INDUSTRY INTERVIEW: How Jimco is helping kitchens and restaurants operate cleanly

Jimmy Larsen, managing director

Danish brand JIMCO A/S is responsible for some of the world’s most unique air and waste-water purification and sterilisation solutions, with restaurant chains such as McDonald’s among those that benefit from its technology on a daily basis. Managing director Jimmy Larsen outlines how its solutions can provide the hygiene guarantees that operators in the UK are crying out for in the post-Covid era.

For those that aren’t familiar with JIMCO, what can you tell us about the brand and its area of expertise?

Since 1993, JIMCO A/S has developed and manufactured air purification systems and surface disinfection based on its patented UV-C and ozone technology that ensures effective disinfection using ultraviolet light. There are no chemical or filters involved at all. Our philosophy is ‘do not leave any pollution behind for the next generation’.

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Air purification is a topic that has clearly taken on extra significance in the current climate. Why do restaurants and foodservice operators need to take it seriously?

Not many operators are aware of it, or even thinking about it. If you think about cities, we always blame trucks and exhausts for emitting particles into the air that people then breathe in. But nobody is thinking about all the commercial kitchens. We know that frying just one burger gives you the same pollution as a 16-wheeler truck driving 130 miles. By using JIMCO KPC technology you will reduce your pollution up to 90-plus percent.

Another important topic is that by using JIMCO Kitchen Pollution Control (KPC) technology, you will reduce your fire risk to near zero in your ductwork, which means you will have a fire-safe building. And you can install a heat recovery system, which offers a payback. This would not be possible without JIMCO as you would create a grease layer in the system.

You do not need to clean your ductwork either. At McDonald’s, we are now five years without duct cleaning. On top of all that, you will reduce any odours, which will give you happy neighbours!

The JIMCO technology is based on UV-C and ozone. How does this combination work and is it a commonly-used method for ensuring the environmentally-friendly and safe purification of air in catering areas?

The JIMCO KPC is a three-step system that uses special UV-C Lamps. The UV-C light breaks the molecule chains in the airstream into an oxidizable product and the same lamps convert some of the 21% oxygen you have in the air, producing a safe and efficient level of ozone.

The ozone is used as our ‘fire’, and will oxidize the rest of the molecules in the air on the way into the duct system. The reaction time that is needed is happening in the duct. After this, the purified air is released into the environment, leaving only water, oxygen and a very small amount of CO2, which is necessary for all green plants to grow.

How is the system deployed? Does it take up a lot of space and require constant assessment among staff?

JIMCO KPC technology is implemented in the hood. This can be in a new hood, but it can also be retro-fitted into an existing hood. The lamps just need to be sprayed with a soap detergent once in a while with the use of a spray bottle, and then wiped. You won’t need to exchange the lamps until after 10,000 hours of operation.

What sizes do the systems come in? And do you need one per room?

This question isn’t easy to answer. If we talk about KPC, you need to install in all hoods. If we speak about rooms and the small MAC500 (below) and OZ products then you will need one or more depending on the size of room.

With the disinfectant system, how do foodservice operators know that it is working?

We use the FLO-D system (photo light oxidation-disinfection) for surface disinfection. Here, all the data is logged on a USB stick. All other JIMCO systems, meanwhile, have individual alarms telling you if there is a failure somewhere in the system, and exactly where it is.

There are a lot of cleaning and hygiene solutions on the market right now that claim to eliminate viruses in a safe and sustainable way. What tests has JIMCO carried out to validate its own claims?

JIMCO has tested the FLO-D technology at the Dr. Brill Institute in Bremerhaven. We have tested it on a special hard virus named vaccinia. If you can kill this one, you can kill them all. We did three hours of treatment and it showed a 99.99% killing rate or efficiency. This is everywhere where air can go.

Companies that claim they can kill Covid-19 have to be careful because nobody in the entire world has had the chance to test directly on the real Covid-19. What we do know is that it is a normal common coronavirus like flu and it is not capsulated like the vaccinia.

JIMCO supplies air treatment to some of the biggest chains in the world, including McDonald’s and Scandic Hotels. Are these operators using the UV-C and ozone solution?

McDonald’s is using the KPC technology for the reasons I outlined earlier. It is exactly the same for Marriott, Courtyard, Nordsee and others. All of them are using the UV-C technology for the reduction of organic products in the airstream.

General Catering brings Jimco equipment to the UK to keep hospitality businesses safe

Tags : air purification systemsGeneral Cateringin-depthJimcosurface disinfection
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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