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equipment & packaging
Rapid-cook ovens are a staple in retail foodservice operations, both
in supermarkets and c-stores. Their ability to quickly and accurately
prepare hot food items makes them invaluable for providing provide
ready-to-eat meals. But corresponding packaging has always presented
a bit of a problem. The high temperatures can do a number on whatever vessel is being used to hold the food.
Welbilt - which includes brands Manitowac, Merrychef, Merco and
more - has partnered with packaging company HAVI for what it says
is a solution. The line of SIX500 packaging is designed for every step
from production to shipping to consumption.
"What I think makes it exciting is that it's extremely flexible," says
Martin Huddleston, director of culinary sales for Welbilt. "Food manufacturers can package the end user's food in it, freeze it, ship it, and
then it can go right from cold storage into the oven and then into the
What makes the packaging so valuable is its durability. The fiber-based
bowls and platters are able to withstand 500 degrees for up to six
minutes, hence the SIX500 name.
And to be specific, it is rated 21CFR by the United States Food
and Drug Administration, meaning it's actually able to withstand
temperatures up to 525 degrees. "Most food items in foodservice
operations today are in the oven for probably an average of 90
seconds," Huddleston says. "Some may need two to three minutes,
and some might need just 30 seconds but the average is around
90 seconds. So being FDA compliant up to six minutes is plenty
Welbilt and HAVI had to overcome a handful of obstacles in the line's
development. The first, and perhaps biggest, was keeping it from
delaminating at such high temperatures. It also needed a sturdy
barrier, so it could withstand sauces and foods with high moisture or
fat content. Finally, the packaging had to be appealing since it would
eventually end up in the consumer's hands as the food was being
eaten. It couldn't discolor in the high temperatures.
"All of that has been overcome and the product works great,"
Huddleston says. "I have not yet come across a product that doesn't
perform well in the package."
The next challenge for Welbilt? Finding a paper wrapper that can do
the same things that the SIX500 line does.
"What c-store operators have been looking for and haven't necessarily gotten, when it comes to paper wrapping for sandwiches and
things like that, having a product that a sandwich can be wrapped in,
stored in, reheated in the Merrychef oven, and then handed off to the
consumer," Huddleston says. "It has definitely been challenging."
The primary issue is discoloration, which causes the foodservice
operator to re-wrap the food item or to cook it in something else before
wrapping it. Either way, it leads to unnecessary handling of the food.
"There is some parchment-like paper out there, but it is extremely
costly. That's been a challenge that I think over the next one, two or
three years will be addressed," Huddleston says. "We'll see more paper
products out there, not just vessels like the HAVI products, but actual
wrappers that can withstand the oven."
HIGH-SPEED, HIGH-QUALITY FOOD
One of the biggest challenges in the industry today, according the MTI Products' Bess Couture, is
that people are far more concerned with the quality of their food than before. They're willing to pay
more for less-processed ingredients and they'll wait longer for it.
"That's where a huge advantage for MultiChef comes in, as it is one of
the few high-speed ovens that does not use microwaves," she says.
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Microwaves can give food a chewy, rubbery texture, especially with
items like pizza or baked goods. "With MultiChef, you still get that top
speed cook time, but without the microwave texture," Couture says.
"Instead, items come out crispy, just like they had been cooked in a
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of instore - January 2018
instore - January 2018
Editor's Note - Another wild (and fun) ride
News - Need to Know
Spotlight - By the numbers: Prepared entrees
Product Knowledge - CATEGORY UPDATE: Snacking cheese
Cover Story - Downtown treasure
Industry Perspective - Label limbo
Merchandising - ON DISPLAY: Grab ‘n Go Dips
Feature - Cleaning the instore label
Insight Insider: Prairie City Bakery
Food Safety: Tamper-evident packaging
Equipment: Sanitation strategies for ready-to-eat products
R&D: How hot should you go?
Product Category Spotlight: Breakfast sandwiches
Equipment & Packaging - LATEST INNOVATION: Rapid-cook ovens
Product Trends - FIRST TO MARKET
instore - January 2018 - instore - January 2018
instore - January 2018 - instore - January 2018
instore - January 2018 - 2
instore - January 2018 - Editor's Note - Another wild (and fun) ride
instore - January 2018 - 4
instore - January 2018 - 5
instore - January 2018 - CONTENTS
instore - January 2018 - 7
instore - January 2018 - News - Need to Know
instore - January 2018 - 9
instore - January 2018 - Spotlight - By the numbers: Prepared entrees
instore - January 2018 - 11
instore - January 2018 - Product Knowledge - CATEGORY UPDATE: Snacking cheese
instore - January 2018 - 13
instore - January 2018 - Cover Story - Downtown treasure
instore - January 2018 - 15
instore - January 2018 - 16
instore - January 2018 - 17
instore - January 2018 - 18
instore - January 2018 - 19
instore - January 2018 - Industry Perspective - Label limbo
instore - January 2018 - 21
instore - January 2018 - 22
instore - January 2018 - 23
instore - January 2018 - Merchandising - ON DISPLAY: Grab ‘n Go Dips
instore - January 2018 - 25
instore - January 2018 - Feature - Cleaning the instore label
instore - January 2018 - 27
instore - January 2018 - 28
instore - January 2018 - Insight Insider: Prairie City Bakery
instore - January 2018 - 30
instore - January 2018 - 31
instore - January 2018 - 32
instore - January 2018 - 33
instore - January 2018 - Food Safety: Tamper-evident packaging
instore - January 2018 - Equipment: Sanitation strategies for ready-to-eat products
instore - January 2018 - R&D: How hot should you go?
instore - January 2018 - 37
instore - January 2018 - Product Category Spotlight: Breakfast sandwiches
instore - January 2018 - 39
instore - January 2018 - Equipment & Packaging - LATEST INNOVATION: Rapid-cook ovens
instore - January 2018 - Product Trends - FIRST TO MARKET
instore - January 2018 - AD INDEX
instore - January 2018 - 43
instore - January 2018 - 44