Designers and Specifiers face several challenges when dealing with clients for restaurants and new site proposals. Odour, noise and fire safety issues are all real concerns and the general expectations of air and noise quality by local residents is steadily increasing.
Understanding the needs of each site is paramount and the first step in this process is to clarify what sort of foods are being prepared and by what cooking method. AS1668:2013 identifies seven (7) cooking process type nomenclatures. While every commercial kitchen is different, depending on the type of cuisine produced, varying amounts of moisture, grease, smoke and odour are emitted.
Food products rapidly change at cooking temperatures and can form organic compounds, which are emitted in particulate and gaseous form. This is most always accentuated by the food water content vaporising. The result is a combination of solid particles, liquid droplets, vapour and gaseous phase (molecules) contaminants.
If you compare the kitchen equipment and cooking methods of a traditional pub / bistro with a charcoal chicken shop – there is a great deal of difference in the potential grease, smoke and odour emissions produced. A traditional pub / bistro is Type 2* and likely to utilise low grease, medium heat producing equipment such as griddles, ranges, conventional fryers, tilting skillets, steam kettles and gas ovens producing low smoke levels and medium grease and odour levels. Whereas a charcoal chicken shop is Type 5* and likely to utilise high grease, high heat producing equipment such as an open flame charcoal bed, utilising solid fuel, producing very high grease, smoke and odour levels.
The next step is to determine the air and noise quality expectations of the site surrounds. A commercial kitchen located within a residential high-rise would have significantly different expectations to one located within an industrial estate. The standards and/or guidelines of individual local councils should also be factored.
The type of moisture, grease, smoke and odour emissions of the site as well as the air and noise quality expectations of the site surrounds are essential factors in determining the components and steps required to create the ideal kitchen exhaust abatement system that meets the air and noise quality expectations for the individual site.
Further resources including a kitchen exhaust reference guide by cooking process type are available .
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* Cooking process type nomenclature as per AS1668:2013