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Low temperature cooking with immersion circulators

Low temperature cooking is an extended cooking technique worldwide and, in this post, we are going to explain the heating process when using immersion circulators for low temp retherming.

What is low temp cooking?

As its name indicates, it consists of applying temperatures lower than the boiling point, which are also considered ¨dangerous¨. There are some tables that explain the relation between time and temperature to achieve pasteurization and consequently a safe output, we covered this topic on another post:

Low temp cooking is generally used together with vacuum sealed products; however, this is no mandatory (for instance, low temp eggs do no require to be vacuum sealed). When combining low temp and vacuum, we call it sous-vide cooking.

Some benefits of low temp cooking

Food tenderness, flavor concentration and the safeness of the product due to pasteurization are really praised characteristics of this technique.

In fact, food tenderness and pasteurization are directly linked to the time and temperature in which a protein is cooked. This means that to do low temp right a precise control of this two variables time and temperature is crucial.

The heating process when sous vide cooking

Any heating process involves energy transfers from the hot source to the cold source. There are 3 different heat transfer mechanisms in nature: conduction, convection, and radiation.

In the heating process of sous vide vacuum sealed proteins only 2 apply: conduction and convection. Conduction, mainly inside the bag. This is how the energy is transferred from the surface of the protein to the core. Convection, when water or air is flowing around the bag. In any case the higher the temperature gap between the cold and the hot parts, the faster the energy transfer.

Low temp cooking implies a small gap between the hot and the cold part, meaning that the heat transfer speed is low, which could be considered a disadvantage.

Equipment for low temp cooking: immersion circulators

Generally speaking, immersion circulators are the preferred choice to apply this technique for 2 main reasons:

  1. Water heat exchange rates are superior to those of air (ovens).
  2. The water temperature control is relatively simple with this type of equipment.

How do immersion circulators work?

After many testing in our lab, it is very clear there is a common pattern when retherming products in a water tank using immersion circulators. In order to introduce this pattern and the different phases we can find on it; we’ll use real data gathered during one of those real-life testing.

In the following graph we see that the target temperature for the probe was 160F, while the water temperature was set to 165F. It took 50 minutes to hit the target temperature.

This specific graph was obtained while retherming chicken breast in a Sammic  XL+120P immersion circulator. It was a batch of 30 individually packaged chicken breast, all of them put in bulk-mode in the same basket. That is, there was not any positioning of the bags to improve the water flow. The probe was measuring the internal temperature of one of the bags in the middle of the basket (worst case scenario).

NOTE: all values are taken from that testing and therefore cannot be applied or make extensive to other proteins or cooking conditions. However, as we said earlier, the patterns that we see, indeed, are found in any immersion+low-temp cooking cycle.

Now, let’s have a deeper look to this graph. First thing to notice, is that the heating is not a linear process. It took 13 minutes to increase the temperature from 53F to 107F, but then, another 33 minutes were needed to go from 107F to 160F. So, is fast at the beginning and it slows down at the end.

If we calculate the heating speed measured as Temperature increase per minute throughout the cycle, we get the following graph:

(As we are using a core probe, there is a lag until energy starts to arrive to the core). In less than 5 minutes, we hit the maximum heating speed that is around 5/6 F per minute in this cycle. This speed is kept for some minutes but quickly starts to slow down. At the end, the speed is very slow (0.2/0.4 F per minute).

To better understand the reason why this happens, we’ll use the next graph where we have calculated the heating speed as compared to the gap between the water temperature and the target temperature for the probe. As you can see below, there is a similar lag for heating speed to increase at the beginning of the cycle. But then, we can see that the speed remains high while the gap is high and starts to decrease when the gap drops below 60F. Interestingly, the decrease is linear with the temperature gap.

What can we learn from this pattern?

  • As the heating speed is not linear, it’s not that if we increase the gap to bridge by 10% we are increasing the time by 10%. So, in our testing, if we had to heat to 150 instead of 160, it would take roughly two minutes less, given we adjust the water temperature to 155F (+5 over the core temp target).
  • At the same time, if we increase the water temperature to have a bigger gap between the core temperature target and the water, this will expedite the whole process. This is what makes DeltaT so popular when cooking low temp. Indeed, setting the water temp to the same value we want to achieve for the core temperature would make the cycle to take extremely long. Needless to say, if there is not a proper time control and we set a very high deltaT, there is a risk to overcook the protein.
  • The actual nature of low temperature cooking/retherming is helping us to have safe cooking processes. Let’s see why.

Following the Time-Temperature Combination for different proteins that the FSIS has made available to all of us in FSIS Cooking Guideline for Meat and Poultry Products (Revised Appendix A) (usda.gov), we know that there are multiple combinations of Time and Temperature that can achieve a proper pasteurization of the protein.

We have included the table below for the chicken protein. We can learn from there that to pasteurize at 160F it takes 17 seg.

If multiple bags are put in a water tank at the same time all of them will have a similar behavior, but not necessarily exactly the same. Small differences may happen depending on the actual size/thickness of each portion and the location of the bag. If we have a higher water flow surrounding some bags, we will expedite the heating process of those.

Going back to what we learned in our experiment, we saw that the bigger the gap the faster the process. This means that those bags that for whatever reason are faster at the beginning, will slow down first while the rest will keep heating at a higher pace. And will not slow down until their gap is small.

Picking the value for 150F(10F less than our target) from the FSIS table, we see that to achieve pasteurization we need to keep that temperature for 4.2 minutes. The core probe hit 150 after 33 minutes, that is 17 minutes before the cycle ended. It would have been enough to keep it there or above for 4.2min, but we kept it another 17min. This means that we don’t need to have an ultra-precise water flow or portioning to achieve pasteurization among all the bags of a batch as the real nature of the low-temp cooking/retherming process will help us.

What is deltaT in sous vide cooking?

DeltaT refers to the gap between the water temperature and the target temperature for the probe. This should not be too big for two reasons. One mentioned before has to do with getting the right tenderness. Second, it may expedite the process to such extent that small variances regarding the portioning or the exact location of the core probe cannot be overriden.

Finally, we have calculated when we achieved different combinations from the FSIS table for chicken. You’ll find the data below.

Probe Temp (F)Time since Cycle started (min)Hold time to pasteurizeTime to Pasteurization (min)
14528,7013,041,70
14629,3810,639,98
14730,238,638,83
14831,226,838,02
14931,985,437,38
15033,054,237,25
15133,973,137,07
15235,232,337,53
15336,201,637,80
* Cooking cycle ended after 50,05 minutes  

For the FSIS, the protein was pasteurized after 37 minutes. It reached at 151F in 33.97 minutes and was kept there for 3.1 min. But the cycle did not finish till 13 minutes later. More than enough to absorb any small variation regarding positioning or thickness of the portion.

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3 Tips to Implement a HACCP Plan in Your Kitchen

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP is a management system that aims to prevent hazards responsible for causing food-borne illnesses. This system is implemented in commercial kitchens globally, which means that anyone managing a venture in the restaurant industry must familiarize themselves with it.

You can follow the tips described below to implement a HACCP plan to improve food safety in your kitchen.

1. Conduct a Preliminary Hazard Analysis

The first step in creating an effective HACCP plan is to understand what hazards are present in your kitchen. Consider performing an environmental hazard analysis that identifies potential safety concerns related to food. This includes physical, chemical, and biological hazards.

2. Implement Critical Control Points

Critical control points (CCP) are applied to various steps in the food preparation process to control and manage risks. These control points should be developed and documented carefully before being implemented in specific parts of your kitchen.

For example, applying a “prepare by” label sticker to a sealed sous vide bag containing ingredients is a common CCP task implemented in commercial kitchens. Once these CCPs have been set up, you should train your staff to monitor them carefully.

3. Set Corrective Actions

Corrective actions must be implemented when any CCPs are breached. Such actions should ensure no harm comes due to the breach. For example, kitchen staff members should remove food from a retherming system and dispose of it if they discover it was improperly stored.

All corrective actions should be described clearly and should also be simple enough for anyone to follow. This will ensure the person who spots the CCP breach can effectively correct the issue and minimize harm.

How Janby Track Can help With HACCP

Janby Track can help make the HACCP implementation and monitoring processes easier by providing kitchen staff with key CCP information quickly. The system also compiles comprehensive reports that log food preparation activities related to sous vide. Please visit our website to learn more about Janby Track and how it can help you.

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What is the HACCP control?

What is the HACCP control?

The HACCP system refers to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points of the different processes in the food industry. It is characterized by its preventive approach to food-related hazards rather than a reactive approach.

Ultimately, the HACCP system makes it possible to identify hazards and take measures to control them in order to ensure food safety.

Origin of HACCP control

The origin of HACCP controls comes from the aeronautical industry, when during the first space programs it was established as a microbiological safety control. Previously, all quality control systems were based on the analysis of the final product, with a clearly reactive focus on possible problems.

It was not until the mid 80’s those different institutions such as WHO, ICMSF, NAS, NACMCF promoted its application in the food industry.

The 7 principles of HACCP control

HACCP control is based on 7 fundamental principles:

PRINCIPLE 1: Conduct a hazard analysis.

PRINCIPLE 2: Determine the critical control points (CCP).

PRINCIPLE 3: Establish a critical limit(s).

PRINCIPLE 4: Establish a monitoring system to control the critical control points.

PRINCIPLE 5: Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control.

PRINCIPLE 6: Establish testing procedures to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.

PTINCIPLE 7: Establish a system of documentation of all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application.

How to develop a HACCP plan?

To develop a HACCP plan, 12 tasks must be differentiated based on the 7 principles previously mentioned.

Step 1: Establish a HACCP team

The first activity will be to establish the scope of the study to be carried out, which will allow the team to be set up as closely as possible to the needs. This team should be composed of people from different disciplines within the organization to better identify all the critical control points.

  • On the one hand, a manager or team leader should be established to convene the group and direct its activities to ensure the correct implementation of the concept.
  • There must also be a specialist in the product to be analyzed and the processes it follows. This will be the person in charge of designing the product flow diagrams.
  • Several specialists who are familiar with certain hazards and risks related to quality controls.
  • There will be a technical operator in charge of compiling the progress and conclusions throughout the different steps taken to draw up the plan.
  • Additionally, the people involved in the different processes being analyzed can be incorporated at different points in the process.

Step 2: Describe the product to be analyzed

First it is important to identify and delimit the product to be analyzed. There is a specific form to carry out this task. Information about the safety of the product, packaging method, storage, transport, shelf life and recommended storage temperatures should be included. All this information should be included on the product label.

Step 3: Determine intended use of the product

The intended use of a product will directly influence the risks to which it will be exposed.  On the one hand, it will be necessary to identify whether the product will be subjected to any processing or cooking prior to consumption, as well as the characteristics of the end consumer and whether he/she is in a position of vulnerability. Finally, the possibility of improper use of the product must be identified.

Step 4: Preparing the product flow diagram

This phase should be led by the product specialist, usually a quality control manager or process engineer. This diagram will be specific to each plant and will have annotations for each different plant.

Step 5: Confirmation of the diagram on site

Once the Product Flow Diagram has been identified and designed, the other members of the team should go to the production site and check the different sections phase by phase.

Step 6: Hazard identification and analysis

  • Hazard identification: In this step, all hazards, whether actual or potential, that may occur in the ingredients or stages of the product system are identified.

Generally, food safety hazards are classified into the following 3 types:

1.  Biological: usually foodborne pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli.

2.  Chemical: these can be of natural origin, produced by microorganisms or chemical substances added by humans such as fungicides or insecticides.

3. Physical: those contaminating elements such as insects, stones or metallic fragments.

  • Hazard analysis

The probability of a hazard occurring is called risk. Each probability or risk is assigned a value according to the degree of certainty as to whether it will occur. Once the probability has been established, an analysis is made of how much risk this hazard poses to people or animals. Those hazards that are finally determined as inadmissible will be transferred to the Critical Control Points.

Finally, once the hazards have been identified, control measures must be worked out. These control measures will be oriented to reduce the risks.

Step 7: Establish Critical Control Points (CCP)

In this step, the hazards previously identified in step 6 are analyzed to determine whether control measures are in place and whether they can adequately control the hazard.

If it is established that there are no adequate control measures, production of the food will be suspended until these are defined and implemented.

Step 8: Establish critical limits for each CCP

Critical limits can respond to different measurement criteria, such as temperature, moisture content, exposure time, pH, water activity or appearance. These measurement criteria should have established allowable levels or limits.

Step 9: Establish a surveillance procedure

By surveillance we mean the monitoring of critical control limits to ensure compliance. This surveillance should be rapid and should enable prompt corrective action to be taken.

The most common surveillance procedures refer to time, temperature and moisture content.

Step 10: Establish corrective actions

Corrective measures should be established for the most unfavorable cases. These corrective actions should be established considering the end use of the product, hazards, risks and their severity.

Step 11: Verify HACCP plan

Once the plan has been established, it is necessary to verify and validate that all hazards, limits, and corrective measures have been correctly established.

This can be done in several ways:

  1. To order an external audit
  2. Analyze samples of the product with methods other than those established.
  3. Periodic observations of Critical Control Point operations.

Step 12: Record keeping

Finally, we have the task of record keeping. This is a very important point since it allows to follow up the processes followed by the product, leaving a record of compliance with the critical limits.

How to carry out controls in the JANBY Track?

The Janby Track is a system that digitalizes and automates the cooking process as well as the Sous Vide regeneration process. In addition, it has a wide range of options and configurations that allow the user to set alarms and alerts that meet the control needs of each organization.

Label generation and the option of discarding batches

On the one hand, responding to principle 1 of HACCP control and to task 2 of describing the product, you have the option of generating product labels with all the necessary information using the Janby Cloud, as well as discarding batches that do not comply with regulations with a single click.

Activity logs in the Cloud

In relation to the last step of the HACCP plan on record keeping, all movements and actions that occur throughout the service are automatically recorded, as well as the time at which it was cooked, for how long, at what temperature the water was and the temperature of the probe in case it was used.

Additionally, with the option of connecting the Janby Track to the order system, we would have information of who has been the final customer of that product.

Active controls during processing

In relation to task 9 of establishing monitoring tasks for critical control points, active controls are additional parameters that can be established for each product or recipe in case they require further monitoring.

Additional controls can be set for water temperatures, probe temperatures, intermediate warnings during processing or pasteurization of a product.

Process controls during processing

Similarly, process controls refer to controls that are set to limit or enable actions when using the system. These may refer to product reuse, durations of warnings or permissions when extracting a product from water.

In short, HACCP is a preventive plan that aims to ensure the safety of food that is made available for human consumption. And in the case of low-temperature sous-vide cooking, Janby has developed a system that makes it possible to apply the different criteria for greater control.

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Business case: Lincoln 32

Lincoln 32 is a new restaurant located in the Sant Gervasi area in Barcelona.

Loctaed at both sides of the Augusta Hotel, its Chef, Alberto Rodríguez, offers an avant-garde mediterranean cuisine where proximity product is key.

The offer of the menu is very varied and of a high quality. Most of it is cooked following the Sous-Vide and low temperature and can be ordered either as a full ration or half ration.

In addition to using the Sammic SmartVides for cooking and retherming, they have implemented the JANBY Track system and have given a step forward in the digitalization of their cooking processes.

With an UNLIMITED license, they are able to create individual identifying labels per portion and to trace the whole elaboration process ensuirng the maximun quality in every service.

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How to control food traceability

What is food traceability?

European regulations define the term traceability as “the ability to find and trace through all production stages, processing and distribution food, feed, food-producing animal or substance intended to be incorporated into food or feed and likely to be incorporated into food or feed”.

What is the purpose of food traceability?

The purpose of product traceability is to be able to trace any food product or raw material within the supply chain and minimize health risks. This is achieved by identifying the batch number, allowing it to be discarded if it poses a safety risk for consumption.

In addition, since 2005, food traceability has been mandatory for companies in the food sector within the European Union.

What are the requirements for food traceability?

The European Union specifies the following 8 traceability requirements (in article 3 of the report published in 2011).

  1. An accurate description of the food.
  2. The volume or quantity of the food.
  3. The name and address of the food business operator from which the food has been dispatched.
  4. The name and address of the distributor if it is not the same as that of the food business operator since the food was dispatched.
  5. The name and address of the food business operator to which the food is dispatched.
  6. The name and address of the consignee (owner) if different from that of the food business operator to which the food is dispatched.
  7. A reference identifying the batch.
  8. Date of dispatch.

What types of traceability should we control?

There are 3 types of traceability that we must control:

Forward traceability

In this phase, all products ready to be shipped are controlled, as well as their recipients.

Process traceability

This traceability refers to the different processes or treatments that the food has undergone between arriving at the company and being shipped.

Backward traceability

This traceability refers to the producer, but in this case of raw materials.

Who is responsible for ensuring food traceability?

The actors involved in the supply chain

The actors involved along the supply chain are responsible for ensuring food safety.

The different states of the European Union

They must put in place different systems of official controls and carry out inspections to ensure food safety throughout the different stages of production, processing, and distribution.

In this area we find for example the HACCP control (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). This is a tool for assessing hazards and establishing control systems that focuses on prevention rather than relying primarily on end-product testing.

The European Union

The European Union regulates quality and safety standards, as well as coordinating actions between the authorities of the Member States where appropriate. It can also impose limits on imports and exports.

It is also who approves the legislation on food traceability that Member States must comply with.

How to make a traceability plan in 5 steps?

Lets get into the 5 steps to establish a traceability plan:

Define product grouping criteria

When establishing a traceability plan, it is important to specify the criteria to be followed to group foods or products. Generally, they are grouped in batches, so that the different groupings of food are labeled with a batch number.

The size of the batch grouping varies according to the criteria previously established in the traceability plan. The more precise the grouping in terms of date, time and machinery used, the smaller the amount of product to be recalled if a health risk is identified.

Create a system of records and documentation

Once the criteria to be followed have been established, it is necessary to implement a system that allows all the data to be collected and recorded in an orderly and automatic manner. For this purpose, batches are usually labeled with barcodes or RFID technology.

The most used codes in the food industry are EAN 13 and EAN 128.

Use of the identification system

All agents in the chain must have an identification system in the three stages of traceability mentioned above, including the batch number on labels, delivery notes and invoices.

Incident control and management

The main objective of this traceability plan is to be able to identify and withdraw all those batches that pose a risk to consumer health; therefore, it must include an action protocol that allows to do it in the most agile, efficient, and safe way.

Test the traceability plan

Finally, the plan must be checked to ensure that it works. This should be done by external people or agents through a system of review and monitoring of all activities.

How to control food traceability with the JANBY Track?

The QR labels of our Janby system in addition to auto configure the cooking equipment for the correct cooking of the products have the following information:

  • Batch identifier
  • Unique bag identifier
  • Organization identifier
  • Discard date
  • Packaging date
  • Information about the manufacturing process
  • Allergen information
  • Information about recommended diets

All this information can be visible on the label or by scanning the QR code we could make visible all the relevant information for the different sanitary audits.

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Alternatives for restaurants with small kitchens and without smoke vent

You have found the perfect place, at a reasonable cost in an unbeatable location, however, the kitchen is not very big, and it does not have a smoke vent, with the challenges that this entails, such as.

  • The limitation of space for a certain number of workers
  • The little storage space that increases replacement needs thus increasing product costs
  • The limitation of the culinary offer

What do we call a small kitchen?

Although each professional kitchen can vary in size, most tend to be between 46 and 186 square meters, so everything smaller than 46 square meters is considered a small kitchen.

This can respond to different models of restoration, such as: food tracks, dark kitchens, bakeries or Take Away stores just to name a few.

What is the smoke vent?

The smoke vent is a conduit that is responsible for transporting the fumes and vapors that are generated in a kitchen, or even from boilers or heaters to the outside of the building or corresponding premises.

Its installation, in addition to implying a great technical difficulty, and being very costly economically speaking, requires the express and unanimous authorization of the community of owners to enable it.

Alternatives

An alternative is to serve cold meals or those that do not require any type of cooking, such as: salads, ice creams, smoothies, or sandwiches. But if you want to offer a selection of hot dishes, the Sous-Vide technique can be a very successful solution.

Sous-vide is a culinary technique that, through vacuum packaging, cooks and maintains the integrity of food by cooking it at relatively low temperatures. Thanks to this technique, the nutrients and organoleptic values ​​of the product are preserved, and its shelf life is extended. A technique initially used for haute cuisine that is now a standard in kitchens of all kinds.

In addition, sous-vide results in a very productive working system since vacuum packaging combined with individual portioning favors both longer expiration periods and assembly cooking.

Thus, we can say that it is a system that improves performance, productivity and versatility in restaurant kitchens, hotels, catering, and catering groups since:

• It favors the kitchen assembly free of waste.

• It is easy, profitable, and productive.

• Controlled inventory and stock.

• Enables the preparations of a high-quality dish in a matter of minutes.

• Portions without waste ready to work.

• Reduces cross contamination.

• Ensures quality replicability.

The production of this type of product can be done in several ways:

1. Own central kitchen: The Sous-Vide technique makes it possible to produce large quantities of food in a traditional way, to pack them and store them for later regeneration. This makes it possible, on the one hand, to adapt kitchen hours to ones that are more like office hours and reduce the workload at the service moment.

2. Vacuum-packed 5th-range supplier: More and more restaurants are turning to specialized 5th-range food manufacturers to expand their menus in a more efficient way. These products only require a controlled retherming to exploit their potential, thus leaving room to focus on the service and the final touch of the dishes.

There is equipment from various manufacturers that allow controlled retherming to be carried out, but only Sammic’s SmartVide offers the possibility of connecting to the JANBY Track, to digitize and automate the entire Sous-Vide process.

Here we see two very simple equipment configurations:

What the integration of the JANBY Track contributes to this method is that it manages to control, standardize, and optimize the culinary process efficiently by measuring the cooking time and temperature for each preparation. In addition, it automates the cooking or regeneration process through the language incorporated in the QR code, resulting in the need not only for fewer personnel but also for a less qualified one.

In addition, all processes are automatically registered in the JANBY Cloud, which allows monitoring of all events and incidents in one or more kitchens remotely and centrally.

With this combination of the Sous-Vide technique and process digitalization, a new horizon opens allowing restoration concepts to be created in previously unimaginable places and with much less resources. All of this is achieved, maximizing productivity and operations in a sector that is slowly but unstoppably adapting to the new digital environment.

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The digitalization of the Sous-Vide process

What is the Sous-Vide technique?

Sous-vide is a culinary technique that maintains the integrity of food by heating it for long periods of time at relatively low temperatures.

The Sous-Vide process

The Sous-Vide process consists of placing raw or pre-cooked food in a watertight and heat-resistant container, extracting the air from inside, sealing it hermetically and subjecting it to the action of heat at a constant temperature and for the necessary time. The containers used for this technique are generally made of complex plastics that provide resistance to high temperatures, low oxygen permeability and protection against manipulation. This process enables assembly cooking as it keeps cooked dishes in stock for long periods of time.

Vacuum packaging

Vacuum packaging is a natural food preservation technique that consists of extracting the air from the enclosure, eliminating oxygen, the main factor in food spoilage.

The main qualities of sous vide cooking are that by heat treating the food in an airtight and airless enclosure, nutrients and aromas are retained to the maximum, the oxidation of the ingredients is avoided and weight loss and desiccation due to evaporation are reduced.

Vacuum cooking

Cooking is carried out in a humid environment at moderate temperatures ranging between 65ºC and 95ºC depending on the type of product and takes place for generally longer times than those used in traditional cooking.

Rapid blast chilling or deep freezing

Deep freezing makes it possible to reach a temperature of -18ºC in the core of the product in less than 4 hours for its subsequent storage under optimal conditions of conservation. The rapid lowering of the temperature allows the maintenance of a large part of the moisture contained in the food and prevents the formation of macro-crystals, so that the organoleptic properties of the food are preserved.

Retherming

Finally, this product is rethermed before serving. In this phase of the process, we use the sous vide cooker again to retherm the product before the final touch and serving. It is very important that the retherming temperature does not exceed the initial sous vide cooking temperature at the heart of the product.

Benefits of the Sous-vide method

This technique brings numerous benefits:

  • It maximizes the organoleptic properties of the product, since cooking is carried out in hermetically sealed containers, thus preserving flavors, textures, aromas, and color.
  • Healthy: since it allows to preserve all the nutrients and requires less additives.
  • It favors food safety as it avoids cross contamination.
  • Improves shelf life of products thanks to its rapid cooling and preservation process, minimizing food waste.
  • It allows more planning and advance preparation, consequence of the assembly kitchen.
  • It favors consistent results which are acquired by standardizing parameters such as time and temperature.

The digitalization of the Sous-vide process

The emergence of the foodtech industry and the kitchen digitalization have also made their way on the Sous-Vide process.

In this context, the JANBY Track is born, a system that digitizes and automates the sous-vide cooking and retherming process, providing greater standardization of both the product and the process, as well as greater control.

Elements of the JANBY Track

The system is made up of the following elements:

Tablet Janby Box: a specific tablet that contains the software and a series of connectivity.

JANBY Tag: these are labels used to identify the different bags that share the same water tank.

Smart label: it is a label that carries information about the printing date, expiration date, batch, ingredients and, most importantly, the product’s elaboration process that, as we have seen previously, follows two parameters (time and temperature).

JANBY Cloud: is the platform where all the information about the different equipment, products, recipes, kitchen processes and different establishments of the same organization is centralized.

Sous-Vide equipment: currently the system it is only capable of communicating with SAMMIC’s SmartVide cookers.

The JANBY Track step by step

The-JANBY-Track-process

Benefits of the JANBY Track system

The JANBY Track system answers the main concerns when several individual servings are cooking in the same water tank:

– Which bag was introduced first?

– How do you control the different cooking times for each of the portions?

– How do you identify portions for customers with special dietary needs?

– How do you keep a history of those you have cooked?

In addition, it provides us with an exhaustive traceability of temperature and time data, compatible with HACCP control.

Traceability: the system maintains the history of what is cooked, portion by portion, allowing subsequent monitoring of the cycles carried out. Individualized monitoring allows to quickly identify and track special customer needs, such as allergens, salt-free diets, etc. Plus, through smart labels and the integration to different POS systems, it is possible to obtain a complete traceability of the food chain.

HACCP control: JANBY Track generates very precise reports of cooking times and temperatures, portion by portion, allowing a complete and precise traceability from different devices at all times.

JANBY Cloud: the cloud environment centralizes all the data of each organization and equipment providing unprecedented control over the operations that take place in the kitchen.

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Business case: Bidfood NL and Kitchen Create

Bidfood Netherlands

BIdfoodnl is one of the leading hospitality distribution companies in the Netherlands. They offer a wide product portfolio and almost immediate delivery times that make them strong players in the foodservice field. They differentiate themselves from the competitors by offering additional services to their clients in terms of consultancies, trainings, and demos, which are perceived by the client as high added value services.

The SmartVide food range and Jordy´s Keuken

The difficulty for finding Chefs in the Netherlands, stressed by the COVID situation, has accelerated the development of technological solutions, as well as the offer of quality mise-en-place food that is easy to cook.

Within their catalog of Jordy’s keuken they offer all the necessary elements to make a dish, as well as a SV range. The SV range consists of vacuum-packed products designed to be regenerated by immersion which now also carry Janby’s QR labels. The labels have embedded all the information about the product and, most importantly, its retherming or cooking process. This range of products can be regenerated using the Sammic SmartVides together with the Janby Track for a completely unattended and automated regeneration process, significantly reducing the needs of a qualified Chef in the kitchen.

How can I get the Janby Track license in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands we work with our partner Kitchen Create. Kitchen Create is a company specialized in custom made professional kitchen solutions for the hospitality industry. In addition to selling Sammic SmartVides, is also a Janby partner and point of contact in the Netherlands.

Restaurants already using the system in the netherlands

After the launch of the system at the Gastvrij Rotterdam show in September 2021, Kitchen Create has installed the system at 3 facilities so far:

Gastrobar Hartig

Tramhuys  

Brasserie Barclay

This is a clear example of how food manufacturers can benefit from the system not only through the traceability of their products, but also by offering an added value to the customer with a system that ensures product quality while reducing the need of chefs.

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Business case: Foodit Ibiza

What is Foodit Ibiza? 

Foodit Catering Ibiza was corn from a passion for food, which they believe to be an expression of their culture and life. Good cuisine, whether it is Mediterranean, Asian or Vegetarian, makes each of their events unique.

To achieve so, they count on a team of chefs that hold the internationally recognized STCW95 certificate. Also, after years in the business, they have a great notoriety and a wide net of partners that strengthens them as a leading catering company.

What makes them go into the readt to eat food production business?

The COVID-19 crisis has brought new consumption trends that have accelerated the business innovations and the urge to diversify.

Foodit is no exception to it, as they have seen in the lack of events and shortage of qualified chefs a unique opportunity to diversify and launch their ready to eat food products for the restaurant industry.

The high rents and the marked seasonality of the island makes it difficult to find qualified chefs who want to stay in the same restaurant for long periods of time.

After identifying this problem, they took advantage of the synergies of their catering business in which it already had chefs and recognition within the island, to offer its products to the different restaurants that face this problem.

What is their value proposition


In addition to a range of hot dishes and gourmet pastries of the highest quality, they offer the JANBY Track system that allows them to encode the regeneration process of the different products to ensure their correct retherming.

In words of the founder, Salvatore Teodoro ¨ An elaboration of the highest quality is useless without the optimum retherming¨, and this is what they are trying to ensure with the JANBY Track.

The client of Foodit only needs a PRO license to scan the QR codes that go into each product and automate the retherming process as they reduce the dependency on the chef.

Moreover, thanks to the discard batch function that the JANBY Cloud offers, contaminated food can be easily discarded form the production centre, as well as keep control of their clients needs.

Clients

Their first client is Es tancó, an italian restaurant located in he area of Sant Rafel.

The COVID crisis and the restrictions that have been applied in the restaurant industry has led them to look into different solutions that require less qualified personnel and that allow them to reduce food waste. To do so, they lean on Foodit and their 5th range products togetehr with the JANBY Track. With the JANBY Track they ensure that the retherming of the products is done preserving the quality as per the origin.

So, in addition to their traditional dishes, we can also find: polenta with vegetables cooked at low temperature, a risotto with grana and truffle, low-temperature pork ribs and low-temperature pork knuckle.

Some of their products 

Below some of the products of their 5th range carte:

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The digitalization of RTE products

Digitalization has come to stay, especially in those historically traditional sectors such as the restaurant industry. The sanitary crisis has undeniably worsened the need of structural changes, in this article we will see how the RTE products, and their digitalization offer huge scale economics and reduce the need of qualified workforce in order to face the needs of the restaurant of the future.

Trends that will shape the restaurant industry

Before getting into the RTE products and how these can become a powerful tool in the restaurant industry, we must understand the trends that are already shaping the traditional business models. The following are trends we saw at the webinar ¨New business opportunities for the restaurant industry¨ organized by  Loop new Business Models.

Regarding the sector, we saw that this is going through an increasing professionalization and concentration.

Moreover, the menu sophistication implies a rise in costs, leading to the search of efficient solutions.

On the other hand, we talked about the implication of the processes, where it is more and more difficult to find qualified people and the risk of depending on them. The search of processes that reduce food waste to a 0%. And the increasing regulatory pressure towards food safety.

Finally, we analyzed the trend in relation to the rise of equipment and devices in the kitchen that are not necessarily focused on the kitchen intelligence, which leads us to the search of solutions that enable the generation of quantifiable and measurable value.

At JANBY we believe that the combination of RTE products and our technology becomes a powerful tool to succeed in the new landscape.

What are RTE or Ready To Eat products?

RTE products are those foods that have been previously elaborated, cooked and vacuum sealed, ready to eat with just a final touch of retherming.

The RTE foods are based in the traditional cooking method, combined with processes such as pasteurization and sterilization to preserve flavor, nutrients, and organoleptic properties with no need of additives or preservatives.

What are the benefits of RTE products in he restaurant industry?

The main benefit is a consequence of the elaboration process and resides in the quality of the food and its simple retherming process, making these types of foods a very powerful tool in a sector that is more and more affected by the structural costs and raw material that are lost.

The RTE products enable the kitchen assembly process. This means that the products that the restaurant offers come from a central kitchen or from a RTE food producer ready to just retherm and serve. This process contributes to several benefits such as:

  • The reduction of qualified workforce.
  • A standardized offer.
  • The reduction of cleaning times.

All of which is achieved preserving the quality and being able to use those resources to improve client service.

The kitchen assembly process is very interesting for those places that are affected by a high seasonality or where the rotation of the workforce is very big. This process significantly reduces the dependency of the chef at the service moment, but it doesn’t take it away. There is a big previous job that the Chef must carry out by investigating and analyzing the different food providers to see which one best meets the needs of his restaurant. Does this mean that all restaurants will have the same offer? Not really.

For instance, the machine manufacturers don’t make each single piece of the machines in-house. Is their engineers’ team who designs the specifications that are required for their final machine and outsource it to specialized companies. Does this mean all manufacturers produce the same machines? Not quite, as each manufacturer produces their machines according to their quality and pricing strategies. RTE products enable to adopt an industrial process in the kitchen with the resulting time and cost savings.

So, a Chef could even design its own recipes and outsource their production to a food manufacturer and receive the individual portions to work on demand with the lowest food waste possible.

What problems do RTE producers face?

RTE food producers are facing an ever-growing competition to offer the best possible product at the best price; however, they lack control on how their final client is retherming the product. This is a big problem as an incorrectly carried out retherming process could ruin the output of a whole elaboration, and consequently trigger the change of food provider.

How does JANBY help tackle this problem?

At JANBY we have developed the JANBY Track, a complete solution for the digitalization and automation of retherming that stores all the information related to a product in a QR label and auto-configures the Sous-vide equipment for the right retherming.

It also records the history of the elaboration of each portion and enables to discard batches with just a click. Automate the retherming process, as the operator only has tos can the label and the JANBY Track takes care of configuring the equipment and of keeping track of the different times.

All the information is registered in the JANBY Cloud, even the live events, which makes it possible to manage several kitchens remotely and simultaneously.