As the weather changes and the markets reopen with less-restrictive rules on wearing masks, consumers in the US are starting to dine in restaurants more often. Also, with the onset of kitchen fatigue, consumers are buying evermore ready meals from grocery stores. This has resulted in a higher demand for high-quality ingredients which is being felt by food processors that are struggling to rehire workers. This has signaled a shift in priority for food processing companies. Many food processors have decided to make workflow improvements to improve product yields, increase efficiency, and save labor to keep up with this rise in demand while hiring and training their new workforce. To meet these multiple needs, food processors can use industrial surface treatment equipment to cut down on overall cook time and reduce labor while also increasing the quality of their food products.
Industrial Surface Treatment Equipment Saves Labor and Creates Workflow Efficiencies
Food processors can increase product yields by creating workflow efficiencies while saving labor with industrial surface treatment solutions. For example, the Marlen Afoheat™ Flame Grill is specifically designed to minimize product weight loss, specifically with a savings of up to 50% product yield being recorded in some cases when compared with conventional grilling techniques. This is mainly related to the speed with which the desired grill effect is obtained—for example, the no-flip grill marking of the Afoheat™ Flame Grill is much quicker than having to grill mark each side individually. This yield aspect is even more crucial when the application concerns small products, such as convenience products, where weight losses are more important due to the small size of the products being processed.
In addition to improving product yields, the Afoheat™ Surface Treatment Equipment also leads to spectacular energy savings. Research has shown that replacing electricity as the energy source with gas provides an energy savings of up to 50%, depending on the product and the product volume.
With its flexible machine parameters, one Afoheat™ unit can be used with various proteins including poultry, beef, pork, and bacon. With some simple changes to the parameters (such as the belt height, the belt speed, the frequency of the ventilator, and the burner power), one machine easily handles several product lines. Over the years other applications have proved to be equally successful, such as grilling fish products, potato products, melting cheese toppings, vegetables, ready meal toppings, and many others. Even frozen products can be grilled without any problems!
One important advantage of these Afoheat™ Surface Treatment solutions is that it takes only a few seconds after starting up for the equipment to be fully operational; as a result, waiting times in the production process are drastically reduced. Compared to conventional systems, a much higher capacity is produced due to the quicker grilling speeds; this results in reduced grilling times and increased productivity.
Simplicity is a major asset when using Afoheat™ Surface Treatment Equipment, which results in great labor savings. The whole concept of the machine is inspired by low maintenance costs: the number of moving parts is kept to a minimum, which results in a reduced usage of spare parts. The icon-based HMI saves labor by reducing the time it takes to train new employees to operate the equipment. The no-flip grill marking of the Afoheat™ Flame Grill reduces labor necessary for developing surface effects prior to cooking. Use of continuous cooking equipment alongside the Afoheat™ Surface Treatment Equipment also saves time and labor by moving the product directly from one machine to another. These workflow efficiencies result in direct savings for food processors.
Increase Flavor and Quality with Industrial Surface Treatment Solutions
Consumer interest has also shifted in focus alongside the increase in post-pandemic demand. This year, consumers are likely to search for familiar, nostalgic treats, and they are also likely to try new flavor combinations. As an example of this change in consumer interests: smoky flavors are in this summer. To achieve this effect and many others, food processors can utilize Marlen’s Smoking, Browning, and Braising Machines.
The appearance of a food product plays an important role in how consumers enjoy it. Think about the browned exterior of a seared chicken breast, or the grill marks on a burger patty. Marlen’s Searing, Roasting, and Grill Marking Equipment are great for making flame-roasted vegetables to meet the rising demand for plant-based options. This means that with Marlen’s surface treatment solutions, food processors can increase flavor while also saving labor cost.
Alongside taste and texture, continuous surface treatment processing can also improve the nutritional value of food products. Together with leading research institutions and universities, tests were carried out to evaluate the nutritional value advantages when using the Afoheat™ technology. The use of this new technology resulted in fewer nutritional losses than those lost while using conventional techniques (as it concerns vitamin B1 and vitamin A). The nutritional damage of proteins is also greatly reduced by using this technology. This greatly improves product quality, and also helps to meet the rise in consumer demand for better-for-you products.
Save Labor, Increase Flavor with Industrial Surface Treatment Equipment
Consumers are looking for fresh, bold flavors and high-quality ingredients, whether they are dining in at a restaurant or taking a ready meal home from the grocery store. Food processors can create significant savings by adding industrial roasting, searing, and grilling solutions to their production floor. The efficiencies created by adding a Marlen Afoheat™ surface treatment machine will result in cost-savings for food processors and are great for training the new members of their workforce, especially when used together with Marlen continuous cooking equipment.