How to choose refrigeration equipment? Professional Tips

5 min

Empty restaurant kitchen with professional equipment

1. The fundamental difference between domestic and professional refrigeration equipment.

The main difference between domestic and professional refrigeration equipment is the range. If the range of household equipment is limited only to refrigerators, freezers, domestic ice makers and air conditioning systems, then the professional is much wider in terms of functionality: refrigerated cabinets and refrigerated display cases, freezer chests, specialized refrigerated tables: pizza tables, beer keg storage, saladette, shock freezers are best ice makers, bar refrigerators, refrigerators and related equipment: monoblocks and split systems, salad bars, wine racks, professional ice-making systems of various types and sizes, and more.

On the other hand, in household equipment there is a wider range of models in one functional line, differing in appearance, individual non-key characteristics and equipment.

Another difference of professional equipment: in a narrow specialization.

For example, the range of refrigerated cabinets includes low-temperature and medium-temperature cabinets, cabinets with the ability to withstand 0 ° C, refrigerated cabinets with static and dynamic cooling, equipment for intensive cooling and shock freezing.

And, of course, professional equipment has a significantly higher resource compared to household equipment: these are door hinges, refrigeration units, and materials for the body and insulation. Professional equipment is designed specifically for long-term operation at high loads. Structurally, professional equipment is usually more convenient for routine maintenance and repair work.

2. The fundamental differences between the refrigerator and the camera.

First of all, the refrigerator is ready-to-use equipment after packaging, designed to store a relatively small number of products. The refrigerator compartment is assembled at the installation site from ready-made modules and panels. Naturally, the volume of the refrigerator compartment can also be significantly larger than even the largest refrigerator cabinet.

Using the camera, you can solve the problem of organizing a place for cooling and storage in a room of any configuration. Depending on the tasks set for the camera, the most suitable refrigeration machine (split system or monoblock) of the required power can be selected.

3. Refrigerant and compressor – basic requirements.

The main consumer requirement for the refrigerant today is its environmental friendliness. The refrigerants R134a and R404a used in modern refrigeration equipment are ozone-friendly. The choice of refrigerant is made by the manufacturer to ensure the required performance of the refrigeration system and taking into account the design features of the equipment.

Basic requirements for the compressor:

– low noise figures. In a professional kitchen, oversaturated with a variety of mechanisms and equipment, compliance with environmental standards in terms of noise level becomes one of the main tasks facing the development engineer.

– effective power, which should ensure the constant operation of refrigeration equipment in the required mode.

– reliability

4. Medium and low temperature equipment.

Medium temperature equipment (refrigerated cabinets, showcases , chests ) are designed for short-term storage of chilled products. For a long time in medium-temperature cabinets it is possible to store hermetically packed products with a long shelf life corresponding to the temperature regime: drinks, groceries, confectionery. As a rule, equipment of this kind is capable of maintaining the temperature regime in the range from 0 to 10 C. Various operating temperature ranges of the equipment are found: from 2 to 8 C, from 3 to 7 C, from 0 to 8 C, etc.

Low-temperature equipment is used to store frozen foods, convenience foods, fruits and vegetables, and ice cream. The range of supported temperatures of low-temperature equipment: from 0 to -18 C.

There are several transitional and combined types of equipment:

– combined refrigerated cabinets capable of supporting medium and low temperature modes in different chambers.

– refrigeration equipment with a transitional regime, for example, from -5 to +5 C. In such refrigerated cabinets it is ideal to store fresh products that require a storage temperature of about 0: fresh vegetables, fish, meat.

– wine cabinets with static cooling, offering at different levels their own temperature regime for various types of wines.

5. Factors affecting the choice of size and number of refrigerated cabinets and chambers.

The main factors that are taken into account when choosing refrigeration equipment are the size of the existing premises and approaches to it (doorway, the presence and size of the elevator, etc.) and the frequency of delivery of products intended for storage in the selected equipment.

So, for example, in a small warehouse in the restaurant’s kitchen with a large flow of customers, and, suppose, with a short frequency of procurement of products, it makes sense to organize a medium temperature chamber or buy several medium temperature cabinets. If the production process involves the long-term storage of a certain range, then the purchase of a low-temperature refrigerating cabinet will be required.

The need to store a large amount of frozen food in a large room is best met by the organization of a low-temperature refrigeration chamber.

6. Storage rules for products. What are regulated?

Products must be stored according to the classification of products: dry (flour, sugar, cereals, etc.), bread products, meat, slaves, milk and fat products, gastronomy, vegetables and fruits.

Raw materials and finished products must be stored in separate refrigerators. In some cases, joint storage is allowed subject to the conditions of commodity neighborhood (on separate shelves and racks). Products with a specific smell (spices, fish products, etc.) are strictly forbidden to store next to products that perceive foreign odors: butter, egg, cheese, salt, sugar, flour, etc. Refrigerators should be equipped with racks that are easy to clean and have a condensate collection and removal system.

Deep frozen products can be stored on adjacent shelves.

When choosing dishes, it is necessary to take into account the fact that long-term storage of food products of any kind is not allowed in aluminum dishes.

It is ideal to store food in stainless steel utensils, which has a whole host of advantages: it is easy and efficient to clean, durable in use – it does not break, does not change the consumer qualities of the goods.

More economical types of dishes are made of plastic: polycarbonate and polypropylene. Dishes made of polycarbonate are more expensive, but have an important advantage – they do not absorb odors.

Wear-resistant dishes made of polypropylene – the most economical option with an additional advantage – do not break.

7. What parameters should be regulated in refrigeration equipment.

It is imperative that the refrigeration equipment has a minimum temperature controller. In this case, it is possible to set a mode ideal for storing certain products, for example 0 … 1 C for fresh fish.

For specific refrigeration equipment with several temperature zones (for example, for wine cabinets), the ability to independently control the temperature in each zone is quite critical.

Unlike household equipment, professional equipment, as a rule, does not provide a change in the distance between the shelves. The specificity of the stored products and volumes requires standard, large distances, sufficient to accommodate large professional equipment. The only exceptions are display cases and cabinets for confectionery products.

8. Important little things when choosing refrigeration equipment.

Professional kitchen conditions impose their requirements on the refrigeration equipment used. While refrigerators with protruding handles are common in everyday life, professional models usually have recessed handles that do not interfere with the free movement of personnel and carts.

When choosing a refrigeration equipment, it is necessary to pay attention to the availability and detail of the indication of the equipment status: indicators, control panels, etc. In order to avoid long downtime of the equipment, personnel and service engineers should quickly determine the cause of the problem and take the right steps to eliminate it. An important addition is the presence of a self-diagnosis system. This functionality for professional equipment is much more important than the “pleasant” service functions familiar to household equipment, in the form of self-freezing systems, an indication of an open door, a built-in clock or a USB interface.

Also for professional equipment, the location of the refrigeration unit is also important. In most cases, the top location of the unit is much more convenient – it is less polluted, easier access for repairs and maintenance.

A number of manufacturers, including Russian, in the near future they plan to launch production of models of refrigerated cabinets with a top removable cassette refrigeration unit. This implementation has several advantages: the useful volume of the cabinet increases significantly, without increasing its dimensions, the serviceability and, of course, the ease and ease of replacement are significantly increased, which will allow for maintenance and repair work not to change the cabinet itself, but simply to replace the refrigeration unit.

When choosing a refrigerator, it is very important to take into account the specifics of production. For example, for classic school pre-prepared canteens, economical models of painted metal refrigerated cabinets are quite suitable. At the same time, if full-cycle enterprises for storage of raw products already require cabinets made of stainless steel.

9. What equipment is more reliable?

It is generally accepted that the equipment of manufacturers historically located in hotter belts is more reliable. That is why the products of Italian and Spanish manufacturers are most in demand from imported equipment. However, in the global economy and given the export of technology, when choosing professional equipment, we recommend paying more attention to its technical characteristics, class and real reviews and manufacturer’s reputation, than to be guided by geographical preferences.

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