Food and beverage production involves a series of energy-intensive processes. As well as electricity, water in the form of steam and hot water is critical for ensuring the maximum quality of the products and for complying with the strict regulation for food safety. Food processing companies and restaurants massively rely on boiler steam, for a wealth of functions.
Almost every aspect of the food supply chain, from grocery stores to restaurants, necessitates hot water produced by a boiler in one way or another. What’s more, the demand for high-quality food and beverages in restaurants and eateries has grown considerably in the last few years, becoming a market few business owners can afford to ignore. But as with every industry, the food processing sector faces new unseen challenges.
From operational costs, the quality of the raw materials, and customer service, every detail matters. In more simple terms, it’s impossible to produce high-quality food and beverages without a reliable and consistent hot water source. As you shop for a reliable boiler system, you will find that many types of boilers do virtually the same thing. Our advice is to not settle with your first choice of the boiler if you want to maximise your restaurant efficiency.
What to Look for in a Restaurant Boiler System
When it comes to food processing, there are dedicated boiler systems every restaurant owner should consider. For example, the right boiler system should be able to withstand ongoing restaurant processes, be versatile, flexible, and build to meet a wide range of cooking applications such as:
- And more
Regardless of which steam boiler you choose for your food & beverage processing needs, look for the ones that provide consistent performance, precision heating, and culinary grade steam. In case any emergency situations arise and you can’t afford to invest in a new system, opt for boiler rental services that offer advanced temporary boilers and top-of-the-line maintenance services.
If you need a boiler to process large volumes of steam, but your business doesn’t always run full throttle 24/7, look for something that powers up and down quickly to prevent the delay or interruption of the processes and save on fuel costs when steam is not needed.
If fuel and rising water costs complicate your budget, choose a water heating system that helps you with energy efficiency and can preserve resources without sacrificing productivity. Some food production companies and restaurants in certain locations face emissions restrictions, so a boiler rated to reduce harmful CO2 emissions is a definitive plus.
If maintenance is a nuisance for you, look for products designed for low maintenance, or rent your boilers and let the rental services handle the nitty-gritty maintenance job for you.
Steam boiler challenges food processing and restaurants face
It’s no surprise that steam boilers in the food processing industry present their own challenges. Most restaurants and food manufacturers don’t require full steam 24/7, but the demand for steam may vary from one production line to another.
In most cases, conventional boiler systems need a few good hours to warm up and cool down, which means that restaurant owners or food producers must keep their systems up and running even when the demand for steam is at a minimum. In turn, this leads to lower energy efficiency, increased fuel costs, and even difficulty adhering to CO2 emissions standards in some states. For this reason, your choice of steam boiler can have a significant impact on your business’ efficiency and productivity. Here are some of the roles that steam boilers play in the food production industry:
For sterilisation and disinfecting
Food safety is a top-of-mind priority among restaurants and food processing plants. Both have a duty to ensure that foods and beverages produced are safe for public consumption. They need to guarantee that all utensils, tools, and surfaces used in food production are clean, sterilized, and disinfected.
Recent pandemic events have placed a greater emphasis on the safety of the consumers. We’ve seen restaurants and food processing plants going through strenuous protocols to keep their staff and outgoing products safe. From this standpoint, the process for sterilisation and disinfection of the restaurant utensils and equipment is not very different from a hospital operating room, where surgical tools must be decontaminated before and after an operation.
The same is available in a restaurant kitchen, where all surfaces and utensils need to be clear of germs or bacteria before preparing food. Steam boilers are typically the safest and fast option for sterilising and disinfecting surfaces and utensils for restaurants and food production plants that adhere to the FDA and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
To reduce the risks of microbiological contamination
Surface contamination isn’t the only concern for restaurant owners and their staff; there are also inherent microbiological risks that exist in the foods themselves – microbes and bacteria that cause food-borne diseases. Steam pasteurisation is one of the methods by which food processing plants and restaurants can fend off these microbes. Having a boiler that produces quality steam makes the process of pasteurisation a lot easier for businesses.
To prepare food
Some restaurants and food processing companies do a lot of cooking before their products land on someone’s plate. While different locations use different methods to cook or pre cook food, doing so with hot water and steam produced by boilers is one of the best ways to ensure the food is well-prepared, soft, and easy to digest once it gets to consumers. Other complex processes for food preparation that involve steam are curing and drying, which requires you to invest in a boiler that produces large volumes of quality steam.
Restaurant and food processing plants rely not only on efficient boilers but also on their staff’s hard work. Here climate control is critical to maximise productivity and keep employees safe. So, more often than not, the same water heating system that supports different stages of food preparation and production also provides heat for the establishment itself.