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Carbon infrared (CIR) emitters from Heraeus Noblelight form an essential component of an industrial browning machine on a food production line at Wrexham-based Rowan Foods. The custom-built machine is used to brown potato and pasta toppings.

Rowan Foods manufactures a range of potato- and pasta-based ready meals for high-street supermarkets. For final presentation, it is important that the product toppings are pre-browned. Surface browning must be carried out without any after-cooking of the product itself and, historically, has been carried out by means of steam or hot air ovens or by long-wave radiant heaters and electric panel heaters. However, these technologies have a large footprint and tend to have a cooking effect on the product. Moreover, they can be difficult to maintain and are not very energy efficient.

When the company decided to install a new production line to meet increasing demand for its product, it decided to contact food processing machinery specialist Protech Food Systems. Protech then worked with Heraeus to design and build a new browning oven, incorporating the latest carbon infrared technology.

The new browning oven features two separate heater modules: one module is fitted with eight 4kW emitters and the other with an additional six 0.5kW emitters, which are separately controlled to supplement the heating energy at the edges of the oven. Emitter failure detection is provided to ensure that if an emitter in either cassette is broken this will be detected and an alarm raised.

Key benefits of product application

  • CIR ensures that the surface of the food product rapidly achieves a sufficient temperature to drive away any local moisture and then cause browning without any possibility of after-cooking.
  • CIR also allows any subsequent chilling operation to be carried out as efficiently as possible.
  • The system switches on and off almost instantaneously, allowing significant energy savings.
  • Its fast response means heat can be removed quickly if required.
  • The food product rapidly achieves sufficient temperature to drive away local moisture due to the high power density of infrared radiation.
  • Since installation, the new system has proved to be very reliable, requiring little or no maintenance.

Rowan Foods uses carbon infrared emitters from Heraeus Noblelight on production line

Carbon infrared (CIR) emitters from Heraeus Noblelight form an essential component of an industrial browning machine on a food production line at Wrexham-based Rowan Foods. The custom-built machine is used to brown potato and pasta toppings.

Rowan Foods manufactures a range of potato- and pasta-based ready meals for high-street supermarkets. For final presentation, it is important that the product toppings are pre-browned. Surface browning must be carried out without any after-cooking of the product itself and, historically, has been carried out by means of steam or hot air ovens or by long-wave radiant heaters and electric panel heaters. However, these technologies have a large footprint and tend to have a cooking effect on the product. Moreover, they can be difficult to maintain and are not very energy efficient.

When the company decided to install a new production line to meet increasing demand for its product, it decided to contact food processing machinery specialist Protech Food Systems. Protech then worked with Heraeus to design and build a new browning oven, incorporating the latest carbon infrared technology.

The new browning oven features two separate heater modules: one module is fitted with eight 4kW emitters and the other with an additional six 0.5kW emitters, which are separately controlled to supplement the heating energy at the edges of the oven. Emitter failure detection is provided to ensure that if an emitter in either cassette is broken this will be detected and an alarm raised.

Key benefits of product application

  • CIR ensures that the surface of the food product rapidly achieves a sufficient temperature to drive away any local moisture and then cause browning without any possibility of after-cooking.
  • CIR also allows any subsequent chilling operation to be carried out as efficiently as possible.
  • The system switches on and off almost instantaneously, allowing significant energy savings.
  • Its fast response means heat can be removed quickly if required.
  • The food product rapidly achieves sufficient temperature to drive away local moisture due to the high power density of infrared radiation.
  • Since installation, the new system has proved to be very reliable, requiring little or no maintenance.

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