The NAFEM 2011 Top 10: Product intros that cooked for us
With the needs of foodservice operators and chefs at the forefront of what we do, Cook's Direct hit the NAFEM show in Orlando, FL, earlier this month to see what cool products were being launched and what will be debuting throughout the coming year. We weren't disappointed.
The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers hosted NAFEM 2011, its biennial trade show for foodservice professionals, Feb. 10-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Highlighted by top-notch educational sessions, numerous networking opportunities and an appearance by Grammy Award-winning 80's rockers Huey Lewis & the News at the all-industry celebration, the show was again packed with all sorts of great stuff for foodservice operators, chefs and industry professionals.
1. Meiko's M-iQ Flight Conveyor
Bringing efficiency and revolutionary improvements to warewashing, Meiko's new M-iQ flight conveyor features new filter technology that reduces detergent consumption by 50 percent over previous models. Each tank uses a multiple-stage filtration process that collects food soil and flushes it out in high-pressure cycles. The system is energy-conscious, too: its three-stage energy control system adjusts to changes in heating distribution, and its Waste Air Recovery System recaptures exhaust heat to preheat incoming final rinse water. The M-iQ's fully integrated airflow system can reduce exhaust air volume by as much as 90 percent and may not require an exhaust hood, depending on the application. Its self-cleaning mode makes end-of-shift cleanup a snap; areas that require manual cleaning are clearly delineated.
2. Cres Cor's HotCube3 Hybrid Hot Cabinet
Here's a first for the industry. Cres Cor's HotCube3 tri-powered insulated hot cabinet for indoor and outdoor use plugs into a standard 120V electrical outlet for regular indoor use, runs off of a propane fuel system for outdoor use or, with an optional solar panel, charges its battery for optimum control efficiency when no other power sources are available. It features a 1,200-Watt heating system that heats up to 200 degrees F and accommodates a variety of pan sizes with its nine sets of chrome-plated wire universal angles. Its field-reversible insulated door prevents temperature loss, and its anti-microbial magnetic latch helps prevent germ spread. The unit runs for eight hours on a 1-lb. propane canister and features a recessed well for a spare canister.
3. Fifo Bottle's Portion Pal Dispensing Squeeze Bottle
Available in five sizes with a wide variety of cap options, the Portion Pal dispensing squeeze bottle from Fifo Bottle gives users complete control of condiment portioning. It features a color-coded, variable-portion ring that allows you to choose portions of 1/4 to 1 oz. on the fly. The bottle has an ergonomically designed handle with a top trigger that minimizes use of counter space. The bottle's bottom-dispensing silicone valve produces fast and consistent sauce yields. Easy to clean, the bottle assembles and disassembles in seconds.
4. Hatco Corporation's Heated Zone Merchandiser Sandwich Display with Electronic Eye
The energy-efficient Heated Zone Merchandiser with Spot-On technology from Hatco Corporation safely holds hot-packaged food in a smartly designed display that attracts customers. Overhead heat goes on only when product is placed on the shelf, and base heat switches from energy-saving to thermostatically controlled. An LCD provides continuous zone monitoring. New channel dividers are held in place by a new magnetic system to give the unit more heated surface area, and the side glass is hinged and can be swung out for easy cleaning. The merchandiser comes in seven designer colors or in standard bold black.
5. InterMetro Industries Corporation's Transport Armour Heated Holding Cabinet
The Energy Star-certified Metro C5 T-Series Transport Armour heavy-duty heated holding cabinet from InterMetro Industries Corporation features foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation with Type 304 stainless-steel structure. It's designed to provide superior heat retention, add structural rigidity and minimize energy consumption. The cabinet comes with a choice of intelligent, digital, solid-state controls or simple analog controls; digital controls provide a mobile power option, low- and high-temperature alarms, diagnostics and a lock-out feature. The mobile power option, which is available only with digitally controlled units, offers battery technology that gently circulates air inside the cabinet and keeps the controller illuminated and functional when unplugged for transit.
6. Cambro Manufacturing Company's Camduction Heat System
The Camduction Complete Heat System from Cambro Manufacturing Company is designed to perform consistently under the most demanding conditions of healthcare foodservice. Revolutionary technology eliminates errors or issues with spikes in voltage that are common with traditional induction systems. Camduction provides reliable, consistent heating of up to 20 bases or pellets at one time, with a heated base or pellet ready every 12 seconds; bases maintain heat for more than 60 minutes. Both bases and pellets are dishwasher-safe and are resistant to chips, cracks and breaks.
7. New Age Industrial's Rotacaster Hand Truck
Looking for a hand moving heavy loads around the facility? New Age Industrial's Rotacaster RTC18 stairclimber hand truck lets the wheels rotate on a center axis, allowing users to go up or down stairs with little effort. It is designed to be directional and accommodate lateral movements, and it's equipped with two stairclimbing assemblies, each with three triple-wheel housings. The truck carries a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion and a five-year guarantee against workmanship and material defects.
8. Central Specialist's Ltd.'s ECO Chair
Manufactured from recycled material, the ECO Chair from Central Specialist's Ltd. is the industry's first highchair made from 100 percent recycled plastic. The ECO Chair boasts a roomier, more comfortable design than conventional commercial high chairs, is lightweight, and easy to assemble and clean. The chair comes in black, sand, light gray and dark brown.
9. Vollrath Company's Double-wall Insulated Serving Bowls
Vollrath does it again, this time adding punch to the buffet with its new colored, double-wall insulated serving bowls. The first to offer attractive colors to enhance presentation, the bowls maintain proper food temperature for both hot and cold foods and will not sweat. They do not require preheating or chilling. The heavy-gauge, stainless-steel bowls will not affect taste or color of food, are dishwasher safe and come in both squares and rounds. Colors include tangelo, cabernet, cobalt blue and dazzle red, among others.
10. San Jamar's Allergen Saf-T-Zone System
With an estimated 12 million Americans suffering from food allergies of some sort, the San Jamar Allergen Saf-T-Zone System provides the basic tools needed to minimize the chance of food allergens reaching the front of the house. The system includes a cutting board, a 12-inch stainless-steel tongs with a rubberized, dipped handle, a 10-inch stainless-steel, commercial-grade chef's knife with a purple molded handle and a high-temperature, angled nylon turner with a stainless-steel handle. The cutting board is embossed with warnings alerting employees to keep it away from allergens and to wash it after each use. All tools securely snap into a durable, purple case that is easy to find in any kitchen.
About Jeff Breeden and Cook's Direct:
Jeff Breeden is active in the Foodservice Industry through his work at Cook's and as a member of the National Association of Food Equipment Dealers. He has held a variety of roles during the past 14 years, including new product development, national account sales and brand development. In his current responsibility as Chief Merchant for Cook's Direct, he uses his experience and expertise to find innovative equipment and supply solutions to meet the evolving needs of restaurant and institutional foodservice operations.