Food for thought: The importance of breakfast
School caterer Holroyd Howe has been paying particular attention to the most important meal of the day – breakfast – a meal often overlooked in schools and households alike. With school timetables demanding high levels of concentration, sporting performance and social interaction every day, starting the day with the right fuel is vital.
As well as providing energy, the right breakfast foods contain important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins, as well as protein and fibre. The body needs these essential nutrients and research shows that if they are missed at breakfast, they are less likely to be compensated for later in the day. Fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals, so pupils should be encouraged to try to include a portion of their daily five at breakfast, whether that be a banana or a glass of fruit juice.
Breakfast also restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is needed for the brain to function. Many studies have shown that eating breakfast can improve concentration levels, lower stress levels and improve attainment and behaviour.
Holroyd Howe’s recommended breakfasts include bircher muesli with fresh fruit, yoghurt and fruit pots, savoury muffins and porridge.
Cutting kitchen consumption: energy down by 34%, water down by 53%
Researchers at Zurich University have studied the energy consumption in a commercial catering kitchen before and after a major refurbishment. They found that, by switching from conventional appliances to the latest multifunctional cooking technology, the kitchen reduced energy consumption by 34% and water consumption by 53%. Moreover, the new kitchen appliances were able to produce more food from less space.
The staff restaurant at ABB Schweiz AG, the Swiss manufacturer of energy and automation technology, was selected for the research project, using Frima VarioCooking Centers and Rational combi steamers.
The aim of the project, undertaken by Zurich University for Applied Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinzelmann and SV Schweiz, was to record the efficiency of multifunctional cooking technology under real conditions, with a ‘before and after’ comparison based on the most accurate possible measuring equipment.
At the start of the project, in April 2014, the restaurant produced around 380 lunches daily, using conventional technology in a cook-and-hold system, with a menu choice of four different dishes. Measurements of energy and water consumption were taken over a period of eight weeks. The number of main meals, the menu, food waste and over-production were also logged. The measurements showed that production of each main meal required 0.58 kWh of electricity and 2.72 litres of water, not including dishwashing requirements.
The kitchen renovation, including the installation of Frima and Rational appliances, was undertaken in summer 2014. A second measurement of energy and water consumption showed a significant reduction. Energy consumption dropped by 34 per cent, requiring only 0.38 kWh per main meal. This corresponds to a reduction in annual CO2 emissions of 1.8 tons. Water consumption was only 1.28 litres per main meal, 53 per cent less than before.
Anton Bucher, project manager planning and construction at SV Schweiz, says: ‘The cost savings allowed us to create an attractive front-of-house cooking concept, with a pizza oven and a pasta machine and boiler, without needing any extra budget.”
“The project proves that modern cooking technology can optimise the use of resources, reducing energy and water consumption significantly,” says Graham Kille, managing director of Frima UK. “What’s more, the restaurant was able to increase the range of meals it offered, thanks to the extra cooking options offered by the Frima and Rational appliances.”
Winterhalter dishwasher, glasswasher and utensil washer helps St Mary’s maintain highest standards
The catering team at St Mary’s School in Ascot works hard to provide the girls with a high standard of cuisine, with an emphasis on healthy eating. When it was time to refurbish the kitchens they needed a complete warewash system capable of providing consistent results every day. “We wanted reliability,” says school bursar Giles Brand. “Our consultants recommended Winterhalter.”
St Mary’s is now the owner of a suite of Winterhalter warewashers. A multi-tank rack (MTR) conveyor with input carousel and drying tunnel handles the crockery, while a utensil washer covers baking and gastronorm pans.
Catering manager, Jacquelene Carrington, said: “Two people are able to load the machine and it takes half the time of our previous set up. It makes the whole process a breeze, with great results every time.”
The drying module uses a special patented ‘air knife’ technology that leaves the items in perfect condition as they emerge. Combined with a longer exit path, giving extra time for the final evaporation process, the design allows crockery to be put back into use sooner.
The MTR can be tailored to each site’s requirements and local conditions. An engineer can adjust the machine to take account of everything from the type of food on the menu to the hardness of the water and calibrate the machine accordingly.
As St Mary’s is a boarding school, the catering department works seven days a week during term time. A Winterhalter utensil washer is used for larger items such as trays and racks, along with utensils used in the preparation of meals. A single-button operation makes it easy for staff to use, while the reversible wash arms give optimal surface coverage. A highly efficient quadruple filtration system ensures that water stays clean, while the self-cleaning system helps keep the machine in optimal condition.
The school’s UC undercounter glasswasher is designed to reduce the consumption of water, power and chemicals in warewashing. The machine has a host of energy, water and chemical-saving features. For example, its rinse arm is designed to significantly reduce water consumption while achieving the highest standards of wash results. The water pressure is adjustable via the VarioPower control system.
“All the Winterhalter machines are easy to use, and easy to keep clean” says Jacquelene, “And that gives us more time to focus on making sure the girls eat as well as they should.”
Winterhalter provides a total solution for warewashing, from pre-sales advice to after-sales service, training and maintenance.
T: 01908 359000