Changing Technology at the National Restaurant Show
By David H. Martin
In the food service industry, filtered water is a necessity for food preparation, beverages and ice making. It improves the quality of food and drinks, and it also protects costly equipment. The goal is not simply to find a filtration system. It’s to find the most effective, least expensive filtration system. Every May, the national food service industry showcases new ways restaurant operators can use technology to improve profits and efficiency. This year was no exception at the National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Franke Foodservice Systems introduced its new antimicrobial ice protection system called EcO3Ice. John Edmonds, Franke Product Sales Leader, explained how its new, compact, low-power ozone generator continuously treats incoming water used by ice machines to dramatically reduce microbial build-up of bacteria, yeast and mold. “By using ozone, we can cut deep-cleaning-cyle ice machine maintenance in half. It’s a game-changer for an industry constantly burdened by costly and disruptive ice machine tear-down and cleaning.” With each cycle, EcO3Ice creates a small, safe and effective stream of pure ozone that continuously kills microbes and inhibits growth in the machine’s interior, storage bin, remote bin and drains. The unit, explained Edmonds, attaches quickly and easily to the machine’s incoming water line, automatically cutting the frequency of professional deep cleanings by 50 percent. “It’s the only such device for ice machines that keeps not only the ice-making area clean, but also remote storage bins and dispensers clean as well.” EcO3Ice, designed for cuber-style ice machines, features LED indicator lamps that show its status and notify users when its removable cartridge should be replaced. The twist-on electrolytic cartridge lasts about six to 24 months on average.
Antunes showed its PF23 high-capacity, ultrafiltration prefilter system for food service, water and beverages. John Howard, Business Development Manager, explained that the system is self-flushing, with a five-year cartridge life. “Antunes ultrafiltration,” said Howard, “delivers the benefits of premium water filtration without the constant costs of maintenance and cartridge replacement. The VZN system delivers high-quality ingredient water through a two-phase process that extends the lifespans of the ultrafilter and carbon cartridge to ensure the lowest cost of ownership for premium water filtration. The result is better water and better ROI.”
Some municipalities now add chloramines to their distribution systems in place of chlorine to disinfect water supplies. A combination of chlorine and ammonia, chloramines provide long-lasting protection without the risk of DBPs. Food service operations, however, will want to remove chloramines from the ingredient water due to the distinct off-tastes, odors and corrosion these chemicals cause. The VZN chloramine series features a specially designed activated carbon cartridge to remove chloramines from the water. This cartridge follows the self-cleaning ultrafilter and ensures premium quality water to the operation’s beverage portfolio.
Pentair introduced two new Everpure 5-micron chloramine- reduction systems. Two cartridge options, 7 CLM and X-size, offer high-capacity chloramine reduction for fountain filtration systems. Applications include fountain beverage, frozen carbonated beverage and drinking water. The company also showed its new Everpure Clairis Prime XXL cartridge. According to the literature, it was developed to remove a range of contaminants to prevent taste and odor problems in hot drinks and minimize operation costs. Using softening and purification technologies, these systems combine hardness reduction, mineral stabilization and corrosion inhibition by maintaining a controlled, low-carbonic acid level in the water.
3-M introduced its ScaleGard Blend Series of products. Service technicians no longer need to rely on estimating food service water filter usage, rather than having precise, exact information. ScaleGard helps ensure a seamless operation of expensive water-using equipment by intelligently calculating water filter usage. The first of its kind in the food service industry, ScaleGard Blend products present a powerful water filtration system with mobile monitoring capabilities through a Wi-Fi enabled head that connects to a user-friendly app. After system installation, new users simply download the 3M Filter Moniter app and turn on the filter monitor head, allowing the phone to sync to the unit for ease of monitoring.“The 3M ScaleGard series of products ends the guesswork of having to estimate when a filter needs changing and more importantly, remembering to replace it once it has reached its rated filtration capacity,” said William Zuccarini, 3M Purification’s Sales and Marketing Director. “Once the system is running, owners and operators can track the number of gallons processed through the filter. When the filter nears the end of its rated filtration capacity, the app will push an email notification to alert the owner it’s time to order a new cartridge.” Fresh-tasting water is achieved by calibrating the adjustable Blend knob utilizing 3M supplied test strips. Users capture a read of the incoming water quality and enter the values into the app, resulting in a precisely calculated blend setting for what 3M calls Recipe Quality Water.
According to Frank Rossi, also interviewed at the NRA Show, 3M Purification recently released its SGLP-CL Series of RO systems for combi-ovens and boilerless steamers, which have become a growing industry trend in commercial kitchens due to their versatility and efficient cooking options. Since steam is 100-percent water, however, variable incoming quality can directly result in hard scale and corrosion of equipment. By utilizing SGLP-CL RO systems, equipment can be protected from scale and corrosion with a single, wall-mounted, integrated system featuring a chlorine- and chloramine-reduction catalytic carbon block, a hydraulically driven pump to maximize RO water production and high-production RO membranes. Reducing hardness minerals that can build up in steam equipment minimizes maintenance and replacement costs, saving customers an average of $300 per year. Rossi noted that RO has become more and more important in the food service industry with the growing popularity of combi-ovens and boilerless steamers, as well as espresso makers.
About the author
David H. Martin is President of Lenzi Martin Marketing, Oak Park, IL, a firm specializing in water improvement and environmental marketing that integrates old and new media. He can be reached at (708) 848-8404 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org