Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Announces 21 Kitchen Innovations Award Recipients

The National Restaurant Association announced on Feb. 8 the recipients of the 2012 Kitchen Innovations Award, which recognizes cutting-edge kitchen equipment in the foodservice market. The 21 honored items were selected by an independent, expert panel of judges, including consultants, multiunit executives and design experts, who evaluated recipients for significant innovations which improve quality, productivity, service, and sustainability.

Award recipients will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion in its new central location on the exhibit floor (Booth 2440 ) at the 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The 2012 Kitchen Innovation Award recipients are:

Alto-Shaam Inc.: Combitherm Automatic Grease Collection System
This new system is electronically activated during cooking to separate grease from water by pumping grease to sealed containers while water goes down the drain.

Bettcher Industries: Optimax Compact Automatic Batter-Breading Machine
This automatic machine batters and breads a wide variety of food items to be baked or fried.

CookTek Induction Systems/Middleby: SinAqua Waterless Food Holding System
The system combines induction warming and infrared radiant heat to replace steam or dry holding with consistent temperature control to extend food quality and holding time.

Ecolab Inc.: ActiveView HDI (Health Department Intelligence)
Multiunit operators can gather data directly from local health department inspections with a product that delivers on-line customized reports and alerts.

Ecolab Inc.: Stealth Fly Station
The unique wall hanging panel works during daylight hours to attract and eliminate flies from entering restaurant kitchens.

Franke Foodservice Systems: Ice Machine Sanitizing Device
The compact unit attaches to most ice machines and prevents bacteria build-up through its unique, chemical-free, ozone-generating electrolytic cell.

Frontline Int’l: Fresh Cooking Oil Box System
The rack system orients fresh oil boxes/jugs upside-down, connected to a pump station to fill fryers either automatically or by dispensing wand—raising oil yields and averting spill risks.

Frymaster/Manitowoc Foodservice: Large Vat Fryers ( 1814 G/E )
Innovative frypot design on new large-vat, 1814 gas and electric fryers maintain high production while using 15% less oil, cutting energy use from 25%-47%, and conserving space under the hood.

Garland Commercial Ranges/ Manitowoc Foodservice: Garland Induction Griddle
A patented six-point real time temperature sensing and power management system, coupled with a three-metal layered plate, enables the induction griddle to achieve almost-instantaneous recovery and even heat.

Kaivac Inc.: OmniFlex Dispense-and-Vac System
The system dispenses fresh cleaning solution to floors and thoroughly removes all liquid, soils and contaminants with its wet/dry vacuum and brush-head.

Kitchens to Go, built by Carlin Mfg.: Bolt On Kitchens
The KTG Bolt On isn’t a temporary solution but a customized pre-constructed, code-compliant turnkey kitchen that's permanently affixed and enables reallocation of interior space.

Lang Mfg./Middleby: GHP Series Featuring On Demand Burners
The first gas-fired countertop range with on-demand burners and featuring a lever-actuated gas valve which will go from idle to full when the pot or pan rests on the grate surface.

Merrychef USA/Manitowoc Foodservice:  Planar Plume Technology
New patented technology creates even impingement sheets of air in rapid cook ovens to deliver quicker heat transfer, less microwave destruction, lower blower speeds, and increased energy efficiency.

Power Soak Systems: Silent Alert
The system illuminates a kitchen’s floor or ceiling with highly visible but unobtrusive color-coded light patterns to deliver silent, attention-getting messages to staff.

Rational USA: Self Cooking Center Whitefficiency Combi
The patented HiDensity control drives the efficiency of this new combination oven by sensing where energy is needed and controlling fan direction and speed for even energy density.

Sealed Air: Vision Enabled Training
Small web cameras and algorithm-based software enable customers to observe exceptions to approved practices like hand hygiene, and customize applications via smart phone.

Springboard Biodiesel: The BioPro EX
This automated appliance converts used cooking oil into cleaner-burning, premium grade biodiesel fuel for a fraction of the cost of the petroleum-based fuel it replaces.

Vitamix: Automatic Mix'n Machine
This new hands-free, fully programmable mixer incorporates candies, syrups, cookies and hard to mix ingredients into soft serve ice cream or yogurt without damaging the inclusions.

Vulcan/ITW FEG: VTEC Infrared Charbroiler
An innovative conversion burner produces a high-production cooking platform. More than 50% of the infrared energy is generated in longer wavelengths optimal for cooking, using less gas and greatly reducing flare-ups.

Wells Mfg./Middleby: HDW-2 Water Saving Heated Disher Well
This alternative to constantly running dipper wells holds food-serving utensils at bacteria- and allergen-free temperatures while conserving up to 18 gallons per hour.

ZipZester: Spin Zester
The zester and a sophisticated combination of patent-pending blade designs and tension mechanisms allows chefs to safely produce the highest quality zest in a matter of seconds.

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