Next Cooking Generation (NCG) aims to revolutionize the Food Service Equipment sector. In this interview, CEO Daniele Di Clerico explains how their patented innovative technologies respond to problems such as food security and energy consumption.
Please describe the company’s background story: who are the founders and what led them to explore this technology?
Next Cooking Generation comes from a group of young professionals, united by their passion for the restaurant sector. The first step of the project, back in 2014, was a study on the effects of focused ultrasounds on food. The aim was to introduce the Horeca sector to a machine that could help Chefs in their kitchen and above all to create a brand-new product as compared to what was on the market.
Waveco® ensures a reduction in the bacterial count of food, primarily meat, with a subsequent extension in shelf life. By tenderizing the fibers of food, waveco® also allows the Chef to reduce temperatures and cooking time or, in some cases, skip this process altogether. This ensures a rediscovery of the original flavors of food and allows customers to have new culinary experiences.
The waveco® machine has multiple applications. It can help a small restaurant Chef to improve their raw material, just as it can help a Michelin Star Chef to have that “extra something” that makes all the difference.
Thanks to several universities supporting our research, we are constantly developing this technology to increase its safety of use to 100%, for small restaurants as well as industrial operations.
We presented the first waveco® at Host 2017, winning the Smart Label award for innovation. We began marketing the machine in 2018.
To date, waveco® supports and helps over 150 Chefs in Italy and abroad and the demand is constantly rising. Last Host ’21 in Milan, despite the difficulties of the pandemic, we received over 500 daily visits to the stand, including chefs, journalists, and professionals.
Waveco® is still young but it is a solid business that triggers a lot of excitement whenever we take it to events and trade fairs.
What kind of challenges do you solve for your clients?
Currently, from the moment an animal is slaughtered, one must wait for at least 35-40 days for the meat to be tender and chewable. We are therefore talking about an enzymatic aging process that also involves some weight loss and oxidation of the external part of the meat, which is cut off once the meat is purchased.
Weight loss and waste are costs that obviously affect the purchase cost for the Chef or the restaurant. Induced maturation©, a term we coined to describe our technology, makes that process a lot quicker.
Imagine that now, thanks to waveco®, you can buy meat 48 hours after slaughter, which is the minimum time required by law, and get the same level of tenderness as in traditional aging with only 50 minutes of induced maturation©, performed by focused ultrasounds.
So, you purchase the meat at a lower cost, you’re saving energy, you’re destroying the bacterial count, and you get meat that would last at least three times longer in storage. Fish, vegetables, and any other food will benefit from a reduction in the bacterial count and an increase in shelf life.
How do you envision the future of industrial food safety?
For us, food safety has always been one of the key principles in the development of this technology. Unlike other techniques that are just bacteriostatic, such as blast chillers or cooked and stored products, waveco® has indeed a bactericidal effect on food. Our technology is able to eliminate Listeria monocytogenes and decrease the total bacterial count.
If I look at our beginnings, 9 years ago, with so many projects and without financial partners, and I see how much we achieved, I can only be proud. Waveco® is everything a chef could desire in a kitchen and we are sure that within a year, no one will want to work without it.