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Cutting kitchen consumption with multifunctional appliances

Researchers at Zurich University studied the energy consumption in a commercial catering kitchen before and after a major refurbishment

Posted by Hannah Oakman | November 23, 2016 | Catering & hospitality

After a recent energy study Zurich University 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.  The appliances used were Frima VarioCooking Centers and Rational combi steamers.  

The project was undertaken by Zurich University for Applied Sciences, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinzelmann and SV Schweiz (the Swiss catering and hotel management corporation). The aim of the project 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. As market leaders in their respective multifunctional cooking technologies, Frima and Rational were the obvious choices to supply the appliances. 

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. (Dishwashing requirements were not considered in the study.)

The kitchen renovation, including the installation of the Frima and Rational appliances, was undertaken in summer 2014. Measurements of energy and water consumption were then taken again, in order to enable the ‘before and after’ comparison. The measurements showed a significant reduction. Energy consumption dropped by 34%, meaning only 0.38 kWh per main meal was now required. This corresponds to a reduction in annual CO2 emissions of 1.8 tons. For water, consumption was only 1.28 litres per main meal, 53% less than before.

For more information and brochures, or to come to a free Cooking Live demonstration, call Frima UK on 0845 680 3981, email or visit

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