The National Restaurant Association announced the 18 products that earned its annual Kitchen Innovations (KI) Award. The NRA will showcase these products during its annual trade show, which will take place May 22-25 in Chicago's McCormick Place.
Following is the list of winning products and a brief description of each as provided by the NRA.
Activeion Cleaning Solutions, LLC - The ionator EXP
A hand-held power cleaner that converts tap water into ionized water for use as a dirt-removing, bacteria-killing agent.
Alto-Shaam, Inc.: CombiTouch
A pictorial and video touch-screen control, which commands all basic and advanced cooking functions for 250 recipes and training programs without the use of text.
Champion Industries - E2series Flight with Quad Rinse
A linkage between the conveyor and the water flow control that conserves water and energy use by reducing hot water as the conveyor speed slows.
Champion Industries - Heat Recovery Unit with Temp-Sure system
This system conserves energy by eliminating the need to pre-heat the final rinse water, continually monitoring outlet temperature, and adjusting airflow to maintain proper rinse temperature.
Ecolab- Scrub N Go - Cordless Floor Scrubber
This compact scrubber cleans, scrubs, vacuums, and dries, all in one pass without the need for separate mops and buckets. Using a rapid-recharge lithium battery, it runs at 1045 rpm.
Henny Penny Corporation – iControl for Evolution Elite:
The Gas Evolution Elite Open Fryer's new iControl monitors all fryer activity and provides the operator with data to improve oil usage, meet product quality standards, and continuously optimize frying operations.
Hobart Corporation - Ventless AM Warewasher
The Hobart Ventless AM Warewasher eliminates the need for purchase and installation of a hood. The first ventless door-type system recaptures hot water vapor and condenses it to heat incoming cold water, instead of constantly drawing hot water, for the final rinse cycle.
Irinox USA, LLC - Multi Fresh Blast Chillers
The units contain both blast chill and shock-freezing technology with rapid thaw, proofing, and holding capabilities.
Manitowoc Beverage Systems/Manitowoc Foodservice – TRUfill Beverage Dispensing System
This system dispenses beverages, including draft beer, in 84 percent less server time using a nozzle that engages through a one-way resealable valve in the bottom of the cup.
Merrychef / Manitowoc Foodservice – eikon Accelerated Cooking Oven
This series of speed ovens offers an icon-driven touch screen operation enabling instant menu management with archive capacity, ethernet updates, operator training and service maintenance instructions.
Middleby Corp. - Middley Marshall Mini WOW Oven
This high-speed conveyer oven automatically powers down between uses or during non-peak times and saves roughly 30 percent in energy versus prior models.
Middleby Corp. - Southbend Ultimate Range
This range can be configurable to customers' needs with an array of options like gas tops with electric ovens, and front sauté burners with high output back burners.
Multiplex/Manitowoc Foodservice - Blend In Cup Smoothie Machine
This refrigerated machine, suitable for smaller footprints, produces smoothies and dairybased beverages with touch-screen capability.
Oliver Packaging & Equipment Company - Mini Chip Slicer
This countertop slicer is designed to safely and efficiently create healthy snack chips using day-old bakery items such as bagels, baguettes, and buns.
Perfect Fry Company - Spin Fresh Centrifugal Fryer
The self-contained countertop fryer holds heat in through improved insulation and features a built-in spinner basket that spins off excess oil during a finishing convection cooking step, which helps reduce calories in the food and enhance the taste.
Vegawatt - Vegawatt™ Cogeneration System
A fully automated energy cogeneration system that generates on-site electricity and hot water by reusing wasted vegetable-based fryer oil.
To earn this designation, manufacturers submitted an application for review by a panel of judges assembled by the NRA. The 2010 roster of judges includes: Dan Bendall, principal, FoodStrategy Inc.; Martin Cowley, senior manager design and standards, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; William Eaton. chairman of the board, Cini-Little International; Robert Forrester, principal, Restaurant Industry Solutions; Foster F. Frable Jr., founding partner, Clevenger Frable LaValee; Aaron LaMotte, director, Sodexo Performance Interiors; Robert Marshall, vice president, U.S. operations, McDonald's Corp.; George McNeill, vice president, culinary and corporate chef, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC; and Kathleen H. Seelye, managing partner, Ricca Newmark Design.