An infrared, cheese grilling and browning oven from Heraeus Noblelight has helped Food Point of Dubai to solve an inflight house-keeping problem as airlines try to meet the passenger demand for pizza slice snacks. By pre-grilling and browning prepared slices in Food Point’s food production facility, the packaged slices can now be baked on board the aircraft in the minimum of time without burning the bread base. A light crisp texture is achieved in only 15 minutes of the dedicated aircraft ovens, with the cheese topping already having a baked, brown appearance prior to cooking.
Food Point is 90% owned by Emirate Airlines Group. At its factory in Dubai, which is currently the only food production facility of its kind between Europe and the Far East, it produces meals to be served on all Emirates Airline flights as well supplying other commercial carriers and non-airline customers. The facility is designed with meticulous attention to health and safety, while maintaining the highest standards in food hygiene.
Pizza slices have become increasingly popular over recent years as an in-flight snack during the ultra-long haul routes to the US and Australasia. Without being pre-baked, the cooking time for the 120 gram pizzas would result in either undercooked cheese, or a burnt bread base. To solve the problem, Food Point contacted Heraeus and the Neston company sent an infrared test unit out to Dubai for trials. These were so successful, both in melting the cheese satisfactorily and in providing the browning to improve the overall pizza appeal, that a full-scale oven was ordered and retrofitted at the facility.
“The infrared oven has helped to ensure the high quality of our food products, right up to point of use,” commented. Steve Carlyon, senior operations manager at Food Point. “And its introduction into our production line, from preproduction tests to final installation and commissioning has been easy and seamless. As a Halal certified producer, FoodPoint product is in demand throughout the Middle East and enquiries for client bespoke solutions such as pizzas are on the increase. We required a quick turnaround and Heraeus turned out to be the perfect partner.”
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