Gama Consultants – to the microwave industry

Oven Calibration Services

Safe ContractorGAMA Consultants (established 1983) was incorporated into GAMA Microwave Technology Ltd. during January 2003, and has since expanded its services accordingly. As part of the continued growth, GAMA recently obtained National Britannia “safe contractor” accreditation for the services provided.

GAMA is currently offering FREE-OF-CHARGE training on the latest microwave food heating technology, while on-site providing oven calibration services.

The One Hour programme “Principles of Microwave Heating” targeted at new product development, home economics, and quality assurance personnel, will provide an explanation for many of the difficulties found when developing back-of-pack heating guidelines. Microwave ovens provide energy not heat, and it is an understanding of this interaction between the energy and the food, which produces a successfully heated food product.

A comprehensive explanation of microwave food heating mechanisms (supported with hand-out notes) will be supplied, covering the difficulties experienced with modern microwave ovens; the food heating mechanisms made simple; penetration depth and the effects of salt; typical product boil-out and food eruption explained; together with packaging options, such as susceptor films, foil containers, and modified pack techniques.

Microwave Oven Calibration Services

GAMA provides ON-SITE microwave calibration services for food suppliers and retailers, which will be of interest to New Product Development, Home Economics, and Quality Assurance groups.

The microwave ovens are calibrated (and any power output adjustments made) in accordance with British Standard BS EN 60705 Clause 12 – Determination of output power, and the UK food industry A to E back-of-pack rating procedures. Each oven is also tested for microwave safety compliance, in accordance with British Standard BS EN 60335-2-25 Clause 32 – Radiation and similar hazards.

For those having difficulty obtaining the appropriate oven performance, GAMA can adjust the output power of most high-powered microwave ovens to meet 650 watt B, 750 watt D and 800 or 850 watt E rating requirements.

Microwave internal components get hot during use and thereby lose significant power during operation. GAMA can safely modify an oven to include forced-air cooling facilities, cooling the internal components in just a few minutes, instead of waiting the stipulated 6 hours between food heating verification tests (Campden & Chorleywood Food RA Guideline No. 14).  The GAMA forced-air cooling system will allow more repetitive food sampling to be accomplished.

The unique GAMA produced VARI-HEAT oven puts precision into microwave food heating applications… see following brochure attached.

Thermal Oven Calibration Services

GAMA provides ON-SITE thermal oven calibration services for food suppliers and retailers, which will be of interest to New Product Development, Home Economics, and Quality Assurance groups.

The gas and electric ovens are calibrated to meet the requirements of British Standard BS EN 60350 Clause 8 – Accuracy of cooking temperature control. A detailed report is provided, together with an individual oven heating profile chart, which will clearly identify inaccuracies between centre-of-cavity temperature and control set position.

Oven temperature determination at a glance …click here.

Microwave Product Heating Performance Evaluation

In-situ, dynamic microwave food product heating profile analysis, using multiple probe fibre-optic thermometry instrumentation. Service includes hire of instruments and specially prepared VARI-HEAT variable output power oven, systems operator, laptop PC for data retrieval and detailed follow-up reporting. 

Microwave ‘VARI-HEAT’ Oven Supply

VARI-HEAT is a power control system, designed for use with most types of microwave ovens. It enables the oven to be operated at a very precise setting, variable from ZERO to 100 percent, on a true constant output power basis.

VARI-HEAT control can be accurately set to provide all British Standard power outputs and stipulated UK A to E ratings, using the same appliance. With built-in voltage indication, accuracy can be assured during usage, providing guaranteed food product heating performance between test kitchen and food presentation sites.

VARI-HEAT ovens have forced-air internal component cooling, for repetitive and reliable product sampling in minutes, instead of waiting the stipulated 6 hours between tests.

The easy to use VARI-HEAT system is suitable for a wide variety of applications, and will be invaluable to development groups when establishing back-of-pack heating guidelines for 800/850 watt E, 750 watt D and 650 watt B rating performance – from the same oven.

New Low Profile Model Now Available For Build-in Application…

For further details contact us

Microwave Technology Services

GAMA provides a microwave food heating technology service, which includes:

Oven Temperature Determination … at a glance…

GAMA is pleased to announce the introduction of a visual means for remotely identifying gas and electric thermal oven temperature determination.

The … at a glance … GAMA system is accurately calibrated to the ‘centre of oven’ temperature, providing instant correlation with the dial set position, and thereby ensuring accuracy of product development and back-of-pack food heating guideline evaluation.

Digital Thermometer

The system comprises a 96mm × 48mm panel mounted digital display thermometer, with large bright red LED digits, having 1°C resolution over the full operating range. It requires a 230 volt electrical supply, which can usually be obtained from an adjacent 13 Amp socket outlet.

The durable stainless steel temperature-sensing probe, intended for insertion into the oven cavity, is securely located at the appropriate thermal measuring position.

GAMA provides the complete … at a glance … calibration service, including supply of the display unit and mounting materials, secure oven location of the temperature-sensing probe, and liaison with site engineers where required.

A calibration report is issued on completion.

For further information and an individual price quotation please contact us.

Commercial Industry Support Services

SAFE logo

Microwave and microwave combination oven performance testing and individual    equipment microwave leakage inspection is carried out on-site, for institutional establishments, food factory complexes, and catering food service site facilities.

Ovens are tested for heating performance compliance in accordance with British Standards BS EN 60335-2-90 Commercial microwave ovens, and aspects of BS EN 60705 Microwave oven heating performance … a detailed report is provided.

Ovens are tested for leakage compliance with British Standard BS EN 60335-2-90 Clause 32 – Radiation and similar hazards … a detailed report is provided.

Note: GAMA only uses accredited microwave leakage instrumentation, traceable to National Physical Laboratory (NPL) standards. For all leakage monitor supplies and accredited calibration services … see website: www.apollocalibration.com

High-Power (catering model) versions of the GAMA VARI-HEAT variable power microwave ovens are available on application – please contact us.

Microwave Product & Sample Evaluation

In-situ, dynamic microwave product heating profile sampling & analysis facility, using multiple probe fibre-optic thermometry instrumentation. Service includes hire of instruments and specially prepared VARI-HEAT variable output power oven, systems operator, laptop PC for data retrieval and detailed follow-up reporting.

Thermal Services

Gas and electric thermal oven heating performance calibration is carried out on-site for institutional establishments, food factory complexes, catering foodservice site facilities, light engineering and other similar commercial operations.

Ovens are tested to meet the requirements of British Standard BS EN 60350 Clause 8 – Accuracy of cooking temperature control. More specific individual requirements are available on request.

Detailed reporting is provided, together with individual heating performance charts, generated by multiple-probe data logging and temperature recording instrumentation.

For oven temperature determination at a glance … see brochure attached.

‘healthier Food’ Alert

Recent reports on the quality of the foods that we eat and their effect on our fitness have prompted many manufacturers to review their labelling claims and recipes. In consequence, some may find it necessary to adapt their products. In such instances, the scale of changes that may need to be made so as to ensure these products comply with new health and nutrition expectations could significantly alter the balance of their ingredients. For example, an arbitrary reduction in salt can significantly affect a microwaveable product’s heating reaction.

On the face of it, when these products are adapted as described, it will seem a straightforward task to test and alter the back-of-pack heating guidelines. Yet over the last decade the choice of microwave ovens has widened to include much higher and more inconsistent output power levels, often to the detriment of the food product. This situation has created unexpected and potentially hazardous heating problems. For instance, one test has shown that a well known type of product, heated for the supplier’s recommended time at an indicated power level, in a popular microwave oven, became so overheated that it not only ruined the product but also became an eruptive hazard. In another instance, when using a different oven model with the same indicated power level rating, the product did not reach a safe recommended serving temperature.

To familiarise manufacturers and suppliers with the potential problems anticipated, GAMA Microwave Technology Limited, a company that has a long experience of calibrating microwave and thermal ovens on site for many well known household names, has set up a new ‘Industry Support’ section. It will offer free-of-charge training on the latest microwave food heating technology whilst on site calibrating clients’ food product evaluation ovens. The one hour programme – focused on new product development, home economics and quality control personnel, will explain difficulties found when developing the back-of-pack heating guidelines. It will explain that microwave ovens create energy, not heat, and that it is this interaction between the energy created and different types of food that results in a successfully heated product.

Hand out notes will support a comprehensive explanation of microwave food heating mechanisms and the potential difficulties when using modern microwave ovens, within food manufacturing or commercial NPD kitchen environments. They will include the effects of various additives, such as salt; overcoming product boil-out and food eruption problems; and explain packaging options such as susceptor films, foil containers and field modifying pack techniques.

For further information, please contact us.