EVEREO: A new approach to hot food storage

Thermal cabinets have long taken their place in the segment of professional kitchen equipment. There are many concepts on the market, with the help of which manufacturers strive to maximize production volumes, increase sales and implement the way “zero waste”. The Italian brand UNOX presents its hot food storage system, which has already won awards at professional exhibitions and the title of "absolutely turning point in the game".

Hot... refrigerator?

The developments, which were subsequently embodied in technologies EVEREO, were carried out by UNOX together with the Department of Condensed Matter Physics of the University in Parma. They were based on a simple question: is it possible to store hot dishes in a hot form?
Traditionally, in the field of catering, technology “Cook&Chill” is used, in which ready meals are cooled very quickly to a temperature no higher than +5°C with the help of shock freezing. In this form, they can be stored for 3-5 days. At any time they can be removed from the refrigerator, reheated and served. However, this technology has several disadvantages:
1) during cooling and during subsequent regeneration for feeding, food passes twice through the zone of active reproduction of bacteria. From the point of view of WHO, such is the temperature range from +5° to +60°C. In addition, ready meals can be additionally contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms through inventory or equipment;
2) the process of regeneration after shock cooling takes time. The hot dish is served to the guest no earlier than 10 minutes after the order, and if the order was received at the time of peak load in the kitchen, the waiting time can significantly increase.
3) for the chain "intensive cooling-storage-regeneration" it’s necessary to have special equipment - shock freezing cabinets, cooling chamber, regeneration devices.
The result of more than a ten years working and the answer to the question above was the equipment that avoids the disadvantages of technology “Cook& Chill” - EVEREO stores hot dishes at a serving temperature (that is, above 60°C) for several days.
The operating temperature of EVEREO is always above the level beyond which most pathogenic bacteria multiply. So food safety is guaranteed. "Hot refrigerator" - this definition describes the essence of the new product from UNOX as accurately as possible.
The use of the hot refrigerator EVERIO can give food production a number of significant advantages:
1) since the dishes are not cooled, there is no need for their regeneration, the serving time is reduced to a minimum, and the long chain "cooking-intensive cooling-storage-regeneration-serving" turns into a short one "cooking-storage-serving". This is an opportunity to significantly reduce the waiting time for dishes and improve service;
2) thanks to safe hot storage, the production has the opportunity to increase the shelf life of ready dishes and reduce write-offs at the end of the working day;
3) the use of EVERIO allows you to optimize the operational activities of the kitchen and the wage fund.

How does it work?

There are two main modes in EVEREO:
1) MULTI.Day mode is storage for 72 hours in vacuum bags or in baking trays closed with a special pump. The baking trays and the pump are a patented development of UNOX, which allows you to vacuum food in hot form. In the absence of oxygen in food, oxidative processes slowdown, which, together with high temperature, helps to save organoleptic properties and also makes the taste of dishes more pronounced. Such storage also accelerates the hydrolysis of proteins and carbohydrates, which means that dishes after storage will be better absorbed.
2) SUPERHOLDING mode - storing dishes in an open form for 8 hours (so-called daily storage). Due to the fact that EVEREO extremely accurately controls the temperature and humidity inside the chamber, it becomes possible to store dishes in it with consistently good results. EVEREO works with its own moisture content of the product, preventing the crispy crust and breading from getting wet in the case of fried dishes or, conversely, drying out when steamed dishes, side dishes, soups and sauces are stored in the chamber.
The range of dishes and products that can be stored in EVEREO is very wide. These are meat and fish dishes, soups, sauces, dishes from vegetables, cereals and mushrooms, legumes, pasta, pastries, bakery and confectionery. EVEREO can be used not only for storage, but also for cooking - in MULTI.Day mode can be used to cook souvide dishes, and the SUPERHOLDING mode can be used for dehydration.
The hot refrigerator EVERIO is connected to a standard electric socket 220V, has minimal power consumption, is compact and mobile. EVERIO from UNOX is available in two sizes: GN 1/1 and sheet 460*330 mm. The first type is more convenient for food production and restaurants that work with standardized gastro capacities, the second one, due to its compactness, will be in demand in fast food outlets, cafes, coffee shops and gastrocorners.
EVERIO can be equipped with a wide range of accessories and integrated into chain with other equipment of UNOX.

Scope of application

Since hot dishes are always in demand, EVERIO can use in almost any segment of catering. Depending on the nature of the demand for hot meals and the location of the kitchen, there are three main directions:
1) Places with constant demand, where EVEREO maintains a stock of hot dishes for a long time. Basically, they are located in places with high traffic and relatively uniform traffic, without sharp peaks during the day. These can be, for example, airports, railway and bus stations, shopping malls, expocentres, busy streets, mass recreation facilities. In such places, various types of organizations can open — restaurants, cafes, bars, snack bars, shops with a hot cooking department. This direction can also include the format of "dark kitchen", kitchen factories, and organizations with the delivery of ready meals. Here, the main advantage of EVEREO is the ability to reduce costs (for example, for electricity, if previously hot dishes for serving were kept in a kitchen combi steamer), reduce write-offs at the end of the day, speed up serves and delivery of dishes. Significant advantages also include optimizing the work of chefs and reducing the wage fund – it’s possible to prepare dishes that will be stored in EVEREO in advance and not involve additional staff during peak hours.
2) The places where EVERIO is used for short-term storage. They are located where there is a peak demand for hot products. These are buffets in theaters, bars, snack bars, snack bars and cafeterias in cinemas, ice palaces and sports complexes, concert venues and stadiums. This can also include canteens at large industrial enterprises and restaurants serving business lunches. Using EVERIO allows you to place orders in a very short time, avoid queues and sell more portions, increasing income.
3) Places without a kitchen (hotels, gastrocorners, corporate catering, catering). With the help of EVEREO, it’s possible to offer hot dishes where there are no conditions for placing a kitchen and a distribution line. For example, hotels can include hot snacks in the lobby bar, as well as organize the serving of hot dishes through the Room service at night, if it’s unprofitable to maintain a full kitchen at night. For the organization of corporate catering of staff, it’s possible to supply food in thermoboxes and store it in EVEREO, saving significant funds on distribution lines, and small outlets can develop sales from scratch in the popular to go format (hot soups in thermostats, hot finger food in small containers and boxes).
Considering the difficulties that the restaurant industry has faced recently, the following can be noted: EVEREO makes it possible not only to reorganize food production and quickly respond to the challenges of the pandemic by compensating for losses, but also to receive additional benefits. EVEREO is the realization of creativity, flexibility and the ability to discover new promising areas and niches.