JBT Stein M-Fryer is the pioneer of “direct” heated immersion fryers where oil is heated directly in the fryer tank for superior temperature control and minimum oil volumes. Engineered to meet the needs of convenience food processors, the M-Fryer has predominantly been used for chicken based snack foods, but increasingly it is finding favor with the vegetarian and meat-replacement industry.
The M-Fryer, which uses as its basis proven THERMoFIN® technology, delivers maximum output and operating economy with great product and process flexibility, providing benefits including superior product quality, cost effective frying, flexibility, food safety, and operating safety.
One of the key features of the system is that it achieves heat exchange using plates rather than tubes, meaning far less debris build up and a considerable improvement on oil life, explains JBT’s Manager for Coating and Cooking Applications, Bart Kivits.
“The M-Fryer is more gentle on the oil and doesn’t break it down so fast because the plates have a large contact area,” he says. “Also the low volume of oil inside the tank has a benefit for the processor because they don’t need to put so much inside. The oil inside the fryer is more stationary: it doesn’t have to be pumped around, which helps keep the oil cleaner and helps the oil life.”
Another key element of the M-Fryer design is that the system is 1.5 m shorter than any other fryer currently available in the industry, meaning can still achieve good capacity even if there is limited room, while still maintaining production capacity.
Although the M-Fryer has typically been used by snack and poultry processors for nuggets and other fast-dining options, the solution is increasingly being used to cook vegetarian products in response to the growing visibility and importance of non-meat foods.
“Clearly the demand for vegetarian and meat-replacement products is growing, and these processors are looking for fryers to meet their requirements,” says Kivits. “The biggest growth at the moment in snack foods is in vegetarian products. The industry is growing so fast that all the big, global players are now involved to some extent, so it is being viewed as an area of opportunity.”