Fitting Refrigeration into the Food Chain
That was one overall impression from the most recent Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Expo here where manufacturers and suppliers of most every product and service you might see in a supermarket were showcasing the latest trends. One common theme was how to deal with the complexity of the process in the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way possible.
Here in alphabetical order is a sampling of those exhibitors who had a refrigeration aspect.
Athen and Athen XL were the newest in freezer and chiller cabinets from AHT Cooling Systems USA (www.ahtusainc.net). The company described what was called "ecological freezing technology" with automatic defrosting. "Regular automatic defrosting means product temperature always remains constant," officials said. The units use an electronically speed-controlled compressor with R-404A refrigerant.
"Grab 'N Go" cases were the focus for Amtekco (www.amtekco.com). They combine refrigeration with dry display areas in a single merchandiser for stocking with such products as beverages, pre-made sandwiches, chips, and others items.
Anthony International (www.anthonydoors.com) showed its latest range of 101 Series cooler and freezer doors. Energy free cooler doors were said to offer high performance insulated glass without the need for glass heat. Freezer doors have three-pane heated glass and an additional 60 percent heat-reflective glass coating to enhance the insulation properties of the door, according to the company.
Cooling options for service deli merchandisers were described by Barker Co. (www.barkercompany.com). Choices include humidity kits and gravity coil refrigeration to protect fresh meats and seafood. A pedestal or mock pedestal base can be included for ease of cleaning.
VaporPlus humidity was promoted by Corrigan Corp. (www.corriganmist.com). "Gently rolling fog enhances product display," the company said. "Increased humidity means less shrinkage, higher scale weights and longer shelf life." The system consists of a filtration process to remove sediment and reduce bacteria in the water supply, an ultrasonic nozzle that produces water vapor droplets, and timer control with flexible settings to match humidity levels with product and case display. The compressor unit has a low profile design and can be installed under most service cases.
The critical issue of power was the focus of Eaton Corp. (www.eatonelectrical.com) with its PowerChain ManagementÂ® concept. Among aspects discussed at the booth were energy, standby, and back-up power connection solutions.
Easy SwingÂ® was emphasized in the traffic doors of Eliason Corp. (www.eliasoncorp.com) which are self-closing double-action doors that operate without a spring. Included in the product line are gasket doors designed for walk-in coolers and refrigerated processing areas.
Food safety took high priority at the exhibit space of Fluke (www.fluke.com) with its range of temperature measurement products. For frozen and/or refrigerated foods, the company showed ways to ensure that food is stored at or below specific temperatures to maintain freshness and quality. In display areas on the supermarket floor, the emphasis was on checking to see if there might be warm spots or uneven cooling.
Hansen-Rice Construction (www.hansen-rice.com) pointed out that it designs and builds food distribution centers including freezers and coolers.
Howe (www.howecorp.com) noted ice storage and transport systems including upright bins with stainless steel sides, tops, and fronts with polyethylene or interpon liners. Tops include a condensate drip pan and factory-mounted ice level control boxes, the latter of which are integral to the top to ensure proper alignment.
MarineLand (www.marineland.com) featured the Bio-Wheel refrigerated live seafood display and holding system. A three-stage system is used involving mechanical filtration, chemical filtration, and biological filtration. Polyfiber pads trap debris and waste particles and carbon filter packs attract and remove dissolved pollutants from the water.
â€˜Go for the Green' was the theme at the exhibit area of RollSeal (www.rollseal.net) with its energy efficient industrial doors. With the Model 600, there is a right angle gear motor, featuring a die cast aluminum frame for corrosion resistance and hypoid helical gearbox for torque and efficiency. Built into the motor is a capability to manually open or close the door in case of power outages without the need for chain drives or pulley systems. The motor is an AC variable-speed drive, which takes single-phase power and converts it into three-phase up to 120 Hz. The drive uses microprocessor technology.
Stark (www.starkproducts.com) is a designer and manufacturer of seafood display cases as well as lobster and fish systems. The emphasis is on maintaining salt-water fish through the case's filtration and water cleaning technology.
Publication date: 09/04/2006