Catering Insight investigated the best recent case studies for FOG (fats, oils and grease) mitigation equipment, where the appliance’s manufacturers have been working alongside distributors to deliver effective grease management at foodservice sites across the country.
Wagamama, West Midlands Designer Outlet
FOG-fighting technology: FiltaFog Cyclone LL
Distributor: Catering Projects
Grease management specialist Filta Group has worked with distributor Catering Projects to ensure drains are free of FOG at Wagamama’s branch within the West Midlands Designer Outlet in Cannock, Staffordshire.
The outlet heights on the cookline and dishwash lines were particularly low and the task for Filta and Catering Projects was to specify a GRU grease management system that would work without a pump, keeping the ongoing maintenance low.
Lee Shelton, head of sales for Filta Group, detailed: “This was a particularly challenging project due to the lack of space to position the equipment. Connection heights were as low as 80mm on the outlet, which is well below the usual standard. The new FiltaFog Cyclone LL allows a connection of 126mm inlet and 65mm outlet, operating on a gravity feed – and was installed at Wagamama without the assistance of other trades.
“Picking up from low level such as combi ovens is difficult. Filta and Catering Projects specified a future-proof solution which allows the connection of grease management to exceptionally low outlet height equipment, including stacked combi steamers and wok cookers. More than that, the simplicity of this solution reduces the complexity and keeps the cost low for the client.”
The FiltaFog Cyclone LL is part of a range of Grease Recovery Units (GRUs) designed to deliver FOG retention whilst using less energy than traditional GRUs and ensure a better kitchen environment. FiltaFog Cyclone and the low-height FiltaFog Cyclone LL offer two-stage FOG separation and recovery to reclaim approximately 2,000 litres of quality oil every year, worth £400, with less than 25 parts per million FOG at outlet.
The units can cost as little as three pence a day to run, which could save a typical kitchen thousands of pounds over the lifetime of the unit. Suitable for drainage systems, dishwashers/pot wash areas, rotisserie ovens and combi ovens, FiltaFog Cyclone models could also save over £400 on power costs when compared with other units.
Shelton believes: “This solution offers a reduced footprint with the capability of handling up to 1 litre/second flow rate, which gives the client the ability to be more flexible with connected equipment. The great things about the Cyclone is not only is it 100% stainless there are no motors or drums so the unit is built to last and won’t cause a dealer problems.
“Importantly from a dealer perspective, this highlights how effective the product can be logistically too – a win-win solution for all parties.”
Large hotel project
FOG-fighting technology: Mechline GreasePak, BioCeptor, BioBrick and Food Waste Strainers
Distributor: CNG Foodservice Equipment
Mechline and CNG Foodservice Equipment recently teamed up at a large hotel to install FOG equipment in the site’s redeveloped function facility – which has capacity to serve 600 people.
CNG assessed the new site, looking at the kitchen design, proposed equipment, planned working procedures, staff training, and other factors, to fully understand the potential for it to generate FOG discharge, and in what quantities.
Mechline then reviewed the plans, highlighted potential FOG producing hotspots, and worked together with CNG to design the best, most effective, and practical solution to minimise the risk of FOG entering the drainage system. The recommendation was a mixed technology approach, with GreasePak, BioCeptor, BioBrick and Food Waste Strainers specified for different areas within the kitchen.
Mechline national accounts manager Ian White explained: “In the hotel’s kitchen design, there were 40-grid combi ovens that discharged directly into a floor gulley. The distance to the drain was therefore very low, which meant there was no room for a traditional grease trap. In most cases, the use of a FOG entrapment system here would struggle anyway, as discharge from the ovens is at high temperature, and therefore included FOG is in an emulsified state. This is why Mechline and CNG proposed GreasePak and BioBrick for use in this hot food area.”
GreasePak is a biological dosing system that employs powerful bio-fluid to break down FOG into irreversible compounds that cannot reform down the line. A GreasePak unit was fitted downstream of the hotel’s ovens and set, as standard, to dose when the kitchen has closed, to avoid localised high temperature discharge from the combis.
While BioBrick is a controlled release system containing a blend of non-toxic natural microbes which digest oils, fats, grease and other organic matter in wet wells, grease traps, floor gulleys and other low oxygen situations. BioBrick is able to work under a range of conditions, including high temperatures – and is said to provide long-lasting protection. A BioBrick was placed into the gulley, with an ongoing plan to replace every 1-3 months.
With the project completing during lockdown in January this year, White emphasised: “The hotel redevelopment project really highlights the strength of using a mixed technology approach to grease management. Every kitchen operation is unique and only with a full appraisal and consideration of a range of solutions can a sites full requirements be met – and FOG successfully managed.
“Both Mechline and CNG often speak with end users who have been told that they must install a grease trap, which may not be the most effective solution for their site, or even possible due to design constraints. A multi-technology approach is often the best approach – as recommended in the British Water Code of Practice – and the hotel project is a great example of this.”
Multi-outlet scheme, Knightsbridge
FOG-fighting technology: EPAS GreaseShield
Distributor: Multiple dealers and consultants
Environmental Products and Services (EPAS) is currently working on an ongoing project in Knightsbridge, London, at a site with multi foodservice outlets within one building. Partnering with multiple dealers and consultants, the grease trap manufacturer reports that since the installation of multi GreaseShields onsite, the customer has witnessed and reported a substantial reduction in recurring blockages caused by FOG.
EPAS director of sales Gareth O’Neill revealed: “All new projects within the customer’s site include the EPAS technical team, working in partnership with the design team, dealers and distributors to ensure that the customer continues to benefit from the effective grease management drainage protection.
“The GreaseShield has continued to provide an effective grease management solution, removing daily large quantities of fats oils and especially emulsified animal fat, protecting the customer’s drain lines. Previously the customer experienced regular FOG blockages and now they have zero.”
He underlined: “The EPAS technical team support our dealers and distributors with project design and specification of grease management, and work with other building design partners to ensure a smooth transition from design to installation. Any project challenges of space availability should be eliminated at the design stage.”
EPAS offers its distributors free support including the identification of fats, oils and grease contamination points within commercial kitchens, sizing and selection to ensure correctly specified grease management equipment with spare flow capacity, and project design specification and location of grease management equipment to include the CAD and Revit blocks with service requirements.
Furthermore, the supplier provides free site surveys for retrofit requirements; installation, service and maintenance of the GreaseShield range; advice on geographical grease management requirements within local water companies, which varies throughout the UK, as well as on landlord requirements and completion of FOG management reports; plus ensures compliance with the local legalisation to protect the end user from prosecution.
Premier pumping provision
As catering outlets re-open, this could be a good time to service their wastewater pumping systems.
When gravity drainage from kitchens or catering areas is not available, a wastewater pumping system is required. This is the situation at the Premier League offices in Central London, where the staff canteen utilises two such systems.
The sinks and dishwashers are connected to DrainMinor and DrainMajor automatic pumping systems, manufactured and supplied by independent wastewater pumping expert, Pump Technology.
As with any wastewater pumping system, particularly those in a busy commercial kitchen, it is recommended that the equipment is regularly inspected and any debris removed before it can build up and eventually clog or even break the pump. In this case a relatively simple task since the tanks for these units are constructed from polyethylene, with a sturdy encapsulated seal. The lid is held in place by four thumb screws; therefore, no tools are required for a simple inspection.
Like many catering sites, the Premier League offices have contracted Pump Technology Services, the national service division of the company, for their dedicated maintenance, repair and after-care services. Robert Homes, general manager of this division said: “We normally suggest either six-monthly or yearly services to our catering clients depending on the kitchen usage and food types.
“Grease and fats in particular can build up very fast and result in the pump becoming much less effective. This can manifest itself in more stop/starts, a less accurate on/off position of the float arm and eventually clogging of the pump. All of these situations adversely affect its life and reliable operation.”
During the service, the vent filter on the DrainMinor was renewed. In this installation the DrainMajor was vented directly to external air, but had it been vented internally, its Microvent active carbon filter would also have been replaced. The compact onsite DrainMinor, which is not protected by an upstream grease trap, was in need of much more attention than the DrainMajor with its larger capacity tank and protective grease trap.
Homes added: “With the correct inspection and appropriate maintenance, the pumping system will provide years of trouble-free operation, which is why these units are the choice of many leading fast food and coffee chains.”