Milton Keynes, UK: A new approach to ‘hot product cooling’ prior to blast chilling or freezing that cuts the cost of ‘double handling’ needed by traditional methods has been introduced by Dawsonrentals.
With existing ‘ambient’ technology, producers using ambient blast units to reduce post-cook heat have had to transfer product from this unit into a blast chiller/freezer for final processing. This has had significant time and labour cost implications – the latter even more so with the new Living Wage legislation now making its presence felt.
The new Dawsonrentals Eco Blast combines both cycles in one module, and also delivers follow-on holding and de-frosting capabilities within the same unit.
The Eco Blast offers savings of up to £10,000 per year
Developed by its technical team at Sutton in Ashfield, the company’s Eco Blast offers significant savings, estimated to be up to £10,000 per year, through this revolutionary new process.
During control tests run against one of its Mega Blast units earlier this year, calculations determined potential annual savings in excess of £14k, though the company is keen to point out that other products may vary. The calculations were based against the average UK temperature of 11°C.
Energy cost reductions are achieved by significantly lowering power required for temperature lowering of product recently out of an oven, prior to blast chilling or freezing them in the same unit, saving on time and labour. Dawsonrentals’ new stand-alone Eco Blast uses ambient air filtered through fans and circulated around the unit, the high velocity fans reducing high-end heat in the product to as low as 10° to 35°C without refrigeration. The module’s blast mode is then activated to reduce to the final temperature required, completely removing the need to transfer product.
Talking about the launch, Dawsonrentals|temperature control solutions’ managing director, Rod Benham, said, “To save customers money, in recent years we supplied stand-alone, single function, ambient blasts. They certainly reduced energy costs, but weren’t the full answer as customers had to double-handle product: out of the ambient blast and into a blast chiller/freezer. This all took time and manpower, and with the recent introduction of the National Living Wage, and even higher rates to come, people needed a solution more than ever to eliminate this double handling. Our Eco Blast does exactly that.”
“Our highly successful Mega Blast unit uses 60kW of electrical power per hour to reduce the temperature of product, whereas the Eco Blast only takes 15kW to run the fans drawing in and filtering the ambient air. In operation, it can complete multiple cycles a day”
“Assuming a multi-cycle operation, we calculate eight hours’ cumulative utilisation of Eco Blast’S Fan System will cost £13.28 per day (£92.96 per week). By comparison, running the full Mega Blast system for the same period would cost £53.12 per day (£371.84 per week).
“On that basis, we believe we can offer producers and processors with hot products coming out of an oven a potential, immediate saving of more than £278 per week with this new unit. That’s based on a price 10.5p/kWh electricity charge and CCL (Climate Change Levy) charge of 0.559p/kWh, and let’s not forget that the CCL charge is set to rise year-on-year, and rise again by 45% from 1st April 2019.”
“The Mega Blast will continue to have a key role for producers untroubled by post-oven heat issues, where the highly efficient unit delivers excellent, traditional blast chill/freeze operations.”
‘Cook Chill Guidelines’ in current legislation demand that, if producers are cooking and then chilling food, the temperature needs to be reduced safely from 70°C to 3°C within 90 minutes. If cooked food is being frozen, however, the temperature needs to drop from 70°C to -18°C in no more than 240 minutes.
This requirement stems from the fact that bacteria grows most aggressively between 5°C and 63°C – so the food needs to get past this ‘danger zone’ as quickly as possible. Otherwise producers can be in breach of the legislation and at risk of endangering the consumer, with all that can entail in today’s strict environment.
So in a sector where ‘hot product cooling’ has been all too frequently and hazardously dealt with for many years in whatever nearby space was available, even adjacent corridors, here is a system that appears to offer genuine financial, legal and practical solutions.
The package also has some impressive additional capabilities, as Rod Benham explains. “Alongside its unique ambient cooling system and proven blast chill/freeze capability, the Eco Blast has other cost and labour saving benefits. Once the load is reduced to the required temperature, it will automatically switch into a ‘hold’ mode, maintaining the selected temperature of a product until it is ready to be transhipped. If that process calls for a degree of de-frosting, the very same unit can be switched to handle this process as well.”
Posted on August 31, 2016
by Edwin Kalischnig