So extensive and innovative were some of the offerings that at least four products in the refrigeration sector won coveted Kitchen Innovation Awards from among only 17 products so honored. The refrigeration-related technologies involved a so-called “knock-down” refrigerator for assembly and installation in tough to access areas from Arctic Industries/Desmon USA, multifunction holding cabinets from Ironox USA, glycol-cooled chiller plates from Kairak, and a reverse osmosis (RO) water system from Everpure.
Below is information provided by the manufacturers, indicating some of the latest trends that refrigeration contractors and technicians could well be dealing with in the future.
ICE MACHINESManitowoc Ice(www.manitowocice.com) introduced a line of ice machines that the company said were capable of producing over 1 ton of ice in a 24-hour period. Manitowoc’s S-3300 water-cooled and S-3070 QuietQube® ice machines target large chain restaurants, casinos, hotels, and convenience stores.
Another technology is the Quadzilla™ evaporator system that places four individual evaporators into a 48-inch-wide icemaker. The stainless steel tubular frame construction was created for strength and durability. The water pump and tray are removed without the use of tools. The control box and refrigerant lines, valves, and pumps are accessible from the front side of the machine.
The Q-Series 210 and 270 under-counter ice machines are for businesses with small-volume ice cube needs, limited floor space, or as a backup during peak business hours, according to the manufacturer. At 26 inches wide, the Q-210 will produce up to 220 pounds of ice daily with a storage capacity of 80 pounds. The 30-inch-wide Q-270 produces up to 290 pounds of ice daily with a storage capacity of 100 pounds.
Scotsman(www.scotsman-ice.com) introduced the Prodigy® Nugget to its Prodigy® family of ice machines. Prodigy® products offer operators up-to-the-minute reporting on the machine’s performance, as well as maintenance needs, the company said. The machines visually indicate when they’re in the ice production mode, as well as signal when routine maintenance is required.
There is what the company called “an accelerated harvest feature” that pushes ice off evaporator plates.
Ice-O-Matic(www.iceomatic.com) announced the ICE Series™ line of cube icemakers and storage bins that includes 12 modular cubers ranging from 330-1,856 pounds of ice per day and four undercounter models ranging from 84-356 pounds of daily production. The new line has a stainless front panel on all modular ice heads, and a quick-release panel system to allow access to the interior components with the removal of two fasteners for easier cleaning and maintenance. Additionally, the series’ self-contained cube ice makers feature a stainless steel top and slide-away door to access ice.
Servend(www.manitowocbeverage.com), a manufacturer of beverage dispensers for the foodservice industry, introduced the SV-200 selectable ice/beverage dispenser that offers a built-in ice crusher, providing selectable crushed or cubed types of ice from a single icemaker/ice-beverage dispenser combination.
Kold-Draft(www.kold-draft.com) showed a range of products including ice cubers with up to 1,229 pounds of ice production a day, an ice cuber and water dispenser line making up to 321 pounds a day, and an ice crusher designed for use with cubers and bins. In the latter, an external knob allows the selection of cube or crushed ice that can be separated in the bins with a bin divider.
Hoshizaki America Inc.(www.hoshizaki.com) featured a modular cubelet ice machine, a modular crescent cuber, and a self-contained cubelet with built-in storage bin.
REFRIGERATORS, FREEZERSKolpak(www.manitowoccfsg.com) showed pre-engineered walk-in units with all engineering done prior to shipment.
According to Rick Showers, director of product management for walk-in products, “The introduction of pre-engineered adds another dimension to the walk-in solutions offered by Kolpak. Polar-Pak® is our standard plug-and-play solution utilizing self-contained refrigeration. Our engineered-to-order line is custom-designed to precise specifications offering a wide array of options. Pre-engineered is positioned between these two, utilizing standard nominal panels, one standard finish, and pre-configured remote refrigeration in a wide variety of one and two compartment cooler and freezer configurations.”
Master-Bilt(www.master-bilt.com) unveiled Endura™, an energy-efficient line of institutional foodservice equipment.
“Endura is a very versatile line of cabinets that complements our existing foodservice walk-ins, step-ins, and refrigeration systems,” said Bill Huffman, vice president of sales and marketing for Master-Bilt. “Master-Bilt is always looking for ways to provide our customers with a more complete line, while making our products as energy efficient as possible.”
The Endura line consists of heated roll-through and pass-through cabinets; refrigerated, heated and dual-temperature reach-ins; refrigerated roll-ins, roll-throughs and pass-throughs; and prep tables and undercounter/worktable cabinets, many of which are Energy Star- and California Energy Commission-certified.
Beverage-Air(www.beverage-air.com) featured several new products and enhancements for 2009. Included was a countertop blast chiller, open-air cases with night curtains, and back bar coolers.
Reach-ins fromAscend(www.ascendmfg.com) use HFC-134a, have self-contained top-mounted refrigeration systems, and evaporative electric condensate pans.
Traulsen’s(www.traulsen.com) quick chiller was designed to move food quickly from serving temperature to storing temperature. Food is chilled rapidly and safely through the temperature danger zone (from 135°F to below 41°) to prolong the freshness of ingredients and reduce spoilage of product, said John Davis, business development manager, Traulsen. “The quick chiller is designed to chill its entire capacity in as little time as possible. Food safety is a priority, and the Intela-Traul microprocessor control can help ensure compliance with HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) documentation,” Davis said.
Traulsen’s cyclonic airflow system creates a horizontally moving curtain of air that extends from the top of the chiller to the bottom. Centrifugal blowers direct air to chill food without edge freezing or exterior ice formation, Davis said. The product holding temperatures and product chill endpoint can be adjusted to suit the characteristics of individual foods.
The premise of the knock-down approach fromArctic Industries/Desmon USA(www.arcticwalkins.com) refers to the units coming unassembled to allow for installation “in previously inaccessible areas.”
In noting its Kitchen Innovations award, Donald Goodstein, president of Arctic Industries and Desmon USA, said, “The innovative line of knock-down units will benefit our foodservice dealers and operators by providing them with a variety of choices, where before they were limited.”
REFRIGERATION TECHNOLOGYAmong innovations catching quite a bit of attention at the booth ofChilldisc(www.chilldisc.com) was a system that brings 26°F cooling to specific spots on a counter, typically at a bar. It is on those spots that drinks, designed to stay cold, are placed by the customer between sips. A conventional mechanical refrigeration system pumps cooling via a chilled fluid (corn oil) through tubes underneath the counter. The cooling goes to stainless steel discs. For indoor counters, the discs are level with the counter; for outdoor locations, the disks are in wells where the drink can be placed to help overcome condensation.
A system for transporting beer by tubes from a storage unit to the taps was shown byMicromatic(www.micromatic.com). Included was a secondary regulator panel for the different kegs within the storage unit.
A beverage dispenser system that doesn’t use tubes or hoses was shown byVitality(www.vitalityfoodservice.com). Juice packets are inserted into the unit itself and the packets discarded when empty. The refrigeration system is said to be controlled by thermistors designed for “improving both moisture resistance and sensitivity,” the company said.
A company gaining increased attention in the refrigerant market is Airgas. At the NRA show, itsAirgas National Carbonation(www.airgasnationalcarbonation.com) component exhibited, promoting beverage-grade carbonation supply and service.
Portable evaporative cooling was shown byPort-A-Cool(www.port-a-cool.com). Featured at its booth was the JetStream™ 1600 said to cool up to 1,000 square feet. It provides, the company said, “adjustable louvers for intense spot cooling where you need it.”
In a press announcement,Everpure(www.everpure.com) described its KI award-winning RO system as able to provide as high as 80 percent efficiency in producing water, a much higher percentage than other RO systems, the company claimed.
“”The Kitchen Innovation Award demonstrates that the MRS-600 HE is one of the best RO systems available on the market today, helping operators reduce their carbon footprint by using an efficient and more environmentally friendly system,” the announcement said.