2014 Food Trends

Chef's Corner

Because only the best commercial ovens keep your kitchens running like they need to.

2014 Food Trends


In 2013, consumers saw sriracha, kale, and quinoa dominating restaurant menus on the healthy scene. In the indulgent corner, the introduction of the popular croissant-doughnut fused pastry known as the ‘cronut’ became the most talked about dessert item in culinary trends.

What food trends will drive the restaurant industry in 2014, and how can ACP products support those trends? There are several trends which lend themselves well to food prepared in ACP cooking platforms.

According to the National Restaurant Association survey, here are the top culinary trends which are likely to show up in 2014 restaurant menus:
1. Locally sourced meats and seafood

  • ACP high speed combination ovens are ideal for baking fish and seafood:   pre-breaded filets for quick service restaurants, grilled and baked delicate seafood for high end restaurants.

2. Locally grown produce

  • The RC, HDC and RFS ovens (1700 watts or higher) double as steamers to correctly steam produce to a tender-crisp texture quickly without water lines, and high power usage from restaurant steamers. The XpressTM line can grill and roast vegetables consistently cooked, with our GR10 Panini accessory or a standard ¼ sheet pan.

3. Environmental sustainability
According to Energy Star, commercial microwave ovens use up to 80% less energy than conventional ovens. All ACP microwave ovens use less than 75¢ of energy per day*:

  • 1000 watt models (RMS and RCS): 25¢/day
  • 1200 watt models (RFS and HDC): 30¢/day
  • 1700/1800 watt models (RFS, HDC and RC): 50¢/day
  • 2100/2200 watt models (HDC and RC): 53¢/day
  • 2400 watt models (On Cue™): 61¢/day
  • 3000 watt models (RC30S2): 73¢/day

Energy Costs: $0.10 kWh*
Cooking Time: 100 Minutes
Cook Cycles/Day: 100
Typical Cook Time: 1 minute

4. Healthful kids’ meals

  • The RC series is ideal for replacing steamers in schools and institutions. The spacious cavity holds two ½ sized Cambro pans to allow batch cooking of multiple items at once.
  • Xpress™ ovens cook chicken fingers and fries without frying oil, heat macaroni and cheese or pizza and exceed the required speed of service times in most restaurants.

5. Gluten-free cuisine

Supporting local suppliers is a high priority for restaurants to ensure the freshest ingredients.   Some chefs are now planting gardens and built farms for fresh and convenient ingredients near their restaurants.  It’s farm to fork, at one location.


Other food trends shown to be on the “what’s hot” list include:
1.            Vegetarian appetizers (especially featuring cauliflower)
2.            Non-traditional fish (Branzino – a Mediterranean Sea Bass –  Arctic char – an Alaskan white fish)
3.            Hybrid/mini desserts
4.            Tea as an ingredient
5.            Upscale comfort foods

ACP offers a product line that provides the correct equipment to cook a variety of trending items:

      • Roasting vegetable medley in the Jetwave™
      • Boiling rice, pasta or quinoa as a side dish in the RC series
      • Baking a center of the plate seafood item in the Jetwave™
      • Baking mini cupcakes in the MXP

Food trends seem to be getting healthier.  ACP ovens are designed to inspire our customers to create healthy, on trend choices for restaurant patrons.


New Trans Fat Laws

Chef's Corner

Because only the best commercial ovens keep your kitchens running like they need to.

New Trans Fat Laws

FDA vs. Trans fat

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Products with heart vascular-clogging trans fat have been slowly disappearing from grocery aisles and restaurant menus in the last decade.  In November, the Food and Drug Administration announced they are closing the final chapter on trans-fat content.

Since the 1990’s, several scientific studies and health advocacy groups have been calling for the restaurant industry to stop using partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of trans fat and damaging ingredients for heart health. In 2006, FDA passed trans-fat labeling laws for food manufacturers. Last month, the FDA issued a Federal Register notice announcing their tentative determination that PHOs are no longer GRAS (generally recognized as safe) in food.  This would mean that, if finalized, food manufacturers would no longer be permitted to sell PHOs, without prior FDA approval for use as a food additive. However, before the decision is final, the FDA is encouraging food industry experts and others for public comment in the next 60 days to determine how long it would take food manufacturers to reformulate and remove all trans fats from products.

 What are trans fats and why do we care? 

Statements concerning trans-fat are seen everywhere, especially on the front of packaged food labels: “No trans fat!” or “0 grams trans fat!”, but what does it mean? Public awareness of this dangerous ingredient and trans fat content in the country’s diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, but they remain an area of significant public health concern.

 Trans fat: an unsaturated fatty acid that occurs as a result of the hydrogenation process, having a trans arrangement of carbon atoms adjacent to its double bonds.

The hydrogenation process adds hydrogen bonds to liquid fat and as a result, creates a solid fat.  This process makes the fat more stable, so it extends the shelf life of the product and improves product texture.

It is heavily used in fried and baked goods and margarine. Crisco, originally marketed in the beginning of the 20th century was a hallmark R&D invention, extending the shelf life of non-refrigerated products.

Common foods that contain trans fats:

  • Shortening
  • Margarine
  • Crackers
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Frozen pizzas
  • Pies
  • Other baked goods (40% of trans fat in diets come from these)
  • Fried foods
  • Many other processed foods

Trans fats act like saturated fats inside of the body; they both increase LDL (low density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol levels. This leads to coronary disease and increase heart attack risks. More recent studies suggest trans fats can be linked to other health problems, such as inflammation and diabetes. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, removing processed trans fats in the diet can prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks, and 7,000 deaths from heart disease, each year.

Much of the restaurant industry and food manufacturers have already removed trans fats from their food items after the 2006 labeling law.   Since trans fats are stable at high temperatures, products that may need a bit more time in reformulation include products like pizza and some bakery products. As the use of trans fats slowly phase out and reformulated products pop up, this transition will change how we cook and how manufacturers develop new products.  Particular types of fat play a determining factor in food texture, flavor, appearance, nutrition, melting point, heat transfer and a variety of other essential food characteristics.


The Food and Drug Administration proposed measures In November, which would all but eliminate artery-clogging, artificial trans fats from the food supply. Denmark was the first country to virtually eliminate trans fat from foods in 2003.

The Food and Drug Administration will move quickly to determine a timeline of mandating that manufacturers eliminate all trans fat.  Since most companies have had nearly a decade to figure out what to do, the agency may make a ruling within to include a deadline of mid-2014.

ACP’s Xpress ™ ovens, MXP and Jetwave ™, are helping in the battle against trans fat by minimizing it’s use by cooking bake able products which are normally fried (ex: fries, eggrolls, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, etc.). Though no trans fat fry oil or fats are used, the ovens’ high intensity heat combined with convected air produce crispy and crunchy food products, with a “just-fried” taste.


“A History of Trans Fat.” Heart.org. American Heart Association, 5 Aug. 2010. Web. 13       Dec. 2013.
“FDA Targets Trans Fat in Processed Foods.” FDA.gov. U.S. Food and Drug    Administration, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
Kotz, Deborah. “FDA Moves to Ban Trans Fat as Threat to Health.” BostonGlobe.com. The Boston Globe,
8 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
Neporent, Liz. “5 Foods That Could Become Illegal With FDA Move to Ban Trans     Fats.”ABCNews.com.
ABC News Network, 07 Nov. 2013. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.