Don Fausto Celorio was responsible for 150 inventions, including the iconic tortilla machine present throughout Mexico.
There is no Mexican who has not eaten a warm tortilla at some time. Although this food is ancient for our culture, today it reaches our homes thanks to the tortilla-making machine invented by a genius named Fausto Celorio.
Although the tortillas made by hand with metate and comal have a special place in our hearts, the truth is that the machines have made life easier for many Mexicans.
Initially, tortilla machines helped shape corn dough balls, which considerably reduced preparation time. It was not until 1904 when Evarardo Rodríguez and his partner Luis Romero devised a device that would mass-produce tortillas.
The first machine consisted of laminated rollers that carried the dough to a griddle. Curiously, this device produced square tortillas and they were not very successful due to their shape.
Thirty years later, another inventor produced a new automatic machine. His name is Fausto Celorio, who invented the current tortilla machine.
Don Fausto Celorio, the entrepreneur who created the tortilla making machine
In 1947 Don Fausto Celorio Mendoza implemented a roller system to punch and transport the tortilla. Legend has it that this inventor from Veracruz worked on the machines hidden from the women because he feared they would attack him.
How does the tortilla-making machine work? Initially, the nixtamalization process is carried out, which consists of the traditional mixture of corn, quicklime and water. Once produced, the nixtamal is taken to the mill to be transformed into dough.
Already in the machine, the dough will be flattened, laminated and cut to take the classic disc shape. Then the tortilla is transported in a band to three ovens, to finally come out. The average preparation time for each tortilla is 60 seconds.
Once he had his prototype, Celorio launched into the market with modest sales, barely selling one machine a month. However, in the early 1950s he teamed up with an engineer from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), Alfonso Gándara, who helped him perfect the machine to give the tortilla more texture.
With this slight change, Celorio increased his sales to 40 machines per week!
In subsequent years, Celorio focused on perfecting his machine so that it would not overheat, improving the internal pipes to take advantage of that temperature. By 1963 he had already produced the duplex machine, capable of generating 132 kilograms of tortillas in one hour.
The man behind the tortilla machine and 150 patents
Celorio’s entrepreneurial mindset led him to constantly work on his invention to improve it. In 1975 his company launched low consumption machines capable of using up to 50% less gas than the previous ones and that produced up to 200 kg of tortillas every 60 minutes.
Celorio created in 1995 a smaller machine capable of producing 131 kg of tortilla per hour that had an electric ignition.
Don Fausto passed away at the age of 87. More than 150 inventions are attributed to him and it is estimated that more than 100,000 tortilla makers around the world bear his surname.