A specially-built oven system, incorporating the latest carbon infrared technology, is helping Geest achieve perfectly browned toppings on a range of oven-ready meals produced at its Milton Keynes factory.
Historically, browning has been achieved by means of steam or hot air convection ovens or by infrared equipment, such as long-wave radiant heaters and electric panel heaters. All of these technologies have a large footprint and tend to have a cooking effect on the product when only surface browning is required. They can also be difficult to maintain and are not very energy efficient.
Protech Food Systems of Bedford designed and installed a complete oven system, incorporating carbon infrared heater modules, exhaust modules and the relevant control systems from Heraeus Noblelight.
Carbon infrared is ideal for surface browning as it delivers medium wave infrared radiation, which is perfectly suited to evaporating water from products at a very high power intensity. This ensures that the surface of the food product rapidly achieves a sufficient temperature to drive away local moisture and then causes browning without heating the body of the product. This allows the subsequent chilling operation to be carried out as energy-efficiently as possible.
The oven features two 40kW carbon medium wave modules and three exhaust cassettes. There are two control zones for flexibility.
One of the 40kW modules has a simple on/off control while the other, which contains five 8kW emitters, has its outer emitters controlled by one thyristor and its three inner emitters separately controlled by another.
Contact: Heraeus Noblelight, Tel: 0151 353 2710