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Case History

Impingement Reduces Cook Time by 88 Percent


Increasing demand by customers for a wider product mix can be a tough hurdle to overcome. Townsend Culinary of Laurel, MD, subsidiary of Townsend Poultry and processor of soups, sauces, vegetable sides and cooked poultry products found themselves in this predicament and needed more then the co-packers they had relied on to fulfill demand for its varied product line.


To leapfrog customer demand levels, Townsend decided to change its batch operation to a continuous system. "We looked for a system that was versatile, could fully cook a variety of foods, brown product surfaces and deliver high yields while maintaining quality," said Faye Feldstein, production manager. "One of our biggest concerns was the portion control grilled chicken pieces. They were taking 35 minutes to cook in the rotary batch ovens."

After researching some options they came upon Heat and Control's AirforceŽ impingement oven.


"The AirforceŽ oven test cooked our chicken pot pies in about 3 minutes with improved quality over our rotary system." Grilled Chicken pieces now only take four minutes in the impingement oven, an 88 percent reduction from the rotary method. Also, the impingement oven's footprint is only about 11 ft. long compared to nearly 30 ft. for a convection oven, saving valuable production space.

Impingement technology combines high temperature, humidity and air velocity above and below product flow, optimizing heat transfer. Indirect air heating prevents product discoloration caused by combustion gases. Independently adjustable temperature, humidity and air velocity allow unique air enveloping conditions and fast, even cooking.

Townsend now has the ability to adjust browning and other process conditions to produce a variety of foods with unique appearance, taste and texture qualities. The touch screen control system creates a programmed recipe list of cooking parameters and allows fast, consistent changeovers.

Since installing the impingement oven, Townsend has added a second production shift and no longer depends on co-packers.

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Credit: Food Engineering, April 1999
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