Using commissaries, central kitchens and other offsite facilities for the production of value-added and other perimeter-store fresh foods is a lifesaver for many grocery retailers.
But adding an extra step in the supply chain also comes with risks, not the least of which is maintaining the proper temperature of foods so that, when they arrive at their supermarket destination, they’re in peak condition.
That’s why retailers and their supplier partners find it essential to ensure that only the best refrigerators and freezers are used.
Torrance, California-based Bakon offers its commissary, central kitchen and other customers six blast-freezing options:
- H 80-20 cabinets. A combo blast freezer and storage freezer, with 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 doors
- H-I blast freezers. The most space-efficient Bakon option
- Mistral Blast Freezer. A double rack blast freezer/blast chiller
- IBF blast freezer. Walk-in industrial blast freezer
- Blizzard. A blast freezing tunnel for products on racks
- Turborunner. Freezer tunnel that combines speed, reliability and flexibility
“The most important aspect for your products is that, after defrosting, the original tenderness and flavor are retained,” according to Bakon. “Extensive research has shown that through rapid freezing, the ice crystals remain small, whereby the original structure hardly changes. When offered for sale, the product not only looks fresh, but the full aroma and taste have been recovered.”
During the preparation of fresh confectionery and other bakery products, air is “whipped in,” whereby the cell structure becomes small and cell cores are filled with air and water vapor.
Through the rapid freezing that Bakon freezers provide, according to the company, only the free unbound moisture is crystallized to small ice crystals.
And because of that, cell walls don’t deform or become porous, preventing the loss of cell cores or fusion. The result: the original fine cell structure and quality are maintained.
“Bakon’s KOMA system is intended to maintain the fine cell structure and moisture content, and consequently the quality of your product,” according to the company. “For instance, it’s especially important to blast-freeze whipped cream products to prevent the so-called "flowing out" of the cream.”
The KOMA system is extremely suitable for the rapid freezing of fancy pastries, dough products and confectionery. Products can be stored at a constant temperature, low air velocity, high relative humidity and acclimatization can be carried out.
KOMA units feature a stainless steel interior, exterior white-coated steel or optionally brushed stainless, 3-inch insulation panels and drains via portable receptacles.
Flexibility, attention to detail
All KOMA cabinets are manufactured in KOMA's own cabinet panel plant. Insulation is made of polyurethane-hard-foam (CFC-free, high-pressure foamed) and is manufactured according to the sandwich-technique and the conical bracketing-technique.
The modular design of two superposed hatches per section allows for optimal fitting to your available space, and during blast freezing of products, the cabinet provides approx. 80% of the capacity for the blast freezing section, while 20% of the power are delivered to the remaining storage sections.
“All this is coordinated by the KOMA MonoCell AT computer control,” according to Bakon. “Separately installed half-hermetic reciprocating compressors as well as premium quality evaporator- and condenser techniques ensure sufficient refrigeration capacity whenever demanded.”
Flexibility is a hallmark of all KOMA products. The H-80/20, for example, is available with 2, 4, 6 ,8 and 10 doors for freezer storage combined with one door blast freezer, and each storage level accommodates 2 trays of 18 inch x 26inch back-to-back.
The system can also be upgraded by extension of another section or with a refrigeration technical upgrade or extension. In addition, units are mounted on adjustable stainless steel feet in order to avoid any extensive ground work and feature stainless steel inside, rounded edges, an integrated water drain and KOMA MonoCell AT computer controls.
“In the world of food it’s all about taste,” according to Bakon. “KOMA specialists act as an extension of your organization. Our playing field is much larger than simply looking up the technical boundaries of the refrigeration and conserving technology that fit within your production process.”
The basic principles behind chilling and freezing are almost always identical, according to Bakon, which says its edge is in its attention to detail in product design. The company tells customers it has the answers to three questions: How can you combine technology with quality and flavor? How can you guarantee maximum flexibility in the production process? And how do you tie optimal cost efficiency with the highest possible economic performance?”
Commitment to sustainability
In 2020, O’Fallon, Missouri-based True Manufacturing will be going for its third straight year as a U.S. Department of Energy Energy Star award recipient for its environmentally friendly practices.
True has been honored for its continued efforts to improve and market energy efficient equipment using R-290 refrigerants and its investment in high-efficiency compressors, fan motors and LED lighting.
In fact, True’s R-290 refrigeration products don’t just meet the Energy Star benchmarks — they exceed them.
True’s efforts in developing entire product lines that make use of hydrocarbon refrigerants and accelerating the market shift to more climate-friendly refrigerant options across the country have set the industry standard for years.
“Our design team has continued to elevate the Energy Star profile of commercial refrigeration equipment and continues to advance energy efficiency,” according to True. “True’s accomplishment as a company in winning this award again in 2019 was made possible by many dedicated people who work very hard to support, design, innovate and push the limits of what we can achieve as a design team.”
True has 83 base models listed with Energy Star — more than any of its competitors.
“We’re continually searching out environmentally friendly components and processes that will reduce our carbon footprint. This process encapsulates both our approach to manufacturing as well as our approach to the performance of our equipment.”
- True Manufacturing
These are some of the improvements True has made in its production process in recent years:
- Closed loop water systems (conserves water)
- Powder coating (reduces VOCs)
- Printing with UV inks (eliminates solvents)
- Ecomate® foam insulation (0% GWP/ODP)
- Material recycling
- Rainwater harvesting
- Low GWP refrigerant
- Reduced TRI (Toxic Release Inventory) reported chemical releases by 99.9%.
- Reduced the release of CO2 by over 500,000 metric tons–the equivalent of removing 106,157 cars off the road last year.
- Reduced natural gas consumption by 40% per square foot
- Recycled 100% of scrap metal
- Introduced a new hydrocarbon refrigerant, R290, which greatly reduces our products’ environmental impact. The GWP of our products have decreased by over 99%.
True also has partnered with Missouri’s Brightergy, which has designed and installed solar power systems on 23 True building locations. True has produced an average of 700,000 Kilowatt hours of energy annually. resulting in a reduction of its carbon emissions by 495 tons per year.
In addition, the company’s 23 solar arrays, consisting of a total of 2,070 total solar panels, are seamlessly integrated into the Ameren Missouri power grid. The company’s savings from solar power are the equivalent of planting 583 acres of United States forest each year, the equivalent of recycling 173 tons of waste each year and providing enough clean energy to power 59 homes for a year.