Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Announces 21 Kitchen Innovations Awards Recipients

Advancements in energy efficiency and sustainability, online tools for tracking and monitoring and intelligent controls stand out among the foodservice equipment honored with 2013 Kitchen Innovations Awards from the National Restaurant Association.

The KI Awards recognize and celebrate cutting-edge equipment and supplies that specifically improve the back of the house and benefit operators. An independent panel of judges comprised of nine internationally recognized facilities consultants, multi-unit executives and design experts honored 21 manufacturers with awards this year. All of the winners will be showcased in the interactive KI Pavilion (Booth 2440) at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 18-21, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The 2013 Kitchen Innovations Awards recipients are:

Aerowerks Inc.: Mesh Belt Conveyor  This cafeteria conveyor features a close-knit mesh belt, eliminating the need for trays and allowing the conveyor to turn without creating gaps that cause jamming and breakage.

Alto-Shaam: 4.10cci CT Express  This compact combi oven has an integrated catalytic converter that transforms grease-laden vapors into harmless water vapor and CO2. No hood is required, allowing the operator flexibility in placement.

Blendtec: Stealth  This sound-dampening commercial blender features an online programming tool that allows users to build upon 42 preprogrammed blend cycles and create new ones for franchise-wide sharing through a USB port.

Duke Mfg.: X-Stream IH2 Wash System  This system features programmable cycles, plug-and-play component serviceability and pump and sanitizer monitoring. A unique wash flow also keeps wares in the impingement zone longer, increasing water/energy efficiency while producing consistently clean wares.

Ecolab, Equipment Care Division: Smart Care Program  This program for critical kitchen equipment goes beyond scheduled maintenance to include proprietary asset-management/reporting technology, customer-facing online tracking tools and equipment cleaning/sanitation products. Service vans stock pre-programmed replacement parts for same-day emergency fixes.

Follett Corp.: 7 Series Ice and Water Dispenser  This water dispenser’s unique design features built-in recycling to reclaim and refreeze melted ice, allowing for reduced water waste as well as the flexibility to place the dispenser almost anywhere—even if a drain is unavailable.

Franke Coffee Systems Americas: FoamMaster  This automatic espresso machine produces hot and cold milk foam in variable textures, enabling traditional and novel coffee and milk combinations and helping operators diversify their menus.

Frontline Int’l.: M3 Data Management System  This intelligent management technology for waste oil systems delivers detailed reports/analysis, diagnostic and “tank full” status alerts and real-time monitoring for increased savings and efficiency.

Garland Group: Green Heat Module Line Brazing Pan  This brazing pan’s drop-in induction design features remote electronics placement, multiple depths and in-unit drainage, enabling island-suite integration for grilling, searing and cooking with or without liquids.

Hobart: The Advansys LXeR Undercounter  This high-temp, undercounter warewasher recycles hot water vapor to preheat incoming cold water as well as significantly reduce steam release when the door is opened after cycles, thus lowering overall energy consumption.

Jade Range LLC: Even-Broiler  This Char-Broiler’s unique baffled design evenly distributes heat front-to-back for zero cold zones and better output while individually controlled burners and boxes allow operators flexibility to manipulate individual 6-in. sections.

KE2: KE2 Evaporator Efficiency  An advance beyond timed controls, this refrigeration-control technology significantly reduces energy consumption and temperature fluctuation by triggering defrost cycles only when necessary, thus reducing defrost cycles as much as 90%.

Manitowoc Kolpak: ArcticFox  This truly on-demand defrost control for walk-ins activates only when needed, rather than on a timer. The control avoids unnecessary defrost cycles by as much as 90%, significantly improving energy efficiency and temperature consistency.

Master-Bilt: Parallel Glycol Rack System  This refrigeration system builds on energy-efficient glycol loop technology by utilizing floating heat pressure technology that adjusts to ambient temperatures, lowering energy consumption by up to 25%.

Meiko: CS-70 Sanitizing, Door-Type Dishmachine  This low-temp dishmachine includes an automatic drain/refill feature that eliminates the need for a heater as well as advanced microprocessor technology and an auto prime feature for consistent chemical dispensing—all packaged in a user- and maintenance-friendly design.

Middleby Marshall: WOW 2 Oven  This conveyor oven allows operators to control bake temperatures and conveyor speed as well as adjust airflow to the top and bottom impingement ports independently for faster, consistent baking and menu flexibility.

Ovention Inc.: Ovention Matchbox  This intelligent self-loading and unloading impingement-only oven design utilizes two alternating cook surfaces. The oven doesn’t require a hood and allows products to be cooked consecutively at temperature variances of up to 100˚F.

Pentair: Everpure SimpliFlow Water Management System  This wall-mounting manifold keeps water lines organized, accessible and easily identifiable to save time and reduce error when servicing water-using equipment.

Strahman Valves: Vari-Spray Pre-rinse Nozzle  This pre-rinse nozzle allows users to choose from an infinite choice of spray patterns (broad, focused, gentle, hard) simply by varying trigger pressure, allowing flexibility for various cleaning needs.

Technologies Coffea: Coffea Vacuum Brewing System  This programmable, whole-bean-to-cup brewing system uses a vacuum extraction brew process and infusion brew chamber for a calculated steep time and fast, precise extraction.

The Vollrath Co.: Mirage Induction Soup Rethermalizer  This intelligent countertop unit uses induction heating instead of water to quickly re-thermalize and maintain optimal temperatures for soup, chili and macaroni and cheese.

To learn more about the KI program and this year’s award recipients, visit

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