Next Cooking Generation (ncg) aims to revolutionize the food service equipment sector. In this interview, Chief Marketing Officer Francesco Allocca explains how its patented, innovative technologies respond to problems such as food safety and energy consumption.
ncg was formed by 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 create a brand-new, innovative product and introduce the Horeca sector to a machine that could help chefs in their kitchens.
waveco® reduces the bacterial count of food, primarily meat, with a subsequent extension to its shelf life. By tenderizing the food fibers, waveco® also allows the chef to reduce temperatures and cooking time or, in some cases, skip the tenderization process altogether. This enables customers to rediscover the original flavors of food and offers new culinary experiences.
The waveco® machine has multiple applications. It can help the chef of a small restaurant to improve their raw material, just as it can help a Michelin-Starred chef add that “extra something” that makes all the difference.
Thanks to the support of several universities, we’re constantly developing this technology to increase its efficacy, for small restaurants as well as industrial operations.
We introduced the first waveco® at Host ‘17, 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. At the last Host ’21 in Milan, we had over 500 daily visits to the stand, including chefs, journalists, and professionals. This was despite the difficulties of the pandemic.
waveco® is still young but it’s a solid business that generates a lot of excitement whenever we take it to events and trade fairs.
Currently, from the moment an animal’s slaughtered, you have to wait for at least 35-40 days for the meat to be tender and chewable. We’re 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 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, destroying the bacterial count, and you get meat that lasts 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.
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 cooking and storing products, waveco® has a bactericidal effect on food. Our technology is able to eliminate Listeria monocytogenes and decrease the total bacterial count.
If I look back to where we began, nine years ago, with so many projects and no financial partners, and I think of how much we’ve achieved, I’m so proud. waveco® is everything a chef could desire in a kitchen and we’re sure that, within a year, no one will want to work without it.