© Elektrolux

Thawing cabi­nets: Thawed to the perfect temper­a­ture

The thawing cabinet from Elec­trolux Profes­sional brings frozen food in a controlled manner to the perfect temper­a­ture for further processing. It is signif­i­cantly faster than alter­na­tive methods, saving energy and space in the kitchen.

In system gastronomy and large cafe­te­rias, consis­tent quality and ready avail­ability play a key role. For this reason, perish­able ingre­di­ents are kept frozen so that they can be freshly prepared at the right time. This sounds simple, but it is a real logis­tical chal­lenge. After all, before kitchen staff can bake, fry, or deep-fry the food, it must first be completely thawed. And that takes more or less time, energy, and space.
Two methods have been widely used so far.

One is walk-in cold rooms, where larger quan­ti­ties can be thawed at a constant temper­a­ture. The rooms take up a lot of space in the kitchen, and the thawing process takes a long time: between one and three days. The other method is a water bath. With this, the food is ready to use after only one or two hours. However, only a small amount will fit in the stain­less steel tubs, and because the frozen food is thawed using constantly flowing water, an enor­mous amount of water is consumed.

Full control during thawing

Elec­trolux Profes­sional there­fore devel­oped a third method for its customers years ago: the thawing cabinet. The unit is no bigger than a refrig­er­ator but can thaw up to 66 kilo­grams of food in around six hours. “The cabinet brings food from nega­tive 20 degrees Celsius to between zero and five degrees, and does so in a fully controlled and moni­tored envi­ron­ment,” explains Alessandra Accordi, product manager at Elec­trolux Profes­sional in Porde­none. “We can thereby ensure that the entire thawing process is effi­cient and reli­able.” This is partic­u­larly impor­tant for sensi­tive prod­ucts such as poultry.

“The vari­able speed of the EC motor gives us more flex­i­bility in thawing cycles.”

Alessandra Accordi, Product Manager Elec­trolux Profes­sional

Greater flex­i­bility thanks to vari­able speed

When it came to the new fan for ­distrib­uting the temper­a­ture-controlled air inside the ­cabinet, Accordi relied on a proven partner: “We had been working with ebm-papst for a very long time, so we approached Fabio Milani.” The key account manager suggested an EC centrifugal blower for the job. The blower is extremely energy-effi­cient, very compact, and already has the matching flange for connec­tion to the appli­ance. But another feature proved to be even more deci­sive. “The vari­able speed of the EC motor gives us more flex­i­bility with the thawing cycles,” enthuses Accordi. Unlike the other two thawing methods, the cabinet doesn’t work with a constant temper­a­ture, but with varying temper­a­tures. And the fan must also adapt to these.

Simple and econom­ical

This now makes things extremely straight­for­ward for users: They select the thawing program based on the type, size, and quan­tity of the frozen food and press “Start.” The food is ready for use after three to six hours.

Since the cabinet can also refrig­erate, even deli­cate foods can be thawed for later use and remain in the cabinet until further processing. “This allows users to better manage their inven­tory and avoid waste,” Accordi says. “So the cabinet offers maximum capacity in the smallest possible space.” Elec­trolux Profes­sional and ebm-papst are also contin­uing to work on devel­oping this solu­tion, eval­u­ating different oppor­tu­ni­ties for various market segments. 

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