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March 2010

International Picks: 7 Global Innovations

Innovations from around the globe are winning awards and changing the way European kitchens improve efficiencies and save energy.

By The Editors

If you haven't been to an international exhibition or association meeting lately, you might've missed a few things. Like the unique innovations coming out of European R&D departments. Or the number of products picking up international design awards.

The products we've gathered here were shown at international events last year, including the Equip'Hotel exhibition in Paris and Host 2009 in Milan. These items offer both award-winning features and significant advances in their categories. And as we continue our overseas travels this year we'll bring you continuing details on overseas equipment developments.

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.

French manufacturer Capic has created a unit that continuously produces griddle marks on food without the need for employee monitoring. The gas-powered MarQgrill features a stainless steel body and variable-speed stainless conveyor belt, and charring heights are adjustable to accommodate product size and thickness. Unit produces single- or diamond-shaped grill marks. Winner of Apria Prize for Cooking at Equip'Hotel.

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. Seen at Host 2009 in Milan; available worldwide.
Electrolux Professional

Another 2009 Apria Award winner, in the category of Research & Development-Washing, the new Premax AUPR hood-type warewasher is part of the AMX line that Hobart designed to reduce operating costs. The AUPR runs on just 7.53kW at full capacity and consumes 0.61 gals. of water per cycle, which Hobart says is 30% less than a comparable machine. A prewash function removes food soil from the wash tank in two stages, and other features include the E-SPAR heat-recovery system and ROTOR-X cross wash-arm action, which Hobart says distributes water evenly and effectively. Apria judges praised the washer for its overall design, integrated functionalities and energy efficiency.

The ROX water electrolyzer, available in the United States for the last several years, was honored by Apria Awards judges for its ability to generate an effective, inexpensive cleaning and disinfecting agent. The system combines tap water, a mild salt solution and an electric current to separate water into its alkaline and acidic components. The alkaline water then can be used for surface cleaning and the acidic for sanitation. Winner of Apria Prize for Technical Equipment at Equip'Hotel.
Hoshizaki America

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.

Designed for takeaway, buffet and catering applications, the Reverso serving line from Vauconsant offers three sections: a chilled, ventilated area for holding sandwiches, starters and desserts; a hot, ventilated section for holding quiches and pizzas; and a dry bain marie. Vauconsant says that when it's time to change a section from chilled to hot, the switch takes just 30 minutes. Apria Award judges appreciated Reverso's space-saving design. Winner of Apria Prize for Distribution at Equip'Hotel.

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