The National Restaurant Association released its annual Kitchen Innovation awards last week, and not surprising the list is dominated with green innovations offering everything from green cleaners to energy efficiency. Not all the items are necessarily new to the market or new technology, but it appears that the commercial kitchen manufacturers have caught on that saving their customers energy and money is a good strategy.
My current favorites are the heat recovery systems on the Champion and Hobart dishwashers, and the Vegawatt system. I love the idea of capturing waste heat, which we tend to have a lot of in commercial kitchens, and making your own energy from waste products. I’m looking forward to a Mr. Fusion style system that uses not just waste oil, but all the kitchen and table scraps to power the lights.
Here is a list of the KI products that have some sort of green accolade:
Activeion Cleaning Solutions, LLC – The ionator EXP
A hand-held, on-demand power cleaner that converts tap water into ionized water — a powerful dirt-removing, bacteria-killing agent. When used as directed, the ionator EXP kills 99.999 percent of harmful bacteria without the use of toxic chemicals.
Champion Industries – E2series Flight with Quad Rinse
A unique linkage between the conveyor and the water flow control conserves water and energy use, as hot water input is reduced proportionately, when the speed of the conveyor is slowed.
Champion Industries – Heat Recovery Unit with Temp-Sure system
This innovation eliminates the need to pre-heat the final rinse water, to conserve energy, while the temp-sure system continually monitors outlet temperature and adjusts airflow to maintain the proper rinse temperature.
Henny Penny Corporation – iControl for Evolution Elite
The Gas Evolution Elite Open Fryer now offers the new iControl, which monitors all fryer activity. iControl provides the operator with data to improve oil usage, meet product quality standards, and continuously optimize frying operations.
Hobart Corporation – Ventless AM Warewasher
The Hobart AM Ventless eliminates the need for purchase and installation of a hood. It’s the first ventless door-type that recaptures water vapor, and condenses it, to heat the incoming cold water inlet for the final rinse cycle.
Middleby Corp. – Middleby Marshall Mini WOW Oven
This high speed conveyor oven with the Middleby Marshall patented energy-eye and motor sleep mode technology automatically powers down between uses and saves 30 percent in energy compared to prior models.
Vegawatt – Vegawatt Cogeneration System
Vegawatt is a fully automated and work-flow integrated energy cogeneration (CHP) system that generates on-site electricity and hot water for foodservice operations by using the waste vegetable oil from the fryers as a fuel source.