The NAFEM Show Redefines The Field
By: The Editors
Suppliers brought their "A" game to the biennial show sponsored by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, introducing a slew of products equipped with thoughtful design features and stepped-up technologies. We were impressed.
If you walked the floor at The NAFEM Show last October, you were among some 20,000 attendees who saw the introduction of hundreds of new items for cooking, holding, cooling, washing, serving, prep and more. If you weren't at Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center for all the product unveilings, you missed a significant event.
Fortunately, your FER editors were on handfive of us in alland gathered information for more than a hundred new items. Not surprisingly, the themes of energy efficiency and ease of use dominated new-product designs. Several productsan ice dispensing system, a combi oven, a display case, a fryer and a warewashing line, to cite a fewbrought thoughtful new designs to the table while upping the energy and water efficiency stakes considerably. As we maneuvered the aisles the "wow" factor increased with each booth we visited.
Below you'll find as many new NAFEM products as we could fit in this issue. Watch for Part II of our show coverage in the February issue. And be sure to mark your calendars for the next mounting of The NAFEM Show, scheduled for Feb. 5-7, 2009, at the Orlando County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
LIKE HAVING TWO ICEMAKERS BUT PAYING FOR ONE
If you like the idea of running one ice machine but need the ice in two different places, check this out: Follett's Ice Manager Diverter Valve System. This ingenious solution, which was a co-winner of the Foodservice Consultants Society Int'l. 2007 Product of the Year Award, automatically delivers ice from one Follett Horizon icemaker to two separate dispensers or bins. The system delivers the ice through a tube from where it's made to wherever you want it, and the automated valve directs the ice to whichever delivery spot the programming calls for, up to 75' away. No hands. No waiting. No sanitation or safety complications.
A FRYER THAT PROTECTS YOUR INTERESTS
Fryers are big moneymakers for most of you, and yet they're big expenses, too. Oil is costly. Filtration requires attention. Hot oil is hazardous. Now Frymaster's new Protector Electric Fryers offer multiple solutions. Available in 14-, 17- and 22kW versions, the units do the work of a typical 50-lb. fryer with just 30 lbs. of shortening, Frymaster says. The design rethinks a lot of assumptions. Essentially eliminating the cold zoneand the oil needed to fill it, and the energy needed to heat the additional oilProtector instead opts for an automated Oil Attendant, which reads a sensor and only replenishes oil as needed from a jug-in-box container residing inside the fryer cabinet. The effect extends oil life, and a monitor built into the Footprint Pro filtering system signals when the oil needs filtering.
A COMBI RETHINK
Take everything you know about the benefits of combination oven-steamersthe convection, steam and combination modes, the reduced shrinkage, the food quality, etc.and add this: Hobart has jumped into the market with both feet. Not content to roll out a me-too model, Hobart has gone to some lengths to differentiate its entry with combinations of features, including boilerless steam that simplifies maintenance. A 4-speed, auto-reversing fan provides even results without turning pans. Phase cooking lets you program sequences of steam, convection and both. Controlled humidity is just exactly that, from 0% to 100%. An electronic fan brake stops the fan when you open the door. A delta-T program adjusts cavity temperature based on internal food temp to optimize cooking while minimizing shrinkage. The unit even cleans itself automatically with off-the-shelf cleaning chemicals.
NEW STEAMER IN A CATEGORY OF ONE
Building on the strengths of its Energy Star-rated Eco-Tech water-saving steamers, Market Forge has now one-upped itself with its 5- and 10-pan Eco-Tech Plus. The buzz? The Plus, offered in gas and electric models, comes with bragging rights as the first atmospheric steamer with a self-contained water filtration system and also boasts an indicator that tells you when to change the cartridges. No more confusion about where to put the filter or when to change it. And if that innovation isn't enough, Eco-Tech Plus also gives you a steam-on-demand feature as well as a steam-and-hold mode. And as with all Eco-Techs, the Plus uses a unique closed-loop design that drastically reduces the amount of water needed, resulting in huge savings of water and energy both. The 10-pan unit, for example, sips just about 14 gals./hr., as opposed to a conventional unit's 100-plus gals.
Market Forge Industries
DOUBLE DISPLAY INCREAES PRESENATION VALUE
New for grab-and-go display cases: Now you can combine a refrigerated area for self-service of cold products with an ambient compartment for presentation only in the Vienna Series over/under case. Available through U.S. distributor RPI/Regal Pinnacle Integrations, these double display cases from Austrian manufacturer AKE allow you to separately regulate the temperatures of each area. Each unit features a coated evaporator with fan-assisted cooling, easy access for cleaning, low-voltage fans, and fully automatic defrosting. Controls offer digital temp display with a speed controller for the fans. The compressor slides out for easy service, and a ventilated cooling unit inside its housing keeps the compressor cool for long life. Interior lights are flush mounted and protected. Another special feature: a rear work station that slides out and then back in so it's out of the way. The Vienna Series is available in three lengths.
RPI/Regal Pinnacle Integrations
NEW ICE MACHINE MEETS TIER 3
From Manitowoc Ice comes the new S-Series 1470C air-cooled remote ice machine. Utilizing the company's QuietQube technology, the 1470C is one of the first ice machines to meet the Tier 3 energy efficiency specifications of the Consortium for Energy Efficiency. Features of the traditional S-Series line have been integrated into the 1470C, including Manitowoc's patented Cool Vapor Defrost. Meanwhile, AlphaSan has been molded into select plastic components to reduce biofilm. The 1470C is 30" W x 25" H and offers daily ice production of up to 1,400 lbs. Warranty is 5 yrs. parts and labor on the evaporator; 5 yrs. parts and 3 yrs. labor on the compressor; and 3 yrs. parts and labor on all other components.
WHIPPING UP DISPENSING OPTIONS
Collaborating with Rich Products Corp. led Server Products to develop two new dispensing options: the Topping Caddy and Topping Tunnel for serving whipped topping. The Topping Caddy is designed hold a pastry bag conveniently in an ice bath by utilizing a standard 6-qt. bain marie. Meanwhile, the Topping Tunnel is a handy holder for a pastry bag. You simply place the bag into the unit tip down, give a squeeze and dollop whipped topping as needed. Both items are to be used with specific 8- and 16-oz. Rich products; consult Server for details.
NEWS FOR CUBELETS
Hoshizaki has rolled out its new Opti-Serve Series sanitary cubelet ice machine/dispenser. The air-cooled Model DT-400BAH-OS is a completely self-contained unit whose design reduces cross contamination. Production is up to 415 lbs. of ice per 24 hrs., and built-in storage holds 40 lbs. The CleanCycle12 feature ensures the unit will perform a 15-min. purge every 12 hrs. to rid itself of impurities. A sealed LED housing prevents moisture from entering, and the corrosion-resistant stainless exterior adds durability. Unit dispenses cubelet ice and water; remote LED sensor allows for hands-free operation. Footprint is 21" W x 22½" D.
WATERPROOF SCALE SELF-CALIBRATES
Edlund placed its new Poseidon waterproof scale into a fish tank to prove it is completely sealed and continues to register even when submerged. The Poseidon WSC-10 heavy-duty digital portion scale weighs up to 10 lbs., and with six display options it's also customizable to meet your specific needs. Poseidon's key feature: self-calibration. You simply flip over the unit and wait for an indicator light to signal the self-calibration has taken place. Edlund's Dual Housing Technology helps guard against corrosion, and Poseidon's stainless steel body ensures durability. Additional features include overload protection. NSF and CE certified.
INDUCTION COOK THROUGH A COUNTERTOP
CookTek takes induction buffet systems to a whole new level with its Under Countertop buffet setup. This smartly designed system mounts heavy-duty, energy-efficient induction componentry underneath a 30mm countertop (granite, marble composites, etc.) so you have a smooth, flat surface on top. By using discs designed to conduct induction energy through the countertop, you can place a heated item in one area (with a disc in place) and next to that place a nonheated item (without a disc), which gives you maximum display ability on the buffet. Automatic pan detection via the discs allows for instant energy transmission to each pan. Each induction unit runs on 650W of power; up to three units can be linked per 15-amp circuit, four per 20-amp circuit. Features include self-diagnostics, auto shutoff, and a pan maximizer feature to ensure maximum heating of any induction-compatible pan.
SMART CHILLER CHOOSES OWN CYCLE
The Electrolux air-o-chill line of blast chillers features new controls that make it easy to quickly chill or freeze foods to proper temperature. A unique "Cruise" cycle eliminates the guesswork when you're deciding whether to use "hard"or "soft" chilling. You simply insert a probe into the product, push one button, and the unit will chill the product to the proper temperature in the most ideal fashion. If you insert the probe improperly, no worries: The unit will automatically chill the product within 90 mins. Whether you're using air-o-chill for cook-chill, chilling the day's leftovers, or freezing foods for later use, these units give you controls that will reduce employee errors, help you adhere to a HACCP program, and maintain higher product quality. Also, an ARTE control shows you how much time remains in the chill cycle.
FRESH FINISHES FOR YOUR BACK BAR
At The NAFEM Show Perlick launched new custom finishes for its line of back bars. The finishes utilize automotive-grade paints and include a clear-coat protection to provide a durable finish. A variety of colors, including the red show at the Perlick booth, is available. Back bar cabinet options include custom remote, self-contained, custom single-door self-contained, custom nonrefrigerated, custom pass-through self-contained, custom pass-through remote, and custom self-contained narrow-door.
A SUPER SPECIMEN OF A CHILLER
Look! It's a milk cooler! No, it's a freezer! No, it's both a cooler and freezer in one mobile unit! Lakeside's newly released Cool-1 lets you switch from refrigeration to freezer mode with the flip a switch. The freeze function lets you generate extra revenue by selling frozen treats, and you can also use it for fast chilling of milk when needed. The Cool-1 features a pass-through, kid-friendly design with a removable hinged top, and magnetic gasket to seal in the chill. An external thermometer allows for quick temperature monitoring. Holds up to eight standard milk crates in 13 cu. ft. of space.
VENTILATION: A PACKAGE DEAL
Wouldn't it be nice if, when installing your new restaurant's HVAC system, you could make but a single opening in the roof, install a single unit and be done with it? This would save time, money and the headaches of achieving proper indoor air balance. With Accurex, it's now possible. The ventilation company, a division of Greenheck, in October debuted the XVPR, a one-box unit that can pull in anywhere from 50% to 100% of dedicated make-up air and still maintain comfort. The XVPR uses six-row DX cooling coils to remove moisture, and a modulating hot gas refrigerant valve to add heat as needed. This unit is available in sizes ranging from five to 40 tons of cooling, 75 to 800 mbh of heating input and air volumes of up to 12,000 cfm. Filtration options include MERV 11 or MERV 13. And for easy installation these units offer through-the-curb gas and electric connections.
PANS HOLD AT SAFE TEMPS
When it comes to maintaining foods at safe temperatures, Cambro's Ultra Pan Carrier H-Series is an open and shut case. Perfect for frequent opening and closing, extreme cold ambient temperatures and long events, Hot Holding Ultra Pan Carriers and Ultra Camcarts provide an energy-efficient and economical alternative to large warming cabinets. Ultras maintain safe food temperatures for several hours when plugged in. Gentle, 150°F to 165°F heat is the ideal range for keeping food safe while maintaining food moisture and preventing overcooking. Thick foam insulation retains temperatures for hours even when the unit is unplugged. Choose from single or double units, or opt for electric door retrofits on your existing models.
EASY SANDWICH PREP WITHIN REACH
Jimex isn't just renaming its great line of sandwich prep units to Ascend, it's reengineered the units into a whole new brand. Still stainless inside and out, the one-door NSF-certified table we saw in prototype at The NAFEM Show features a heavier top shelf that accommodates all insert pan sizes, including 1/3rd and 1/9th; heavy-duty recessed handles; and a thicker lid than past models to create even better insulation. Front venting has been added to side venting for improved air circulation and more efficient operation in the refrigerated storage base, and there's less concern about side clearance with the front-vent addition.
GOAL: EASIER ICE MAKER INSTALLATIONS
Dormont knows exactly what goes on when your guys are installing that new ice maker. They're working their way through the hookup and discover they're short one little brass valve& or PVC elbow& or brass check valve...or something. Then they're off to the supply store and you're facing an installation delay. Now you can equip them with the PowerForce commercial ice maker installation kit, an all-in-one, everything-you-need parts kit to install any make or model of ice machine on the market. Kit includes: 3/8" x 60" braided water connector (rated at 4.3 gpm at 50 psi), ½" in-line brass check valve, 3/8" brass adapters, and ¾" PVC adapters, elbows and T's.
SUPER-TOUGH RANGE TAKES THE HEAT
Wolf's new Challenger XL Medium Duty Range has been reengineered so that the fully welded frame, not the skin, takes all the stress and abuse a busy kitchen can dish out. Six open-top burners each rated at 30,000 Btu/hr. are two-piece and easy to lift off. Rather than running off six individual, exposed pilots, three pilots power two burners each through a spill-protecting flash tube for outstanding energy efficiency. Grates over each of the six burners are individual, and the back three are 2" deeper than the front to accommodate stock pots. Rated at 35,000 Btu/hr., the oven accepts 18" x 26" pans front to back or side to side. The oven control has also been moved out of the heat zone below the oven door to the upper right of the door.
A DIAMOND FOR ROUGH KNIVES
Go ahead, let the new guy sharpen your expensive knives. With the Friedr. Dick RS-150 Duo, knives are automatically guided into the perfectly angled (17°) sharpening and honing sides of the sharpener. A combination of diamonds and ceramics on counter-rotating wheels sharpens knives to a perfect edge for all your fine slicing, dicing and trimming needs. The unit measures 13" W x 9" Dx 6 1/3" H and is CE listed.
Friedr. Dick Corp.
WARM YOUR (CHINESE) BUNS
Here's a unit that will make the hearts of operators of Asian restaurants beat a little faster. Roundup/A.J. Antunes has developed a steamer display cabinet that quickly steams pre-cooked refrigerated or frozen foods, then holds them at ready-to-indulge temperaturessay, savory Chinese steamed buns, so tasty on a cold winter's day. The SDC-500 is lit from the top to highlight its contents. It makes steam from plain tap water: a handy built-in tube lets you monitor water levels, make quick refills or drain the unit. The steamer holds five sliding shelves and features durable s/s construction. And best of all, the unit is UL listed.
A.J. Antunes amp; Co.