri (50,50') étant connecté fonctionnellement à un dispositif de formage agencé pour établir une taille prédéterminée d'un produit alimentaire traité individuel.
     
    4. Installation (1) selon une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ledit dispositif de tri (50,50') étant agencé pour subdiviser ledit produit alimentaire en un nombre prédéterminé de pièces mesurant de 80 mm à 110 mm, réglé favorablement entre 95 mm et 105 mm.
     
    5. Installation (1) selon une quelconque des revendications précédentes, ladite machine de traitement (20) comprenant :

    - un premier conduit d'alimentation (23) agencé pour connecter ladite trieuse (40,40') à ladite machine de traitement (20) ;

    - au moins un deuxième conduit d'alimentation (24) d'un produit alimentaire agencé pour connecter la machine de traitement (20) à un dispositif pour charger un produit alimentaire d'origine végétale ne nécessitant pas un passage dans la machine de coupe pour une réduction de leur taille, car il mesure déjà la taille prédéterminée ;

    - un dispositif de raccordement sélectif desdits premier et deuxième conduits d'alimentation (23,24) avec ladite machine de traitement (20), afin de procéder à l'introduction, respectivement, dans ladite machine de traitement (20), de pièces de ladite taille prédéterminée obtenues par ladite trieuse (40,40'), ou d'un produit alimentaire d'origine végétale dont la taille est déjà celle qui est prédéterminée et ne nécessitant aucune réduction de sa taille.


     
    6. Installation (1) selon la revendication 1, le convoyeur-élévateur étant associé à un dispositif de pesage (190) configuré pour mesurer le poids desdits produits alimentaires de façon à introduire, de façon contrôlée, le produit alimentaire dans la trieuse (40,40'), ou dans la machine de traitement (20), le convoyeur-élévateur et le dispositif de pesage (190) étant configurés pour assurer une fourniture substantiellement constante du produit alimentaire d'origine végétale.
     
    7. Installation (1) selon une quelconque des revendications précédentes, la trieuse (40,40') étant une machine de coupe comprenant :

    - un dispositif de transport (156) entraîné par un premier moteur (56), ledit dispositif de transport (156) étant agencé pour déplacer ledit produit alimentaire d'origine végétale le long d'une direction de transport (155) à une vitesse déterminée ;

    - un dispositif de coupe (53) positionné le long d'une direction de transport (155), et agencé pour découper ledit produit alimentaire d'origine végétale en pièces découpées de ladite taille prédéterminée.


     
    8. Installation (1) selon la revendication 7, le dispositif de coupe (53, 153) étant sélectionné dans le groupe composé :

    - d'un dispositif de coupe mobile (53) ;

    - d'un dispositif de coupe fixe (153) incorporé dans le corps de la machine de coupe ; ou

    - d'une combinaison de ces derniers.


     
    9. Installation (1) selon la revendication 8, le dispositif de coupe mobile (53) comprenant au moins une lame de coupe (53a,53b,53c), le dispositif de coupe mobile étant entraîné par un deuxième moteur (55) agencé pour causer la rotation d'au moins une lame de coupe (53a, 53b,53c) autour d'un axe de rotation.
     
    10. Installation (1) selon la revendication 9, comprenant un dispositif d'ajustage pour l'ajustage de la vitesse de rotation d'au moins un du premier moteur (56) et du deuxième moteur (55) en fonction de la taille des pièces découpées dudit produit alimentaire d'origine végétale, afin de contrôler la taille des pièces découpées dans lesquelles le produit alimentaire est découpé par le dispositif de coupe.
     
    11. Installation (1) selon la revendication 9 ou 10, le dispositif de coupe mobile (53) comprenant une partie tubulaire (57) incorporée dans la ou chaque lame de coupe (53a,53b,53c), la partie tubulaire (57) étant montée de façon coulissante directement sur un arbre d'entraînement (157) du deuxième moteur (55) par une connexion flexible axiale, et le dispositif de coupe comprenant en outre un palier de butée (59) monté sur ladite partie tubulaire (57).
     
    12. Installation (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 8 à 11, le dispositif de coupe (53) comprenant un dispositif de coupe mobile et un dispositif de coupe fixe (153), le dispositif de coupe fixe (153) étant agencé dans une position en amont du dispositif de coupe mobile (53) relativement à la direction de transport (155) du produit dans la machine de coupe, le dispositif de coupe fixe (153) possédant un tranchant profilé agencé pour effectuer une coupe préliminaire dudit produit alimentaire d'origine végétale avant que celui-ci n'atteigne le dispositif de coupe mobile.
     
    13. Méthode d'extraction à froid d'un concentré ou jus d'un produit alimentaire frais d'origine végétale ou animale, la méthode comprenant les étapes suivantes:

    - traitement, dans une machine de traitement (20), d'un produit introduit pour obtenir un produit traité, ladite étape de traitement étant sélectionnée dans un groupe composé :

    - d'une étape d'assouplissement pour adoucir le produit introduit par le biais d'une pluralité d'impulsions à fréquence rapide, pour obtenir un produit assoupli ;

    - d'une étape de broyage pour broyer le produit introduit ;

    - d'une étape de hachage pour hacher le produit introduit ;

    - d'une étape de passage du produit introduit dans un tamis ;

    - d'une étape de coupe du produit introduit ;

    - ou d'une combinaison de ces derniers ;

    - l'exécution d'une extraction à froid en aval de ladite étape de traitement, ladite étape d'extraction à froid étant effectuée par un rotor configuré pour fonctionner conjointement avec un tamis doté d'une pluralité de trous, de façon à séparer ledit produit traité entre un produit principal, comprenant ledit concentré, ou jus, traversant ledit tamis, et étant déchargé par un premier orifice de sortie, et des matières de rebut, qui, elles, ne peuvent traverser ledit tamis, et sont refoulées par un deuxième orifice de sortie ;

    la méthode étant caractérisée en qu'elle comporte, en outre, les étapes :

    - de tri, par le biais d'un dispositif de tri, desdits produits alimentaires frais en pièces d'une taille prédéterminée, établie entre 50 mm et 130 mm, ladite étape de tri étant effectuée dans une trieuse (40,40') positionnée au-dessus de ladite machine de traitement (20) de sorte que le déplacement desdites pièces de produits alimentaires d'une taille prédéterminée de ladite trieuse (40,40') à ladite machine de traitement (20) s'effectue par gravité ; et en ce qu'est également prévue une étape de levage, afin de lever ledit produit alimentaire frais d'une première hauteur h1 à une deuxième hauteur h2, à laquelle ledit produit alimentaire frais est introduit dans ladite trieuse (40,40'), ledit levage étant effectué par un convoyeur-élévateur (90) positionné en amont de ladite trieuse (40,40').


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description