A gallery of hot and cool products appealed to NAFEM attendees looking to save energy and labor costs while producing high-quality prepared foods.
By Craig Levitt
Just a giant splash away from Sea World Orlando, approximately 20,000 North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) Show attendees at the Orange County Convention Center were treated to the latest designs in food preparation, cooking, storage and table service equipment from more than 500 exhibitors.
Along with the educational sessions, one of the highlights of the show was the “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” new product gallery. This is the second year that the NAFEM Show has featured the “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” gallery, a one-stop shop spotlighting innovative products that deliver tangible benefits such as energy and water efficiency, reduced life-cycle costs, improved food safety, labor saving, eco-friendly materials and smaller footprints. According to NAFEM officials the 2011 “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” booth contained nearly 120 new products, a 50% increase from the 2009 show.
Included in the gallery was the Evolution Elite gas open fryer from Eaton, Ohio, based Henny Penny Corp. Since frying oil is generally the largest single operating expense in high-volume frying operations, being able to cook the same quantities of high-quality fried products while consuming less oil represents a significant opportunity, said Tim Crammer, Henny Penny’s marketing director.
He adds that the Evolution Elite saves operators on frying oil outlays from the very first load. “Operators will use 40% less oil right from the start and the oil can last up to twice as long,” he said. The gas and electric models of the Evolution Elite fryer earned the Energy Star mark.
Alto-Shaam, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., featured its CombiTouch oven in the “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” gallery. According to marketing manager Joe Konop, Alto-Shaam’s CombiTouch can be used to prepare 90% of all food.
“The CombiTouch replaces a lot of equipment in kitchen, saving a lot of time a space,” said Konop. “It’s great for a retail outlet because they have to do so many different things at the same time and do them well.”
At the Alto-Shaam booth, the latest Cook & Hold ovens with temperature control technology were on display. The new control features a digital display with adjustable temperature control knobs for simple, precise operation, according to company officials. Inside the oven, a temperature change sensor responds to variations as little as two degrees Fahrenheit.
Until recently, officials at Milwaukee-based Hatco Corp. focused primarily on serving convenience store chains, simply because grocery chains were more interested in working with manufacturers that could supply them with hot cases with ovens underneath as a complete package. However, according to owner and director Rick Anger, Hatco has begun providing grocery chains with its heated wells, cold wells, soup wells and heated shelves.
The company offers drop-in heated shelves in black glass and stone, Anger says. “A grocery retailer in Oregon bought a number of heated shelves and what they did was also put in our designer lamps, giving them the ability to switch and move in and out a lot of different product whenever they want,” he said. “It also portrays a nice, upscale look and that is why we are starting to get into the grocery business.”
Troy, Ohio-based Hobart Corp., which also manufacturers Baxter baking and Traulsen refrigeration equipment, displayed the Hobart Advansys Ventless Door-Type Warewasher, Baxter Hybrid Convection Oven and Traulsen TS Series Full-Size Prep Table at the “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” gallery.
According to company officials, the Hobart Advansys Ventless Warewasher is the first door-type warewasher with Energy Recovery technology and because it is Energy Star rated, it uses only 0.74 gallons of water per load. Baxter’s Hybrid Convection Oven combines the best features of the company’s rotating rack oven and a traditional convection oven in a small footprint. The oven saves energy and labor by eliminating the need to open the door mid-bake to rotate the product to ensure an even bake.
The new Traulsen TS Series Prep Tables keep foods cold maintaining a consistent 34 degrees Fahrenheit to 38 degrees Fahrenheit by keeping airflow regulated to withstand the harsh kitchen environment.