Think of it as the new "baseline" or "standard" for food processing equipment in today's market. Blentech Corp. says it has taken the very best aspects of its well-known Blentherm technology and developed a high output, lower cost model.

Officials say that new offering, Blentech's Baseline cooker, is ideal for (1) processors looking for more economical cooking solutions as well as (2) small- to mid-size processors ready to step up and automate operations.

Nick Tetlow is vice president of sales and marketing at Blentech, Santa Rosa, Calif.

"Early in 2007, we projected a tightening in the market for capital equipment spending," he says. "We expected that this would not eliminate the need for custom equipment but [that it] would guide processors to request more a more economical solution without 'all the bells and whistles.'

"To stay ahead of market trends, we developed a lower cost cooker that maintained most of the key advantages of our custom line but at a lower sale price. We build the bodies to inventory to ensure lower lead times and better pricing."

Tetlow says the new Baseline cooker -- which may be easily customized -- appeals to processors on several levels. These include attributes of function, quality and price.

"Our Baseline cookers cook fast," he notes. "We have included a substantially higher jacket area-to-product ratio than an equivalent capacity hemispherical kettle – on average 20 percent more."

The Baseline project also led Blentech to develop a high heat transfer jacket. The heat transfer capabilities of the new steam jacket on its Baseline cookers has been tested -- and proven -- to increase the rate of cooking by up to 30 percent more.

"Overall, it is common for us to see that our customer cook times reduced by 50 percent when compared with a hemispherical kettle," says Tetlow. "With these added features, we did not remove any of the essentials. Our cookers are designed to withstand the thermal stresses and are built with the same quality and craftsmanship upon which we built our reputation."

For 24 years, Blentech has been an industry leader in horizontal designed cookers -- equipment that not only cooks faster than a standard hemispherical kettle but also gives a processor more control and flexibility in and over the process, Tetlow says.

"When processors switch to a Blentech cooker, they see significantly reduced cycle times, increased quality, reduced labor costs and -- coupled with extended shelf life -- they even get clean, brighter-looking finished products with particulate definition," he says.

"In addition, Blentech cookers help processors develop new products that include such ingredients as sautéed vegetables, caramelized onions and roux -- all made on demand.  We are proud of our custom line of cookers."
Blentherm and Baseline cookers process soups, sauces and slurries faster and more efficiently than standard options.

"Because the cooker is also a mixer, the Baseline cooks very evenly, which often reduces the need for added thickeners," Tetlow notes. "It maintains particulate distribution through the discharge -- all while decreasing the price of the equipment dramatically. The cooker is ideal for processors of soups, sauces, salsas, condiments and other slurry type products."

Blentech will be exhibiting its Blentherm and new Baseline equipment at Process Expo, Oct. 5-7, in the Las Vegas Convention Center (Booth #6342); and during the World Wide Food Expo, Oct. 28-31, at Chicago's McCormick Place (Booth #N219).