Italian roasting equipment company Sweet Coffee Italia has launched a line of electric-heat commercial machines under the name Gemma Induction.
With five models ranging in capacity from 2 to 120 kilograms, the Gemma Induction machines incorporate induction heating. A traditional perforated stainless steel drum is mounted within an additional cylindrical chamber that is fully encircled by electromagnetic induction coils.
Currents induced through the coils create heat in the external cylinder by the Joule effect. That heat in turn transfers by radiation and convection to all sides of the internally rotating coffee roasting drum at once. On the outside, machines remain cool to the touch, according to the company.
Users have control over the drum rotation speed, as well as airflow through the drum, which the company suggests results in a familiar balancing act of heat application through conduction and convection.
Sweet Coffee USA President Enzo Apa told DCN that the rapid response from the coils and the absence of fossil fuel combustion have numerous potential benefits, including greater precision during the roast, faster roast times and improved energy efficiency over traditional alternatives.
The company claims its electric induction systems present a 60% savings in fuel costs compared to natural gas, while providing environmental benefits through reduced emissions.
“The innovative electromagnetic induction system, by not using hydrocarbons, guarantees the absence of nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, CO2 and carbon monoxide, without the need for the use of smoke burners,” Apa told DCN. “The roasting plant that adopts this technology immediately becomes compliant with the most restrictive environmental regulations.”
Afterburners made by Sweet Coffee Italia can be paired with Gemma machines to meet smoke and aroma mitigation requirements.
With a headquarters and manufacturing in greater Turin (Torino), Sweet Coffee Italia’s history goes back to 1947 when founder Domenico Di Santo moved from Italy to Sao Paolo, Brazil, to reunite with family. There he learned about coffee production and trade, and returned to Italy years later to start a roasting operation with his son Mario.
Sweet Coffee Italia’s shift into roasting equipment manufacturing started with an all-electric 2-kilo Gemma roaster launched about 25 years ago, according to Apa. With computer-controlled automation features and conventional oven-style heating elements on three sides, the countertop machine was designed specifically for coffee shops, grocery stores and restaurants.
Sweet Coffee USA was founded in 2012 when Mario Di Santo enlisted Enzo Apa to spearhead expansion into North America. Apa previously served as CEO of Sanremo USA and Quamar USA, and currently leads BFC USA.
For the devlopment of the Gemma Induction line, Sweet Coffee Italia in 2014 created a subsidiary called Coffee Star Induction in partnership with Italian multinational manufacturer Gefran, which specializes in sensors and systems for industrial automation processes, and Ferrari & Carena, an Italian maker of precision manufacturing equipment for the automobile industry.
At the Sweet Coffee USA showroom in Hollywood, Florida, customers can explore Gemma Induction machines featuring a Gefran-made touchscreen interface loaded with custom software for roaster control. The wifi-connected system enables sharing and downloading roast profiles online and integrates with third-party systems like Cropster and Artisan.
Pricing for Gemma Induction machines starts at $22,500 for the 2-kilo model and ranges up to $300,000-$340,000 for the 120-kilo machine. The line also includes 8-kilo, 30-kilo and 60-kilo machines. Next year, Apa said the company plans to introduce 240-kilo and 320-kilo-capacity machines in the line.
“After investing years and significant resources in R&D, having successfully tested the system, which is the subject of a patent, we present on the world stage a complete range, projecting production to the highest productivity plants,” Apa told Daily Coffee News. “The simplicity of the system, its functionality and reliability in results will break through the world of traditional roasting.”
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