UK temperature control specialist Dawsonrentals has devised a new approach to ‘hot product cooling’ prior to blast chilling or freezing, which it says will slash costs for bakers.

According to the company, existing ‘ambient’ technology means producers using ambient blast units to reduce post-bake heat have had to transfer product from this unit into a blast chiller or freezer for final processing, resulting in significant time and labour cost implications. The company’s new Eco Blast system combines both cycles in one module, delivering follow-on holding and defrosting capabilities within the same unit.

Eco Blast uses ambient air filtered through high velocity fans and circulated round the unit, reducing high-end heat in the product to as low as 10°C to 35°C without refrigeration. The module’s blast mode is then activated to reduce to the final temperature required, removing the need to transfer product.

Developed by the Dawsonrentals’ technical team at Sutton in Ashfield, the firm claims that Eco Blast can offer savings of up to £10,000 per year through this new process. It said that during control tests run against one of its Mega Blast units earlier this year, calculations determined potential annual savings in excess of £14k, although the firm pointed out that products may vary. The calculations were based against the average UK temperature of 11°C.

Dawsonrentals temperature control solutions managing director Rod Benham said: “To save customers money, in recent years we supplied standalone, single function ambient blasts. They reduced energy but weren’t the full answer as customers had to double-handle the product: out of the ambient blast and into a blast chiller/freezer. People needed a solution to eliminate this double handling and our Eco Blast does exactly that.”

The Eco Blast takes just 15kW of electrical power per hour to run the fans drawing in and filtering the ambient air, whereas the company’s Mega Blast system uses 60kW.

Benham added: “Assuming a multi-cyelc operation, we calculate eight hours’ cumulative utilisation of Eco Blast’s Fan System will cost £13.28 per day (£92.96 per week). By comparison, running the full Mega Blast system for the same period would cost £53.12 per day (£371.84) per week. On that basis, we believe we can offer producers and processors with hot products coming out of an oven a potential immediate saving of >£278 per week with this new unit.”

Other benefits mean the Eco Blast will automatically switch into ‘hold’ mode, maintaining the selected temperature of a product until it is ready to be transhipped.