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Hitchen Foods, based in Ince near Wigan, is using an oven system from Heraeus Noblelight that incorporates carbon infrared heating technology to meet customer demands for pre-browned, ready-meal Dauphinois potatoes.

Established in the 1930s, Hitchen Foods is part of the Bakkavor Group, which produces freshly prepared products such as salads and microwaveable meals, which are sold predominantly under customers’ own brands.

Carbon infrared (CIR) delivers medium-wave infrared radiation, which evaporates water from products at a very high power density to ensure local moisture is removed without heating the body of the product — this serves to brown the top surface of food products.

In order that Hitchen’s dauphinois potato ready meals should be pre-browned to improve presentation, the company decided to begin using CIR via an infrared oven from Heraeus, featuring 40kW carbon medium wave modules and three exhaust cassettes.

Key benefits of product application

  • CIR has a smaller footprint and better energy efficiency than other methods for browning food, such as over hot-air convection ovens or long-wave radiant heaters.
  • Hitchen reported that the infrared oven has operated reliably with minimum maintenance requirements.
  • The carbon emitters can be switched off quickly in the event of unexpected line stoppage.
  • No pre-heating is required, so time is saved and productivity boosted.

Food producer uses carbon infrared oven from Heraeus to pre-brown Dauphinois potatoes

Hitchen Foods, based in Ince near Wigan, is using an oven system from Heraeus Noblelight that incorporates carbon infrared heating technology to meet customer demands for pre-browned, ready-meal Dauphinois potatoes.

Established in the 1930s, Hitchen Foods is part of the Bakkavor Group, which produces freshly prepared products such as salads and microwaveable meals, which are sold predominantly under customers’ own brands.

Carbon infrared (CIR) delivers medium-wave infrared radiation, which evaporates water from products at a very high power density to ensure local moisture is removed without heating the body of the product — this serves to brown the top surface of food products.

In order that Hitchen’s dauphinois potato ready meals should be pre-browned to improve presentation, the company decided to begin using CIR via an infrared oven from Heraeus, featuring 40kW carbon medium wave modules and three exhaust cassettes.

Key benefits of product application

  • CIR has a smaller footprint and better energy efficiency than other methods for browning food, such as over hot-air convection ovens or long-wave radiant heaters.
  • Hitchen reported that the infrared oven has operated reliably with minimum maintenance requirements.
  • The carbon emitters can be switched off quickly in the event of unexpected line stoppage.
  • No pre-heating is required, so time is saved and productivity boosted.

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