The purpose of an ice machine may be to create ice, but when it comes to the food service industry, ice has to be pure, clean, produced by energy-efficient units of all sizes, and needs to come in all shapes. That was the task of manufacturers who showed products at the most recent National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. The end result: There are a lot of different ways to achieve cleanliness, efficiency, and sizing.
For example, Follett Corp.’s 7 Series ice and water dispenser — which was selected as a 2013 Kitchen Innovations award recipient by the NRA — had a technology twist that allowed melted ice in the enclosed bin to return to the icemaker to be refrozen rather than drain out of the dispenser. This, the company said, allows the unit to be installed where other units cannot be while also minimizing water consumption.