People need to eat to survive. The invention of refrigeration technology has meant that we can even store supplies for longer periods. While our ancestors used to have to go hunting to get food, we usually buy our groceries from the supermarket, which we then store in the fridge – saving a lot of time as well as a good deal of stress.
The latest models of fridges and freezers, however, can do much more than just chill and freeze – with clever, innovative features, they can boast a role in increasing convenience in the kitchen, making the lives of their users easier while also saving energy. And they can be aesthetically pleasing, too. Whatever your style and preferences, new refrigerators are available in a vast array of variations that will make the hearts of design enthusiasts beat that bit faster. Built-in appliances or stand-alone units with a large volume of several hundred litres of useful capacity are particularly popular. These may be two-door fridge-freezer combinations with two pull-out freezer drawers in a so-called French-door design or American-style side-by-side combinations with two or four doors, referred to as multi-doors. One of these XXL four-door models can even accommodate a whole week’s shopping for a large family.
Contemporary freshness management
The latest breakthroughs in convenience in the new generation of fridges include special chiller drawers offering the ideal temperatures and storage conditions for fish and meat as well as fruit, salad and vegetables. This is also where problematic products, such as seafood, or sensitive fruits and herbs, can be stored and prevented from spoiling prematurely. In this way, modern and contemporary freshness management can help to reduce food waste. Batch cooking is another way of avoiding waste, with some fridges providing practical support with vacuum-packing technology, which seals food into airtight bags. These bags can then be either prepared directly in a steamer or steam oven with a sous-vide function or stored in the freezer section of a side-by-side combination appliance.
Energy-saving on several levels
But it’s not only in terms of food waste that the latest refrigerators are setting an example. In general, it’s worth paying attention to energy efficiency when purchasing new household appliances. This is particularly important when it comes to fridge-freezers, as they are in operation 24/7. But even premium appliances with additional features, such as integrated water and ice cube dispensers, can be classified in the best energy efficiency class, A+++, and are therefore particularly efficient and sustainable.
Bright yet dazzle-free LED lighting is another convenient feature, ensuring that the user is able to get a good overview of their supplies right into every last corner of the fridge. Hygiene filters work to keep fridges smelling pleasant and fresh by keeping the interior free of germs. Meanwhile, the glass shelves can be adjusted with a quick and simple action, increasing the appliance’s flexibility if a large cake or roast has to be accommodated. A dual-use section that can be easily switched from freezing to chilling as required also helps to take the strain out of everyday life. For example, it can be used to cool the drinks to the desired temperature ahead of a party; after which – or following the next grocery shop – the area can be switched from chilling back to freezing again. Not to mention the NoFrost technology that does away with the tedious process of “manually” defrosting the freezer.
Wine lovers can get their money’s worth from small and large professional appliances in which they can store their fine wines as in a real wine cellar and have the bottles at the ready in an instant. At the same time, wine cabinets like these are also ideal for displaying the bottles in your collection to full effect.
Cool – inside and out
As well as offering all the latest technology, the new combination fridge-freezer and multi-door appliances are beautiful and quiet. “In addition to optimum energy efficiency and the ability to keep food fresh for significantly longer, design and noise also play an important role in today’s new lifestyle kitchen-cum-living rooms,” explains Volker Irle, CEO of German kitchen industry association, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Die Moderne Küche e.V. (AMK). The trend here is towards a flat design that is both modern and minimalist – with smooth, flat door fronts without protruding handles – and dark colours in matt black and dark anthracite. The retro style continues to be very popular, too, so there’s still a demand for refrigerators in both pastel shades and the vivid colours in the style of the 1950s and ‘60s. AMK CEO Volker Irle is convinced: “There’s something for everyone among the new, energy-efficient combination fridge-freezers and wine cabinets – whether a built-in or stand-alone, basic, premium or luxury model.”