Last fall's Milan Show welcomed a record number of international attendees plus plenty of efficient, new-think foodservice equipment to keep them all busy.
By Jennifer Hicks with Mary Esther Treat, Ideas Well Done
If you attended last fall's Host Milan at the Fiera Milano exhibition center in Rho, Italy, you might've heard even more languages than usual. As Host grows in international significance, so grows its international visitor count, according to organizers. The 2009 show welcomed contingents from Brazil, Israel and Mexico for the first time, and the coffee fair that ran concurrently with Host showed a 10% increase in attendees compared to the '07 exhibition.
In all, overseas visitors numbered 33,000, which represented nearly one-fifth of the total attendee count of 125,000. The majority of international visitors came from France and Germany, followed by Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. And a good number of visitors came from as far as China and
Many of them came to see the latest foodservice equipment, which included waste-handling systems, cooking innovations and efficiency advances. Read on for just a few of the attention-getting products seen on the show floor, and mark your calendar for the next Host Milan event, to be held Oct. 21-25, 2011.
MODULAR, MOBILE COOKING
From Blanco comes a new line of self-venting modular units for display cooking. The high-performance Blanco Cook units are designed to trap and filter all cooking effluent. A powerful multi-stage filtration system uses a three-sided air stream and vacuum action to direct effluent through the filtration process, removing grease, moisture and odors. Units can be used anywhere a 400V electrical connection is available. In addition to a variety of cooking and holding modules, the units can be equipped with a refrigerated base or Blanco's Blancotherm mobile transport containers. Blanco Cook was honored last fall with the Distinguished Development Design Award from Foodservice Consultants Society Int'l.
HEAT RECOVERY COMES TO WASHERS
Winterhalter returned to Milan with its GS 500 and GS 600 energy-efficient washers, but this time the company upped the efficiency ante with an added feature: an integrated exhaust air heat exchanger, which draws warm water vapor out of a machine while the door is closed to heat the cold water supply. The result, says Winterhalter, is a reduction in energy cost of up to 10% a year, and a reduction of exhaust air temperature by more than 50%. The GS 500 Series is a pass-through rack model, and the GS 600 Series is a pot and utensil washer.
A MIXER THAT COOKS?
Talk about innovation: The new Cooking Chef from Kenwood adds integrated induction cooking to a 1500W planetary mixer. The 1100W induction cooking system lets chefs cook directly in the mixing bowl, which offers a bowl capacity of 6.7 liters and a cooking/mixing capacity of 3 liters. Temperature settings range from -4°F to 284°F so food can be gently warmed or fully cooked, such as for tempering dough or making fudge. A display timer tracks from 5 secs. to 3 hrs. counting up or down, and eight mixing speeds maintain the consistency of food without breaking it down. The Cooking Chef comes with a food processor attachment, safety interlocks on the bowl, and a steam basket that fits on the bowl top to steam vegetables, chicken, seafood and more.
FROM WET WASTE TO COMPOST
With food-waste handling top of mind in the United Kingdom, Welsh manufacturer IMC has developed a three-part waste disposal system that it says can reduce waste by 80%. The process starts with a disposer, which macerates waste into 4-mm particles, an important step for the composting process. The waste moves to a dewaterer, where excess liquid is pressed out and the resulting dry waste is expelled and can be collected. Finally, if an operator chooses the composting step, an In-Vessel Composter adds a heat component to create compost after a few weeks. In addition to buying separate components to do each job, IMC offers larger, standalone systems.
ANOTHER WAY TO HANDLE FOG
Irish manufacturer Environmental Products & Services Ltd. brought its GreaseShield grease separation and removal system to the Milan Show. EPAS says the GreaseShield automatically cleans kitchen waste water before it ever gets to the grease trap, without using chemicals or enzymes. As effluent enters the GreaseShield, food debris is automatically removed by a screen. The solids are removed, dewatered by an auger and discharged into a separate collection container for disposal. As for oil, five coordinated baffles and a reverse-direction flow move the effluent in a process that forces fats, oils and grease against a slow-rotating roller. As the roller becomes coated with FOG, a rubber blade scrapes it clean and the byproduct is collected in an external container.
Environmental Products & Services Ltd.
SANDWICH TOASTING GETS A BOOST
The high-speed sandwich press from Electrolux brings together infrared and microwave cooking for super-fast sandwich toasting. The unit can take a sandwich from 39°F to perfectly toasted with a core temperature of 140°F in less than 60 secs., says Electrolux, complete with grill marks for an appetizing appearance. Using three different heating modes—contact plates, infrared radiation from the base, and microwaves—the high-speed press also offers a self-adjusting upper plate, automatic holding and automatic lid opening when a sandwich is done. Other features include a programmable electronic control panel with four automatic cooking programs, and a nonstick surface for easy cleanup. Available worldwide.