Coffee shop operators are only too aware that washing plastic drinkware can be a pain – but Winterhalter is bidding to come to their aid with a new machine that is set to be commercially available in the first quarter of next year.
The company’s Germany HQ has been demonstrating a version of the specially calibrated UC undercounter machine at HOST this week following months of research.
With the food-to-sector pushing hard down the reuse and recycle route, Winterhalter expects operators to see an increase in the number of plastic items they will need to keep clean in future.
By coming up with a special chemical solution and altering the parameters of the wash pressure, Winterhalter has demonstrated how plastic cups can be hygienically washed without moving around in the washing chamber.
“The problem you have got with the plastic coffee cups is once they are put through a traditional washing process they start flipping around due to the power of the water,” explained Paul Crowley, market development manager at Winterhalter UK.
“We can obviously reduce the power of the machines but you don’t get it as clean so you are still only really half way through the solution due to the challenge of drying it. Plastic has been designed to withstand water, so what the guys at head office have done is work on the combination of the power of the machine, the washing temperature of the machine and – what is really driving it – a special chemical that means the cups dry a lot, lot quicker.”
On its HOST stand, Winterhalter has placed a traditional UC washer next to one featuring the coffee cup programme to demonstrate the difference in performance and washing results.
Mr Crowley said the system has been designed to the German DIN spec 10-534 to ensure it meets hygiene requirements.
“A lot of the coffee shops are trying to get people to recycle and reuse so this is an attempt to try and help them and make sure items can go through the system and not get chucked away. And particularly in London, if you think about office blocks that have got a facilities management company, they can take one of these machines and the employees can put their reusable cups through them.”
Winterhalter expects to have the system ready for the UK market early next year.