Ultrasonics for Gourmet Restaurants

Ultrasonic devices made by Hielscher are used by chefs of high-class restaurants for innovative, high-quality cooking. This includes flavor extraction, emusification or modification of texture. Hielscher ultrasonic devices are used for manifold applications and proven for their performance, reliability and effectiveness. Due to their exceptional advantages, ultrasonic processors are applied for long time in the food processing industry, e.g. to emulsify immiscible liquids or to extract intra-cellular molecules and botanicals from plants (e.g. aroma compounds, lipids, and other substances).

The application for sonicators in gourmet cuisine is used for extraction, flavour infusions, emulsification as well as tenderizing and marinating meat. Especially in the high-tech kitchen and molecular cuisine, there are manifold applications to prepare remarkable meals, which surprise the diner with new, intensive flavours.
In March 2010, Sang-Hoon Degeimbrechef and owner of the famous restaurant L’air du temps in Noville sur Mehaigne (near Namur, Belgium)presented ultrasound as an innovative technique of preparing extraordinary meals on Starchefs.com.

Preparing a vegetable extract using the ultrasonicator UIP1000hd
Star chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre preparing a vegetable extract using the ultrasonicator UIP1000hd

Star-awarded chef Degembre uses his ultrasonic machine UIP1000hd for the extraction of flavors.

Sang Hoon Degeimbre: star chef with ultrasonicator UIP1000hd

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Degeimbre says he uses the ultrasonic machine for extraction of the favorite components of vegetables, flowers and herbs. He does not want to cook, but he want to have the most perfumed part of the vegetable material. He uses his Hielscher ultrasonic processor UIP1000hd (1000W, 20kHz) for various applications: By sonication, it is possible to extract the most aromatic and flavourful elements of each ingredients. This allows Degeimbre to reach a freshness of taste that would normally be lost during the cooking process. Furthermore, the star chef does successful experiments with extraction of shrimp and chicken for stocks. With chicken, he achieved good results by sonicating only the chicken meat without bones to get a very pure tasting chicken stock. On StarChefs.com, Michelin star chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre showcases exemplary on one recipe of his contemporary cuisine, how to use Hielscher’s UIP1000hd in cuisine. For the preparation of his creation Ultrasonic Shrimp Stock, the Belgian-Korean chef sonicates all ingredients (shrimps, water, tomato puree, carrot, salt) at 50% amplitude for 10 minutes.

Ultrasound is also capable to emulsify liquids that normally would separate without emulsifiers. Therefore, ultrasonication allows the preparation of smooth vinaigrette, tasty marinades and creamy mayonnaise, without the utilization of emulsifying agents. The outstanding performance of ultrasonics for the flavouring of liquids is also used in the production of vinegar. Ultrasound makes it possible to produce vinegar with manifold different flavours, such as raspberry, lime, chili, thyme.
To gain maximal results in flavour extraction, Hielscher recommends to macerate or to grind the material before sonication. This way, the material offers more surface area so that more intra-cellular material can be extracted. This enhances the results of ultrasonic flavour extraction and leads to a more intensive taste.

Ultrasonic extraction can be carried out in batch operation and continuous flow-through mode. (Click to enlarge!)

Sonication setup with UIP1000hd for the extraction of bioactive compounds from botanicals in a batch. [Petigny et al. 2013]

The UP200Ht is the favourite ultrasonic mixer of bartenders and molecular mixologists.The application of ultrasonics in chef cuisine is very simple. In small batch scalefor up to 2-4 litresyou can use ultrasonic laboratory devices, such as the UP200Ht (see picture left) or the UP400St. For larger volumes, Hielscher offers devices, such as the UIP1000hdT with special sonotrodes optimized for culinary applications.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
1 to 500mL10 to 200mL/minUP100H
100 to 2000mL10 to 200mL/minUP200Ht
200 to 4000mL20 to 400mL/minUP400St
250mL to 5L50mL to 1L/minUIP500hdT
0.05 to 10L0.1 to 2L/minUIP1000hdT

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The video shows the ultrasonic homogenization of puréed tomato sauce. The ultrasonic processor used is a Hielscher UP400St ultrasonicator, which is ideal to prepare medium size batches of sauces and purées in culinary applications. For large volumes, Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies industrial ultrasonic systems for continuous inline processing.

Puréed Tomato Sauce - Ultrasonic Homogenizer

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Ultrasonic tenderizing makes meat more palatable.

The UP200Ht is an ultrasonic processor for culinary applications such as emulsification, extraction and meat tenderization.

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