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15 Jun 2015

Homemade pizza set to get even better, thanks to Loughborough University Student

Image: Forno (Ben Kippax)

A pioneering Loughborough University student could be about to improve the quality of homemade pizzas thanks to his new invention - Forno.

Ben Kippax, 22, from Hereford, has created a stone bake pizza oven that can be used safely indoors, as part of his Industrial Design and Technology.

Powered by a non-toxic bio-gel, Forno cooks pizza with a real flame, which imitates the traditional experience and tastes of pizzerias.

Forno was crafted with the help of the University’s ceramics experts from the School of Arts, English & Drama  and is able to deliver a quality pizza that can only be replicated by expensive outdoor wooden pizza ovens.

The product is currently at prototype phase but has the potential to revolutionise the way that the popular Italian dish is cooked at home.

Ben explained: “Forno creates a genuine stone bake pizza, something that you can’t get with current indoor solutions.

“Different products have electronic elements that deliver a toasty-maker kind of style, or are outside and require big fan extraction systems. 

“Forno uses a real cordierite pizza stone and fire without smoke, made possible by the bio-gel.

“This is currently used in the catering industry for warming food but not for purely cooking food.

“It's an existing technology that's being used in an innovative way, at the same time as representing the heritage and craft that surrounds pizza.”

Professor Tracy Bhamra, Dean of Loughborough Design School, added: "Ben’s design is really interesting, we have enjoyed watching him develop it across the last eight months and I know he has really enjoyed working with colleagues in School of Arts, English & Drama to develop the ceramic elements. 

“The fact that he has been able to develop something so attractive and usable is very impressive.”

Forno was showcased at the Loughborough University Design School Show, between 12-15 June. 

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/115

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Dane Vincent

Video Journalist
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222443
E: d.t.vincent@lboro.ac.uk