Hot holding the latest key technology

Hot holding is big business nowadays, with cooking equipment manufacturers lining up to roll out their latest developments to keep food at serving temperatures. But with the appliances historically associated with drying out food, many brands have got the bit between their teeth and ploughed resources into researching and producing cutting edge technology which maintains food moistness as well as heat.

One of the most recent developments is from Unox, with its Evereo ‘hot refrigerator’ which is designed to preserve dishes at serving temperature for days or even weeks. Unox UK MD Gary Nunn explained: “The Evereo is the only piece of equipment that utilises Exever service temperature food preserving patented technology to preserve food safely by using extremely accurate temperature and atmosphere control, combined with the most modern technologies in insulation to avoid heat loss.

The appliance always works safely above the danger zone for bacterial growth at two stabilised temperature options: low, at 63°C, and high, at 70°C.

Nunn continued: “The benefits are extraordinary: zero regeneration, reduced service time, operational savings, labour savings, enhanced food, constant controlled temperature and maximum food safety. Recently awarded with Gold at the Innovation Challenge during the Commercial Kitchen show, the Evereo was deemed by the esteemed panel of judges to be a ‘radical innovation for the market’ and ‘an absolute game changer’.”

For supplier Foodservice Equipment Marketing, (FEM), Alto-Shaam’s Halo Heat system represents cutting edge hot holding. The appliance supplies a gentle heat that surrounds the food, and is designed to be uniform throughout the cabinet. It should evenly cook and hold the food without drying out or burning, and reduce shrinkage by up to 18%. The electronic thermostat allows for a wide temperature range, adjustable from 16°C to 93°C.

The trolleys are manufactured from stainless steel and run off a 13A supply. Their 152mm castors and transport handles are designed to make them easily manoeuvrable, while bumper surrounds protect them in transit. Their insulation should mean they can be transported over long distances with minimal loss of heat, provided the doors remain shut.

At fellow Scottish firm, Moffat Catering Equipment, it manufactures the Sahara multi-fan system to save energy by heating more efficiently. The firm believes that an upgraded hot cupboard bain-marie unit incorporating a Sahara fan heating unit is 48% more efficient. Sales and marketing manager Donald Reid said: “The system gives safer, more predictable temperature control and is up to 55% faster than using standard elements.”

Its latest addition is the Chillogen hospital foodservice trolley. It acts as a refrigerator, holding chilled food, plus as a regen oven, heating the food up, and as a hot hold cabinet, holding food until it’s required. It should cut down handling and simplify HACCP compliance for operators. Reid believes that this type of multifunctional appliance is becoming more popular.

Lincat’s most recent addition to its Panther range is the multi-functional SuperPass series of hot cupboards. Hickman commented: “The description of hot cupboard doesn’t really do it justice, since each unit is also equipped with two bain maries, two water tanks for boiling vegetables or pasta, and a Carter Hoffman Crisp ‘n’ Hold, for keeping fried food in perfect condition prior to service.”

Gibson revealed: “At my first Thermodyne demonstration we set the holding temperature at 74°C, it never moved; we probed the food for over 2 hours and it remained exactly the same. The patented fluid shelf technology, where the heated glycol constantly flows through the shelves and back into a heat exchanger, achieves the precision holding temperature. I have yet to come across an appliance with such accuracy.”

Other new products heading to market are promised by supplier Gamble Foodservice Solutions. Firstly it is adding the Hatco HDW-2R2 split drawers, which have four shallow drawers offering 1/1 65mm deep capacity to each drawer. Every drawer can have a different temperature and with the touch screen control, a timer can be set for each one. The vents to the front allow control of the individual drawers’ humidity.

A third addition is the PHTT hot holding cabinet from FEW. The unit features Clymate IQ intuitive climate control technology, allowing control of the relative humidity with the cabinet from 10% up to 90% and air temperature control from 32°C up to 93°C. The unit has self-closing doors and is available in six models, from counter top to double stack.