ago. 12, 2022

A Look At the Frozen Pizza Production Process

Frozen pizzas are a marvel of convenience, technology, and modern manufacturing processes. Their popularity and sales continue to rise worldwide, leading to processors to find ways to make more pizzas

Frozen pizzas are a marvel of convenience, technology, and modern manufacturing processes. Their popularity and sales continue to rise worldwide, leading to processors to find ways to make more pizzas to meet demand.

Various specialized pizza-making machines come together to create hundreds of thousands of pizzas daily. While the manufacturing process varies slightly from brand to brand, it generally follows the same steps.

1. Bakery/dough making - mixing, dividing, forming
2. Pizza topping
3. Freezing
4. Packaging

Read on to learn more about each step of the frozen pizza manufacturing process, and how Grote’s equipment optimizes the topping component.

The Baking Process

While some manufacturers buy pre-made crusts, others make them from scratch. Purchasing pre-made crusts costs more per item, but doesn’t include the investment and resources of a full bakery line. If the processor can justify the investment of a bakery line, the steps of making dough include:

  • Mixing ingredients
  • Dividing portions
  • Dough forming through sheeting, proofing or pressing

Grote’s sauce applicators, topping applicators, and slicers work with either pre-made or freshly baked crusts.

The Frozen Pizza Topping Process

The crust is then conveyed to the topping process - where sauce, cheese, and other toppings such as pepperoni and individually quick frozen (IQF) meats and vegetables are applied.

This stage of the pizza production process is one of the most important for quality and cost control. If the sauce, cheese, and toppings aren’t added evenly and at the right weight, waste and inconsistencies in the product can quickly arise. And because these toppings are higher cost ingredients, the impact to profitability can be significant. 

Due to these high stakes, pizza manufacturers have moved from manual labor to automated equipment that apply toppings accurately and consistently.

Depending on the pizza ingredients, the machines in this area of the production line include:

Check out our Pizza Topping Line video:

Grote Pizza Topping Machines

More frozen pizza manufacturers worldwide choose Grote pizza topping machines thanks to our keen focus on accuracy and waste reduction. 

Both our Waterfall and Border-Free topping machines feature load cells that regulate the belts to deposit toppings more accurately.

The load cells are located before and after the rake. The load cells before the rake weigh the amount of product on the conveyor, then provide feedback to the return conveyors to help keep a consistent amount of product behind the rake. 

The load cells in front of the rake weigh the amount of product across the conveyor. As the density of the product bed changes, the conveyor speed will change to help ensure accurate deposit weights.

Quality Control

At the end of the processing line, pizzas are reviewed for quality - the look of the product, as well as weight accuracy and food safety. 

Some manufacturers utilize vision, metal-detecting, and other technology to verify consistency, quality, and safety - like contaminants, missing or off-center toppings, weight, and then rejects the less than perfect ones to be reworked.

When utilizing food processing equipment, the amount of rework and resources dedicated to it will be lessoned - saving manual labor and ensuring a higher and dependable production rate.

The Freezing and Packaging Process

The conveyor belts then move the pizzas to the blast freezer cell, where they spend 20 minutes at a temperature of -20F.

The packaging process will vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, but many use an overwrapping machine that applies a clear layer of plastic and automatically cuts each one to fit. 

Grote Frozen Pizza Topping Line Equipment

The machinery that powers the frozen pizza production process needs to be able to produce quality pizzas consistently. At Grote, we manufacture and carry a wide range of high-quality pizza topping equipment to increase yields, improve production, reduce waste, and ultimately achieve a higher ROI.

Click below to Learn more about how to calculate ROI on Pizza Topping Line production equipment.

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