“Preserving the kitchen hygiene of a world-class Japanese restaurant, utilising common salt as an agent versus conventional cleaning chemicals is a revolutionary step ahead for us,” said Refaie Othman, executive chef at Zuma, Dubai. He was talking about the innovative solution he has been using for the past three months – Rox Water from MGK. He is also the first one to adopt this system in the UAE! Zuma has installed two ROX Water units, one in the main kitchen and the other in the receiving area. ROX Water, manufactured by Japanese company Hoshizaki, is a highly effective chemical-free electrolysed water system – a single source system for cleaning and sanitising food preparation and contact surfaces. So how does the system work? It’s pretty simple, with the only inputs being water, common salt and electricity. Through the process of electrolysis, the ROX Water unit splits the water in two streams, alkaline for cleaning and acidic for sanitising. ROX alkaline cleaning water is a natural cleaning agent and detergent and a highly effective degreaser used to dissolve proteins, fats, biofilms and oils. ROX acidic sanitising water disinfects and sterilises any work surfaces on contact, as well as kitchen utensils, vegetables, or even raw fish, tables and hands.
Possessing cleaning and disinfecting properties respectively, ROX Water has proven beneficial to Othman who said, “It is user-friendly and my boys are not daunted by the process of sanitising knives, chopping boards, fish and vegetables with the chemical-free water.” When asked about how he initially felt about the idea of using the product to not only sanitise food but also clean the kitchen floors, Othman said he was curious and just wanted to try it out. “I would say the results are far more effective than what we achieve with cleaning chemicals,” he added.
Today, the team uses cleaning chemicals only as hand sanitisers, thus bringing down the expenditure on cleaning chemicals massively. “To be honest, our Stewarding Team only required close to a month to get used to the fact that cleaning does not necessarily require chemicals. The team was trained regularly on the usage of the machine and a training record has been maintained.”
The Rox Water is sprayed on fish and vegetables to keep them fresh for a longer period. While the chlorine tablets take approximately 10-15 minutes to sanitise chopping boards, Rox Water kills bacteria immediately on contact and eliminates everything else within 30 seconds. Also, the free chlorine in ROX Water vapourises immediately and does not leave behind any residues or smells.Leading laboratories such as Al Hoty-Stanger and TUV have conducted tests and the results have proved that it is a highly effective product with superior performance.
Mirco Beutler, Managing Director of MGK which serves the GCC market for Hoshizaki ROX machines in the region, commented, “MGK is responsible for implementing the product in the relevant food service establishment as well to ensure that it is used correctly and with optimal performance.” “We also work with well known Food Safety Consultants (Pillsbury Consulting) and see how to eliminate any risks of this product being handled in a wrong way as well as to ensure that it is as effective, if not more effective, than cleaning chemicals,” he added. With the assistance of the Food Safety Consultant the restaurant has put the verification Plan of ROX Water in their HACCP Manual, the chef said.
Every employee who has been trained to use the ROX machine maintains a training record. Results of pH tests conducted to check the effectiveness of ROX Water is noted in the records. The maintenance contract includes monthly visits to the site; and change of electrolysers after every 3000 operational hours. “The bottom line is that the management always looks for numbers. If I save some costs, they are happy. And if the solution comes in the form of a revolutionary new machine, then it’s a win-win situation,” claimed the executive chef of Z uma Dubai. Note: Zuma Restaurant Dubai is rated as one of the top 100 of world’s best restaurants, according to San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants, a list compiled by Restaurant Magazine.