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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Pepperoni: It’s How You Slice It

The difference between good and great pepperoni is all in how you slice it.

Liguria Foods has perfected the science and art of slicing pepperoni.  And that makes sense for a company that specializes in making the world’s most popular pizza topping.

Liguria’s slicing methodology has to be very particular and precise because it employs machinery that churns out 17,325 slices a minute.

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Slicing pepperoni is not a slap-dash sort of process.  It requires specific preparation, exacting blades, easy-to-use and clean machinery and highly standardized procedures. The slicing technology can vary depending upon the products being sliced.  Liguria has separate slicers for standard 44 millimeter pizza toppings and larger diameter six inch deli pepperoni, for instance.

The blades of each conform to provide specific visual aesthetics; different blades cut on different angles for a nice clean cut.

Before the pepperoni roll is slipped into the slicer, it is tempered in a blast cell that drives down the temperature to a level that provides the most consistent cuts. 

Trained staffers load 11 pepperoni sticks at a time and the machinery is calibrated so that it gives consistent pressure to each, even at the highest speeds. 

Liguria’s highly tuned slicers run at speeds that are as much as 30 percent faster than their competitors due to a specialized orifice technology. The result is a uniform pepperoni slice that is unmatched in the industry.

Because each of Liguria’s slicers is standardized in terms of drive, their technicians only need to learn how one slicer works in order to work on all of them.  The pepperoni sticks are fed into the machinery manually but not touched until they are completely packed and secure.  So, it is a very fast, efficient and clean process.

“In selecting the machinery, we chose slicers that can be broken down to the framework for cleaning,” notes Joe Christopherson, Vice President of Operations. “In this way, we can completely sanitize it for the highest level of food safety.”

In addition to standardized sizes and shapes, Liguria provides custom slicing. For instance, they can create the “Cup & Char” style of pepperoni that is so popular in a variety of pizza chains across the country.  These smaller slices are turned up on the edges which are slightly burnt to provide a crisp bacon-like flavor.

“Whatever the slice, the overriding factor is quality,” says Mr. Christopherson. “We work very closely with our equipment vendors to find the latest technology that gives both us and our customers a competitive edge.”

 

 

 

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