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March 2010

Editors' Picks: 9 Products To Review Again

Making the rounds at trade shows last year led us to some smart and unique technologies. Read on for nine new products we thought deserved another look.

By The Editors

Last year was a good year for equipment development, especially for technologies such as refrigeration efficiency, waste heat recovery and self-cleaning ventilation. As your editors walked the trade shows last year, we saw products along these lines as well as others that struck us as significant enough to review again in this issue.

So we bring you, again, the nine products below. And we salute the R&D professionals who developed these items. The pace of innovation has picked up significantly in the last decade, and it's due to both R&D talent and supplier support of that talent, plus just plain old listening to the needs of end users.

These items, listed in alphabetical order by company, were things we saw at shows and wrote up in our magazine pages throughout 2009. They caught our attention for many reasons, including making a specific job easier or safer, using less energy than previous models, or implementing new-think technology.

As we visit hi the trade-show circuit this year, we'll keep finding and bringing you the best of what's new and effective for commercial and noncommercial kitchens.

New from Accurex: The Grease Grabber H2O with an auto-cleaning feature that eliminates the need to manually clean two sets of filters. The unit uses a dual-stage filtration system consisting of a Grease-X-Tractor (GX) filter and a Grease Grabber filter. The GX is the primary filter and extracts 69% of grease particles 8 microns in size, says Accurex. Acting as the secondary filter, the Grease Grabber uses a ½" packed bead bed to remove smaller particles that pass through the GX. Together this system removes 100% of particles measuring 5 microns and larger, Accurex says. As for cleaning, the process goes like this: A solenoid-controlled system sends hot water mixed with detergent to spray nozzles aligned along the filter banks and plenum area. That mix is recaptured and recirculated to save water, and the system also purges and rinses with fresh hot water. There's no need to remove filters and run them through the washer, says Accurex.

The Activeion Pro is a recently debuted hand-held spray device that transforms ordinary tap water into a powerful cleaner, effective enough, says the maker, to take the place of more than 40 chemical cleaners designed for glass, hard surfaces and carpets. The high-tech spray bottle (complete with a green LED light) features a cell that applies a slight electrical charge to the water. The charged water then passes through an ion-exchange membrane, creating an oxygen-rich mixture of positively and negatively charged nano-bubbles. Once sprayed, the activated water attracts dirt like a magnet and lifts it from surfaces. The water reverts to its natural state after about 30 secs. The bottle, made of a sturdy polycarbonate blend, is easy on the hands thanks to its press-and-hold trigger. Rechargeable batteries power the unit—one charge lasts several days or longer, depending on usage.

With energy issues, droughts and municipal water-infrastructure charges looming large, Cleveland has made the next leap forward in efficiency with its boilerless SteamChef SST, which stands for SteamSaver Technology. The Energy Star-rated steamer boasts a new system that controls water and energy two distinct ways. First, steam production is governed by the quantity and type of food being produced, adjusting to prevent excessive steam production, which in turn reduces water and energy usage. And the second efficiency technique involves a unique condensate drain system that captures waste energy from the condensate by holding it longer in the cavity. The result is more energy in the cavity and condensate that's cooled below 140°F by the time it exits the system, which reduces the need for tempering. By the time it's all done, the SST cuts energy use by about half, and water by 30%, says Cleveland. Available in both gas and electric models.

Sometimes the big "Aha" is in technology, and sometimes it's in adaptations and combinations. And then other times it's in all the above, which is the case here: Delfield has introduced a variety of packaged work stations combining Delfield refrigerated bases with other pieces from its Manitowoc sister brands. Delfield's EXCELeration Systems do the cherry-picking for you, creating, for example, a pizza prep line with Delfield storage below, and above, a Delfield prep table, a Lincoln CTI oven flowing to an overshelf and a landing shelf. Or maybe you're making sandwiches, in which case the package might combine prep surfaces, refrigerated rails, a Lincoln toaster/warmer and a couple Merco heated holding cabinets over a Delfield base. Numerous combinations are available in a variety of dimensions, all at package prices you couldn't duplicate if you did the same mix-and-matching yourself.

If you're looking for an easy way to bring chilled food from the kitchen to a serving point and then retherm it for service, check out the new Perfect-Serv II cart from Dinex. This compact, easy-to-maneuver bulk retherm cart combines a retherm oven and a refrigeration system, making it simple for you to hold/transport chilled foods at 34°F and rethermalize on command or as scheduled using a 7-day timer. You can use pans made of stainless steel, disposable aluminum, china or high-heat plastic. Capacity is 16 12" x 20" pans, eight hot and eight cold. The unit is designed to reach a compartment air temperature of 325°F in 10 mins.—max heating setting is 400°F—and you can even add a tubular stainless tray slide with an area for cutlery and condiments dispensers. Other cart features include multi-fan technology, automatic options and a HACCP-compliant data logging system.
Dinex Int'l.

Emerson introduces the Copeland Scroll Outdoor Condensing Unit for medium- and low-temperature refrigeration applications. Using R-404A and available in horsepower ranges from 2 to 6, the unit comes with a Copeland Scroll compressor, variable-speed PSC fan motor and advanced Copeland PerformanceAlert diagnostics. Emerson says this condensing unit offers durability and energy savings greater than 20%, as well as increased system diagnostic capabilities. With its lighter weight, ease of maneuverability and vertical orientation, the high-efficiency unit also allows for improved installation, ease of service and increased installation location options. Standard features include prepainted enclosures for corrosion protection, heavy-duty steel base with 1" raised legs, brass service valves located externally for easy access, an easy-to-read moisture indicator and oversized condenser coils.
Emerson Climate Technologies

Saving energy through waste-heat recovery has been a big deal for a while, and nowhere is it more evident than in warewasher development. Well, Hobart has now taken the process one step further, adding a low-wattage blow dryer to the already utility-efficient FT 900 flight-type warewasher. First, the washer itself is loaded with features that reduce water and energy consumption. Then you add the optional energy recovery system, which recycles waste heat to preheat incoming water, a process that alone saves thousands of dollars per year in energy. And to all that, now you can add the CLe blower dryer, a remarkably compact, low-wattage unit that bolts to the warewasher to take warm, humid air from within the washer, temper it with some dryer outside air to drop the humidity, add some low-watt heat, and then blow the combined warm, relatively dry air onto the conveyor to speed ware-drying.
Hobart Corp.

Vulcan's Rapid Recovery Griddle features a proprietary composite griddle plate that delivers super-fast heat transfer. The company says the unit can exceed the production capacity of a standard steel griddle plate by as much as 27%. The RRG's composite griddle also delivers uniform corner-to-corner temperature control, Vulcan says, and a temperature range of 150°F to 450°F. The stainless cooktop eases cleaning, and quick recovery rapidly gets you back to griddling your next batch of product. Vulcan says the RRG exceeds efficiency requirements mandated by the Federal Energy Management Program purchase guidelines.
Vulcan-Hart Co.

Ten years ago XDX Innovative Refrigeration developed a patented process for improving the quality of refrigerant as it flows through the evaporator coil. The process uses a special valve to allow a thin coating of refrigerant to line the entire inside of evaporator tubing, which results in rapid removal of heat from the unit and better equipment performance. Now comes the Mysticool Max valve, the latest product from XDX that can be retrofitted to existing refrigeration and HVAC systems. XDX says the Mysticool Max is lighter than previous versions, features a molded jacket that is insulated with a washable surface, and has fewer connections for faster installation. The latest valve is now rated for 700 psi to accommodate newly developed refrigerants. Unit pricing and installation varies by equipment size and region of the country.
XDX Innovative Refrigeration

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