The National Restaurant Association (NRA) named the recipients of the 2007 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Award for its Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, to be held May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. KI award-winning products were judged to be among the most innovative foodservice equipment. The independent panel of judges included experts from national restaurant chains and industry consultants.
"Innovative equipment does not only benefit restaurants by increasing productivity, conserving the environment and keeping employees safe, it can also have a big impact on the consumer side by increasing speed and quality of service and menu items," said NRA President and CEO Steven C. Anderson. "While chef creativity is the number one influence on what's on the menu, great equipment can enhance those options."
The 2007 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients and their winning products include:
- Action Comax Environmental, Inc. – BioX: BioX a stainless steel device for the commercial kitchen that uses a patent-pending biological process to decompose and dissolve up to 1,500 pounds of food waste per day. The liquid is then disposed into a drain or used for irrigation.
- Alto Shaam Inc. - Combitherm Smoker: The unit is a boilerless, countertop model with oven/steamer capability and integrated patented smoker technology, enabling the operator to smoke hot or cold, and reverts to standard cooking without flavor transfer or residual smoke.
- Alto Shaam Inc. - ASF 75G Gas Fryer: This unit achieves 71 percent efficiency through enclosed, forced-air modulating burner and a new heat exchanger technology.
- Beverage-Air, a Division of Carrier Commercial Refrigeration, Inc. – ChillStar IFR (Intelligent Food Recognition): IFR automatically adjusts blast chilling cycles, using a multi-sensor probe to monitor temperatures in the core and on the surface to prevent surface freezing/degradation.
- Blodgett Oven Company, a Division of The Middleby Corporation - Oven Model XCEL.5E Hydrovection: This self-cleaning electric convection oven is engineered with easily removed bi-directional blower wheel and baffle, welded stainless liner with large radius corners, protected gaskets, and a steam-assist feature, resulting in potential 95-percent reduction in cleaning time.
- Campus Products, Inc. - Silvershine Cutlery Drying Machine (CDM): The CDM dries, polishes and sanitizes up to 12,000 pieces per hour by agitating cutlery through a 170°F (77°C) polishing granulate and an ultraviolet germicidal light.
- Cleveland Range, an Enodis Company - Convotherm 606 Mini-Combi Oven Steamer: The steamer's compact footprint fits in many applications. The Advanced Closed System provides reduced energy, water savings and a unique browning and crisping technology.
- The Delfield Company, an Enodis Company - Versa Drawer: The drawer combines four separate units with individually controlled functions to refrigerate, freeze, chill, and thaw, in one footprint and refrigeration system.
- Electrolux Professional North America - Tilting Pressure Braising Pan: The pressure braising pan shortens cooking times up to 50 percent by cooking under the pressure of saturated steam to retain flavor, nutrients and yields. Motorized tilting makes it capable of handing large quantities of food.
- Hobart - Hobart 3000 Series Slicer: This slicer provides improved cleaning accessibility, a seamless base, and hose down capabilities. With a smaller footprint, it has a larger "yield improving" knife that is removable with increased safety and ease. A Select-a-stroke feature remembers required stroke length.
- Lincoln Foodservice Products, LLC, an Enodis Company - FastBake: This is a patent-pending advanced impingement technology to accelerate the rate of heat transfer, and is designed for improved bake quality, energy savings and faster bake times by 10 – 30 percent.
- Master-Bilt Products - Master Controller with Reverse Cycle Defrost: The reverse cycle defrost reverses high temperature refrigerant flow back the entire length of the evaporator coil, reducing defrost time/frequency and saving up to 27-percent in energy costs.
- Meiko - Waste Air Heat Recovery System: This exhaust system reclaims heat generated by the dish machine as free energy to preheat incoming rinse water, reducing operating costs while providing hot-water sanitization from a cold water supply line.
- Pitco, a Division of The Middleby Corporation - Solstice Rethermalizer: This water bath rethermalizer is said to be more efficient than steam or hot air and deliver 54-percent efficiency from its Solstice burner/baffle design, extracting more heat and achieving radiant mode quicker for faster recovery and cooking.
- Pitco, a Division of The Middleby Corporation - Solstice Supreme Gas Fryer: An automatic 30-second self-cleaning ignition procedure is designed to keep burners clean and efficient, and efficient inverted burners reduce excess air flow and normal greasy build-up by eliminating the need for a blower fan.
- San Jamar - Kleen-Brush System: Positions a fingernail/hand brush to fit under any gooseneck faucet, exposing it to running water and soap, to minimize cross-contamination and encouraging cleaning of fingernails and fingertips.
- Scotsman Ice Systems, an Enodis Company - Prodigy Cube Ice Machine: The WaterSense patented mineral-sensing technology provides an adaptive purge control that automatically adjusts the quantity of water needed to flush mineral residue, limiting scale buildup and keeping the ice machine cleaner longer.
- Unified Brands - Randell FX Series: This refrigeration/freezer system features one to four modular drawers, each with individual temperature controls within "lids" that magnetically seal and refrigerate food tubs. The system is energy-conserving and stacked in one footprint.
- Vulcan-Hart - Floor Gas Steamer: The PowerSteam is designed to cook faster using 235°F (113°C) steam. A high-output generator/energy-efficient burner delivers continuous 235°F flow, allowing in and out orders without shut down or reset.
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