This month Hotel News ME asks oven suppliers to unveil the latest industry trends and whether eco-friendly products jeopardise the overall productivity of units.
Is there a drive for eco-friendlier ovens, if so what factors are driving demand and how energy efficient are your products?
Talentti: Yes, our customers are increasingly concerned about creating a sustainable kitchen. Whether it is protecting the environment or reducing costs, energy-efficient ovens are a must. We currently offer ENERGY
STAR combi ovens for operational efficiencies. Additionally, our Cook and Hold ovens use extremely low amounts of electricity and do not require the use of an exhaust hood, saving valuable resources that can be invested back into the kitchen.
Davis: RATIONAL sees efficiency as making the optimum use of all resources, whether it be time, energy, water, space or raw materials – in other words, whitefficiency. This is an integrated approach that has been firmly established within our philosophy from the onset. It underlines sustainability by the way it operates: from development, production, to operations in the kitchen, right through to the recycling of the used appliances.
Tiwari: I It is important to remember that the kitchen equipment you buy needs to satisfy your cooking requirements as well as your CSR policy.
Energy efficient also needs to account for energy expenditure during
manufacture and transportation too. With sustainability and environmental footprints being so high on our agenda, all of our appliances are made using hydroelectric power and heat produced from biomass fuel at our factory in Germany. Furthermore, the heat up time in convection mode for a temperature setting of 165°C in accordance with DIN 18873-1 2012-06 6.2 (the values shown have been checked by the TÜV, Germany’s independent testing institute) means that we are making energy savings of 23% compared to our previous range.
Rached: Yes, there is. Chefs are becoming increasingly conscious of energy saving potentials in their kitchen. With our combi steamers we do a lot to help save energy, for example GreenInside provides full transparency in the energy and water consumption of the new MKN FlexiCombi. The user can view the FlexiChef’s consumption figures as they are displayed directly on the touch display following each cooking process. Numerous technical details ensure optimum energy consumption. For example, the triple glazed cooking chamber door comes with a potential energy saving of up to 28%*[compared to previous models] and the heat exchanger approximately saves 1 kWh energy in one operating hour/steaming in the FlexiCombi 10.1.
Michelon: Sustainability and efficiency go hand by hand. Traditional cooking equipment can waste up to 80% of energy and transfer just 20% of it to the food that needs to be cooked. Even a five-year-old combi steamer is far less efficient than the latest, Energy Star certified, one. In 2014, Energy Star introduced a standard to measure energy efficiency in combi ovens. Only a few manufacturers have their product listed. Most of UNOX CHEFTOP MIND.Maps PLUS ovens are listed.
Sabbion: There is an increasing demand for energy and water saving products and all the comparisons made show that energetic performances of our devices are at the highest level in the market.
How does energy efficiency affect the overall productivity of the oven?
Sabbion: The energy saving features are not affecting the cooking performances. Our ecospeed dynamic for electric and green fine tuning for gas operated units are designed to optimise production according to weight and volume loaded. Therefore, energy consumption is adjusted to the volume produced avoiding any waste and optimising weight loss of the food.
Talentti: Our ovens produce at a high level in the kitchens while still providing significant energy savings.
Tiwari: When using a combi steamer, there are two main considerations when it comes to energy consumption. First is the cooking process itself. Our ACS system works like a pan lid, keeping heat and moisture in the combi steamer so that the temperature rises rapidly, meaning less power and water are required. And the new ACS+ system can do even more as it uses smart active control of air input and output. For example, if you want to reduce a sauce, you take the lid off the pan; the ACS+ system does it for you. The second step is within the cleaning process, and for the Convotherm 4, we are able to offer savings of up to 44% energy consumption compared to our previous range.
Rached: Not at all. Our MKN combi steamers chefs can work at a very high level of productivity and efficiency whilst also being economical.
Michelon: It has a relevant impact on productivity, assuring that more energy goes into the food instead of being wasted in hot air. So an efficient oven is not only an oven that costs less to run, but also cooks fast.
How has technology changed the ways ovens are designed, manufactured and used?
Talentti: The programmable touchscreen control plays a huge role in our ovens from the initial design to the end user’s kitchen. We leverage that touchscreen technology to ensure our customers are able to cook at a consistent level with each and every batch of food they produce
Davis: As with many other technologies, today’s generation of appliances requires 30% less energy than those designed 10 years ago. Taking into account that the new RATIONAL model has a substantially longer life and requires significantly less energy, water, raw materials and time, it pays for itself quickly.
Sabbion: Our Naboo is a leading device in the industry because it is the only one to provide a WiFi connection to the Cloud that contains our database of recipes. Our chefs are committed to updating this database and through our Cloud worldwide chefs can access a creative treasure chest. At the same time, the system is designed to allow complete personalisation in terms of the possibility to modify all recipes and customising the display. This is possible due to the Naboo control panel: a 10-inch-high definition capacitive tablet.
Michelon: Technology allows us to produce ovens that are more reliable and user-friendly. A modern combi oven allows the chef to memorise his recipes and store them. With the latest MIND.Maps technology by UNOX, the chef can draw the cooking process as a continuous line instead of using steps, allowing for infinite accuracy.
How has the rise in demand for energy saving products affected sales?
Sabbion: It has definitely increased sales since the performances of Naboo allow consistent savings of energy, water and labour time compared to traditional cooking methods.
Tiwari: Increased awareness surrounding energy efficiency amongst our customers is a great sales benefit for us, especially with Convotherm operating a 100% green factory, and Convotherm, Convotherm 4 and Mini products also following this company philosophy.
The new Convotherm 4 has been designed on the basis of detailed research and intensive discussions with users in the field, worldwide. Our objective is to maximise quality and customer satisfaction, and this
includes energy efficiency.
Rached: For us it has been in positive reaction, because we can offer a great solution for clients who request energy efficient products.
Talentti: The demands for energy-saving products have positively impacted our sales as our customers look for reliable cooking technology that will save them time and cost less to operate. Because we have multiple solutions available, we are confident we can meet our customers’ specification needs.
Davis: Like our customers we are always looking at ways to have energy saving products help us produce new concepts into the market whilst delivering our SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses. We only see a positive effect on sales as our competition find it hard to keep up with the speed and agility we are able to show in meeting and exceeding our customers’ demands.
Which is better; a gas oven or electric cooker, and why?
Sabbion: Lainox’s latest technology in gas operated ovens with high efficiency exchanger guarantees same result as an electric operated unit.
Davis: Both are equal in cooking ability and there is no difference in quality of product or produce. In Europe we sell more gas units, even though they are higher in price, due to the faster return on investment. However, electricity is very expensive there compared to most countries in the Middle East. So here I would recommend you go with what your outlet has available, let that be your determining factor.
Talentti: Oven recommendations are based on customer needs. We realise that each of our customers have unique situations when specifying equipment so we spend time with our customers to ensure that we are recommending the oven that is best for their individual needs.
Michelon: Today UNOX technology grants the same result for both. This is a tremendous achievement, almost unthinkable just three years ago. It is up to the customer to decide what best fits the power supply available.
Tiwari: The motto for Convotherm 4 is: “Designed around you”, which means that every customer gets the exact unit to suit their specifications. In terms of choosing between gas and electric models, it depends on the customer requirements and has no impact on the cooking result; therefore it can be said that within our portfolio, gas and electric models – available in seven different unit sizes – are equal.
How do your products assist chefs to save time?
Tiwari: Combi steamers are at the heart of the kitchen and the options available today make them ideal for a range of sectors. Due to their universal capabilities, combi steamers are used in almost all areas of the foodservice industry: from contract catering and restaurants through to pubs and hotels, as well as quick service restaurants and retail outlets. We’re finding that the use for combi steamers is continually evolving and entering new segments as they are saving a lot of time.
Talentti: Our Cook and Hold ovens can cook overnight and automatically switch into holding. The meat will become warm and naturally tenderised at a safe temperature the next morning, allowing the chefs to immediately get to work. Our combi ovens have a fully integrated rack management system with our blast chillers and warming cabinets that allow for a streamlined plate retherm process, which makes significant time savings during large banquets. A major convention centre was able to reduce labour by 52% by switching to an Alto-Shaam cook-chill system with the rack management.
Davis: Instead of using numerous cooking appliances at the same time, chefs can now cook everything in just one square metre of space with the SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses, replacing up to 50% of standard appliances and reducing the kitchen footprint by at least 30%.
Sabbion: Multilevel cooking and Just in Time (Lainox Patent) assure the perfect organisation of the production and help chefs optimise time according to their different menus, no matter if it is à la carte service, banqueting or catering.
Is there much emphasis on the aesthetics of an oven such as a flame visual, gas burner and viewing windows?
Talentti: Our ovens, while primarily used back of house, do have a sleek design so they can be used throughout the facility. Our CT PROformance combi ovens have a triple-paned glass door to allow chefs to see into the oven. Additionally, the blue, lighted door handles alerts chefs to the status of the oven.
Rached: Being a premium manufacturer, the design of our products is extremely important. But of course our main focus is the functionality and reliability in the kitchen.
Tiwari: Planning and organizing a professional kitchen has always followed strict production and logistical rules, its design also being an important factor to consider before introducing new equipment. The Convotherm 4 product also introduces a new factor: aesthetic design. This combi steamer is perfect for front of house cooking – with intuitive features and functionality, along with outstanding cooking performance, the most flexible and safe cleaning package and reduced operating costs.
Michelon: More kitchens are open nowadays for diners to experience the cooking process. Equipment is now a big part of the overall experience. So nicely designed ovens that clearly don’t sacrifice any performance or usability is appreciated by both restauranteurs and guests.
Davis: Of course everybody likes a theatrical show during their meal as dining has become an experience; from smell to touch, and ambience. However, we have a viewing window to allow the chef to perfectly see what is happening inside the cooking cabinet, in reality there is no need if they are using the Intelligent Cooking Control, which will give perfect results every time, whether they are roasting, baking, steaming, grilling, frying or smoking.
Sabbion: There is a growing demand for front of house products and Naboo is the ideal solution due to its modern design and flat shape with automatic door opening.