Technology, trends and much more: Host brought the who's who of hospitality to Milan from 22 to 26 October. With more than 1,300 exhibitors, Europe's leading trade fair was the forum that international industry experts had been waiting for. Meiko was there, too, running a fully functional demo kitchen in collaboration with MKN to give visitors a first-hand experience of their high-tech solutions. The experts from Meiko Green even presented new software to help customers intelligently and holistically organise their food waste management.
For five days, Milan was all about food service and hotels. Host is Europe's leading trade fair, offering a platform for knowledge transfer and a foretaste of the industry of the future. Plus, after so many onerous months, the trade fair was symbolic of the light at the end of the tunnel for the industry. As usual, the trade fair was aimed at knowledgeable industry representatives coming to Milan from Europe and the rest of the world.
There was plenty to see at the Meiko stand. The hygiene experts came together with MKN to run a fully functional demo kitchen where there was always someone cooking! Of course, as the market leader in food waste management, Meiko Green's systems were installed. Leftovers and kitchen waste were disposed of in the kitchen and then stored in a tank. This meant that visitors were able to experience how warewashing and foodwaste technology can be designed to work together as a holistic system – and in a real-world setting. The system featured a BioMaster complete with precisely the infeed station that has received the Smart Label Award, the Footprint Award and the FCSI Sustainable Catering Equipment Award. This was seamlessly integrated into the worktop on the M-iClean H hood type dishwashing machine. The WasteStar Flexible Concept vacuum system and the new M-iQ BlueFire flight type dishwashing machine also meshed perfectly with the system. Visitors saw intelligent cycles and systems from across the portfolio of warewashing, pump, vacuum and storage technology – all precisely tailored to the space and quantity of food waste.
Food waste management is one of the most urgent issues to address as commercial kitchens look to the future. After all, the pandemic made clear just how important hygiene is, and that applies to kitchen waste, too. ‘This Host was special to us because of the opportunity for in-person contact, but there was more to it than that,’ explains Hannes Braun, Head of International Sales at Meiko Green, ‘You see, the demand for food waste solutions has exploded since the last Host. Hygiene is now the priority issue all over the world and we showed, live, how to remove wet waste from the kitchen with no hand contact or cross contamination.’
Visitors were also interested in sustainability. Mr Braun remembers, ‘For us, that means understanding waste as a resource and feeding it back into the energy cycle. But we go beyond that. We reduce food waste before it happens and only then do we make the most out of the waste that cannot be avoided. That is what we displayed here.’ He is referring to new software that will be available from the food waste experts in the future and was on display as a preview for this audience of industry specialists.
The software will further professionalise how food waste is handled. It will help to reduce the volume, increasing both profitability and sustainability in food waste management. Mr Braun believes the advantages of this are obvious, ‘Reducing food waste is both a moral imperative and a huge financial benefit to any business. That is why our solution received such incredible feedback from operators and consultants.’ The software analyses all food and waste, assigning categories to draw attention to the origins of the food waste so that kitchens can take a targeted approach when working out ways to reduce this waste. Presence in Milan also provided the opportunity to talk to future operators who were able to form their own impressions, provide thoughts and fine-tune the software processes alongside the experts from Meiko Green. That way, the company can be sure that it will truly meet the industry's needs by the time it is ready to launch in 2022.
The high level of interest is greatly encouraging for Meiko Green, as is the global growth in biogas plants. ‘It reinforces our strategy of developing systems that provide the highest quality organic biomass – the perfect input material for biogas plants. Our customers also benefit from reduced operating costs, fewer waste collections, lower spend on food and reduced CO2 emissions. Host was an ideal opportunity to show our international customers how all of this takes place within a clear design with tailored kitchen processes, as well as how warewashing technology and food waste management fit together – with all of the environmental and financial benefits that that brings,’ reports Hannes Braun.