Posted by Patrick Maness
Of all the great inventors and inventions we learn about in school, such as Johannes Guttenberg’s printing press, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and Thomas Edison’s light bulb, it doesn’t seem like we’re ever told very much about the person who invented the refrigerator. In fact, the refrigerator, and most modern cooling systems for that matter, usually don’t make the list of most important inventions.
Think about it. From the ice water or ice cream you enjoy on a hot summer day, to the vegetables and meat you store in your home, life would be radically different without the ease and convenience of refrigeration.
The technology of cool
Like everything we use, from automobiles to telephones to raincoats, refrigerator technology continues to advance. What was state of the art 20 years ago has been replaced by machines that work better and more efficiently, doing so in ways many would never have imagined.
The technology that seems to gets the most attention is in energy efficiency. Top commercial refrigerator manufacturers such as Traulsen not only partner with the EPA as ENERGY STAR partners, but are regularly recognized as manufacturing leaders through the Sustained Excellence award.
Recently, with 88 ENERGY STAR qualified models and its high-efficiency products, Hoshizaki was named the 2016 Energy Partner of the Year.
Energy conservation is both environmentally and financially sustainable. On average, an ENERGY STAR listing means the machine uses about 25 percent less electricity and 25 percent less water than other models. Some can save close to twice this amount.
While energy efficiency has clear benefits for the bottom line, probably the most exciting development in refrigeration technology is in digital interface.
A perfect example can be found in the Traulsen Blast Chillers with Epicon Visual Interface. The digital touch menu allows workers to accurately control internal temperatures. It also stores up to 250 recipes, all of which can be recalled easily with a few button presses.
Back to basics
Conserving energy, cutting costs, digital interface — these are all wonderful things, but a refrigerator is fundamentally about preserving food. It’s for this reason that manufacturers are continually looking to cross that line from the right temperature to the perfect temperature.
The challenge, however, comes from the inescapable fact that refrigerators must be opened. And when the doors open, of course, they inevitably lose cold air and the warmth from the kitchen sneaks in.
Advancements in airflow technology, many of which use microprocessors to monitor and regulate the temperature, significantly help to increase the freshness and lifespan of stored foods.
It’s clear that refrigerator technology is getting increasingly better, but how can you best take advantage of these improvements? In this blog series we’ll consider how better refrigeration can help your foodservice operation.
An expert weighs in on how to maximize your refrigeration design
We’ll talk to Randy Rawlings, a design consultant with TriMark who will provide information on key design considerations and frequently asked questions that go into placement of the refrigeration units, no matter what kind business you operate.
Designing for refrigeration under the grill or in the cooking area
No matter how big of a kitchen you operate, you will likely have to problem-solve a bit when it comes to space. One solution is to place a refrigerator under the grill or in a cooking area. While hot and cold don’t play well together, we’ll look at some best practices and set-up tips to make this spatially efficient system work for you.
Monitoring and controlling the temperature of your refrigeration system
At the end of the day, it’s all about the proper temperature control. We’ll look at particular features on refrigerators and examine why these features are important to maintaining proper airflow and temperature regulation. We’ll then take a look at some product options that will improve your business' health, safety and efficiency.
Understanding the importance of rapid temperature recovery in maintaining refrigeration temperatures
Rapid temperature recovery refers to how fast a refrigerator can return to its set temperature after the doors are opened or any other event that causes the internal temperature to rise. This feature may cost a little extra, but its ROI, in terms of preventing spoiled food due to inconsistent temperatures, more than justifies the expense.
Fresh food and ample inventory are the key ingredients to a successful restaurant, and proper refrigeration or freezing is key to ensuring these factors. With some guidance from these blogs, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions on this incredibly important part of your business.