Foodservice Equipment Reports

SPECIAL REPORT: Ten Hot Products Catch FCSI’s Eye

Look at the 2010 Innovation Showcase finalists here, and you’ll see a few common elements quickly emerge: utility efficiency, flexibility and, well, downright practicality.

Those were some of the qualities that really seemed to resonate with judges and members from the Foodservice Consultants Society Int’l.’s Worldwide and Americas Divisions when they convened to recognize top innovations this past year. The event took place during the association’s Worldwide Conference, held last year in Minneapolis.

The judging process was straightforward: A call for innovative products went out, and entries came in. Entrants were first screened by FCSI corporate members. The second round of judging was performed by a panel made up of FCSI Fellows and ICONs, or emerging consultant members, which chose 10 finalists.

From the finalists, one winning product and one outstanding manufacturer were selected by majority vote of FCSI consultant members attending the conference.

When the votes were tallied, Hobart’s AM Select Ventless Warewasher, noted for innovative design that eliminates the need for a hood, had been named FCSI’S Product of the Year. And FCSI’s Manufacturer of the Year award went to Adande Refrigeration for its line of insulated cold drawers with adjustable temperatures.

Meet The Finalists

Among the other eight finalists, a line of combi ovens by Eloma is noted for its ability to keep hot steamy air retained entirely within, keeping the surrounding area more comfortable and reducing hood/HVAC loads. And a warewasher from Champion gets the nod for the flexibility to operate in eco-mode, quick-clean or extended-clean as needed.

Also lauded for flexibility is a line of electrically heated drop-in hot wells by Alto-Shaam, no plumbing needed, and from Eagle, shelving units with quick-release corners that allow shelf heights to be easily adjusted to make full use of storage space.

A trio of products win praise for energy and water efficiency. These include Master-Bilt’s behind-scenes refrigeration innovation—a reverse-cycle valve on the condensing unit that improves defrosting, prevents frost buildup and keeps units running smoothly. Another is a nugget-ice machine by Scotsman designed to use 50% less water and 15% less energy than comparable cube-ice machines. And display cases by Structural Concepts save energy thanks to a system that evaporates defrost water with recaptured hot gas as opposed to electric elements.

And finally, from MVP Group’s GO-3 division, a wall-mounted dispenser of ozonated water that serves as an eco-friendly, low-cost and chemical-free sanitizer useful for washing food product, hands and kitchen surfaces.

Read on for a closer look at all 10 finalists.

WAREWASHING WITHOUT THE SAUNA 

Product of the Year honors go to Hobart’s AM Select Ventless Warewasher for intelligent design that captures steam when the door’s opened, thus eliminating the need for the usual hood. Lift the door as soon as the cycle is done and hardly a wisp of steam can be seen. It’s been sucked back into a condenser where it’s used to heat incoming water for the final rinse cycle. The AM Select warewasher reduces energy costs, eliminates the hood expense and makes the dishroom environment more comfortable.

Hobart Corp. 888/446-2278

COLDLY EFFICIENT REFRIGERATED DRAWERS

Adande Refrigeration garners Manufacturer of the Year honors for its line of insulated cold drawers that can shift cooling temperatures—from refrigerator to freezer to blast chiller—with the touch of a button. The temperature of each Adande drawer can be set independently, from 8°F all the way up to ambient temperature. What’s more, the well-insulated drawers retain cold air on opening, keeping product safely chilled. The drawers are easy to clean and have a smaller footprint than most chef bases. Choose from single-, double- or triple-drawer units with front ventilation. Also available are blast chillers and rear-ventilation models. Adande drawers are sold in the United States under the Randell/Unified Brands badge.

Adande Refrigeration +44/1502-537135

Randell/Unified Brands 888/994-7636

Innovations Showcase Finalists

HOT WELLS: NO PLUMBING? NO PROBLEM

Installation is a breeze with Alto-Shaam’s Hot Food Drop-In Wells, which need no plumbing connections at all. The flexible units work equally well in back- or front-of-house installations. The drop-in wells can be portable too, with the simple relocation of the electrical connection. All units feature adjustable thermostats and separate on/off switches mounted on remotely located controls. Choose from hot wells ranging from 1-pan up to 5-pans in size, with a depth of either 4” or 6”.

Alto-Shaam 800/558-8744

E2 CLEANS DISHES THREE WAYS

E2 Series Flight Warewasher with Quad Rinse comes with three operation modes: Eco Clean, Express Clean and Extended Clean. The modes fit every application and load level with the help of a dual-piped Quad Rinse (two spray arms above, two below). Eco Clean, the energy-saver mode, has the lowest water consumption at 84 gph for approximately 13,000 dishes/hr. Express Clean has the highest capacity, cleaning more than 19,000 dishes/hr. with 134 gph. Extended Clean is the option for extra-soiled wares, cleaning about 13,000 dishes/hr. at 134 gph. You can adjust the machine to the soil load and output you require.

Champion Industries/Ali Group 800/532-8591

SHELF FULL-FILL-MENT’

Eagle Group’s Quad-Adjust Shelving takes the waste out of shelving space that comes when short items are stored on shelves with too much space above them. Eagle’s patented design lets you quickly adjust, add or remove shelves to best accommodate product height—without taking the whole unit apart. The secret lies in a unique system of easily adjustable “split sleeves.” Take off the collars, slide sleeves along posts to the desired height, replace collars and fit the shelf’s interlocking corners into place. It’s that easy. The split sleeves create a positive lock that becomes stronger as the load increases.

Eagle Group 800/441-8440

HOOD-OPTIONAL COMBI FITS YOUR KITCHEN TO A ‘T’

From Eloma comes the Genius T, a family of combis featuring a self-contained condensation unit that can often eliminate the need for a hood. The Genius T’s Multi-Eco-Hood automatically extracts steam from the chamber when cooking is finished, protecting users against burns and keeping the surrounding area cooler. The Multi-Eco system results in up to 42% water savings and 16% energy savings, the company says.

Eloma 800/551-8795

OZONATED WATER ZAPS GERMS ANYWHERE

MVP Group’s GO-3 division earns accolades for its WMS Wall-Mounted System, a clever package designed to sanitize hands and produce, and to disinfect kitchen surfaces. The system mixes tap water with low concentrations of ozone gas to create a bacteria-killing solution that leaves no residue. Operators can wash produce as well as spray down equipment surfaces, walls and floors from the wall-mounted sprayer unit. The unit’s dimensions measure approximately 16”W x 10½”D x 21½”W. A standard electrical outlet and water connection are all that’s required for operation.

GO-3/MVP Group 888/275-4538

DEFROST AND CONTROL

Here’s a neat piece of behind-the-scenes refrigeration technology: the Master Controller with Reverse Cycle Defrost. This proprietary process places a reverse-cycle valve on the condensing unit that automatically reverses the direction of refrigerant flow during defrosts. As refrigerant flows back through the evaporator coil, it releases enough heat to eliminate frost buildup and keep the unit running at peak efficiency. Eureka: Defrost without any extra energy use. The device’s electronic controller boards let you monitor refrigeration system functions and diagnose problems from the panel interface.

Master-Bilt 800/647-1284

CHEWY NUGGET ICE, EFFICIENTLY

Prodigy Nugget Ice Machines are reliable, energy-efficient, easy to use and easy to service. And from your customers’ point of view, chewable nugget ice is a favorite for all types of beverages. Equipped with advanced self-diagnostic technology, this Prodigy uses about 50% less water and 15% less energy than cube ice machines, the manufacturer figures. The units saves money by increasing up-time too: An auto-alert indicator lights signals when it is time to descale or sanitize, making upkeep practically foolproof. When maintenance is required, easily-removed panels allow access to internal components while a diagnostic code display provides full details.

Scotsman Ice Systems 800/726-8762

AN ‘ENERGYWISE’ DISPLAY CASE

Structural Concepts’ won praise for its new line of open-front refrigerated display cases that are more customer-friendly and more energy-efficient. The EnergyWise Self-Contained Refrigeration System units use less energy by evaporating defrost water with recaptured hot gas instead of electric elements. They also feature etched-interior coil tubes for a more efficient, high-turbulence refrigerant flow and a high-efficiency compressor for significant savings. EnergyWise display cases reduce power consumption by more than 50%, saving 22.5kW-hours per day and up to $1,000 a year in electricity costs, the company says.

Structural Concepts 800/433-9489

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