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V-ZUG - Johanna Seifried and Ueli Frey on the Excellence Line

“We design with hot air and steam.”



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Johanna Seifried and Ueli Frey are “Ms Food Engineer” and “Mr Steam”. They know exactly how air and water interact with foodstuffs.

Ueli Frey is in his element when he’s talking about air and water molecules. “The Shape of Steam” is written on the whiteboard, and he adds red arrows and uses the blue pen to draw drops of water and rising clouds. “We influence the cooking result using physical means”, he grins. “Everything revolves around this – the mechanics, software and design.” Ueli Frey is working on the interface between science and technology, has a creative mind and is “Mr Steam” in kitchen development. This is also where Johanna Seifried, his colleague in the food team, works: “Ueli knows all the mechanisms and provides the infrastructure allowing hot air and steam to work with each other properly. And I take a look at which process adjustments are required to find the best way to steam, bake and grill food.”

“We start the thought process with the food – the focus is on the function. Our design is the browning on the bread, the evenly baked base of the tart”

Ueli Frey, Requirements Engineer

 

The thought process starts with the food
For both of them, the new approach to developing the latest generation of appliances is important: “We start the thought process with the food – the focus is on the function. Our design is the browning on the bread, the evenly baked base of the tart”, explains the requirements engineer. The focus is not on a pretty appliance, but on the perfect cooking result across all operating modes for many years to come.
The innovative thing about the new Excellence Line appliances is not just the individual applications. The outstanding achievement is that the technology has been rolled out across the entire platform – the functions can be used in several appliance families in over 100 models of ovens and also around 100 models of steam cookers. The main challenge was in mastering the complexity of the new premium product range. Incidentally, its name goes back to a statement the creative application engineer once made. “We shape the steam around the food. We shape the excellence”, he once wrote on his whiteboard during a presentation.

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“We use standardized test dishes to check whether the requirements of the operating modes and programmes are fulfilled.”

Johanna Seifried, Process Engineer Food

 

Mastering and qualifying complexity
This excellence has to be present across the entire family of steam cookers and ovens. After an intense development phase in the application technology laboratory, the appliances are ready for qualification. Johanna Seifried is responsible for coordination: “We use standardized test dishes to check whether the requirements of the operating modes and programmes are fulfilled.” The 27-year-old enjoys planning and organizing – even the daily processes in the laboratory. Sometimes experiments are running on 15 appliances at the same time: broccoli and potatoes are being steamed. Hamburgers and toast grilled. Vacuum-sealed meat is being cooked. Apple tarts and small cakes baked. All processes and cooking results are meticulously evaluated. Even today, the process still relies on human senses. Employees trained in sensory analysis conduct assessments with regard to colour, evenness and consistency. One exception is the small cakes. While the browning was previously defined using a colour chart, this is now performed by the software in the photo booth.
The appliances are not only running flat out in the laboratory. The Combi-Steamer at the Frey family residence in Obfelden has been running constantly since 2008. Ueli Frey’s three adult daughters practically grew up with it. In addition to physics, the cycling enthusiast is also interested in biology. For example, on his birthday, he doesn’t bring cake, but “very slow food”: herbs or tomato plants from his own permaculture garden.
Johanna Seifried, too, is enthusiastic about good food in her free time. And when she cooks, she enjoys preparing, hacking, stirring and plaiting. However, lentils and spaetzle from her Swabian homeland remain her favourite dishes.

The new Excellence Line from V-ZUG

The new Excellence Line

Perfection with steam and hot air across the entire range
Both are positive about the advantages of combi-steaming – hot air with steaming. As the complex technology involving hot air heating elements, fans, steam and patented climate control were standardized for the new platform, every V-ZUG steam cooker applies the full power of steam to the food. “The heat is more intense, and the steam gets into every crevice – every broccoli floret. So these foods are heated more quickly and evenly”, says the expert. “And there is no temperature stratification in the cooking space”, adds his colleague. “So you can steam on all levels at the same time. It’s so easy: just put in the food and press start.” It’s not possible to overcook or burn anything. “This way, we’re ensuring that you can relax and spend time with your guests.” Thanks to the AutoDoor function, the oven even opens the door by itself to cool down.
What’s more, the combination of hot air and steam enables a variety of functions that help ensure the perfect cooking result: superheated steam is created when using hot air with steaming, which makes for a particularly crisp surface. The centre of the food remains moist, which is perfect for pre-fried products or gratins. And the Professional baking classical, flour-dusted or glazed programmes ensure that loaves and pastries rise beautifully while developing a crunchy crust. When it comes to their favourite application, they both agree on Regeneration. The food engineer enthuses: “Ready-cooked, moist dishes such as pasta, and also crunchy ones such as bread and pizza, all taste as though they’ve been freshly made.” Ueli Frey smiles: “Regeneration is V-ZUG’s contribution to combating food waste.”

 

Learn more

Discover the new Excellence Line

All novelties 2021

 


Johanna Seifried

Johanna Seifried, Process Engineer Food at V-ZUG

Johanna Seifried, Process Engineer Food

 


Ueli Frey

Ueli Frey, Requirements Engineer at V-ZUG

Ueli Frey, Requirements Engineer

 


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