60% less exudate and 4 times less microbial load: the university of Zaragoza confirms the advantages of Araven containers with perforated bottoms

  • In its research article “Study and characterisation for the preservation of chicken meat”, the University of Zaragoza’s AgriFood Institute of Aragon (IA2) concludes that there are benefits to using Araven containers with a system for separating food from the exudate produced when thawing and storing, compared to conventional containers


  • Microbial load after thawing increased by 25% in breast fillets remaining in contact with the liquid, while there was only a 2% increase in the container with a perforated bottom, reducing the risk of pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella


  • The higher water-holding capacity of chicken meat stored in a container with perforated bottom also guarantees a longer useful life, less weight loss, higher sensory quality of the raw product and greater tenderness and juiciness when cooked


  • Araven, the leader in hospitality sector products, offers a full range of containers with drain trays, with capacities from 500 ml to 90 litres that are reusable and recyclable, and thoughtfully designed to facilitate use and cleanliness in the workplace


(Monday, 27 November 2023).- Araven containers with perforated bottoms to separate food from the exudate produced when thawed offer health, culinary and economic advantages compared to containers without this special design. This was demonstrated by a study conducted by the AgriFood Institute of Aragon (IA2), a research institute of the University of Zaragoza, whose conclusions show as many as five practical benefits resulting from their use: longer useful life, lower presence of pathogenic bacteria, less weight loss, higher sensory quality in the raw food and greater tenderness and tenderness when the food is subsequently cooked.

The research work “Study and characterisation for the preservation of chicken meat”, conducted by Drs Marta Alejandre, Pedro Marquina and Juan Calanche, compared the resultads of two 7-kilogram batches of chicken breast fillets from the same supplier, identically stored in a container with and without a perforated bottom. The two containers were frozen and stored in this state for two weeks before being thawed in a positive temperature cold room for 48 hours.

The analysis performed on completion of this process showed significant benefits of the container with the perforated bottom, which resulted in the meat having a higher water-holding capacity (WHC), associated with the preservation of proteins and water-soluble nutrients. The volume of exudate produced after thawing meat equalled 7.34% of its weight in the conventional container and 2.98% in the second, 60% less.

The measured parameters included different aspects of the water content, microbial count and sensory analysis of the meat. Owing to all the results produced, the Conclusion section of the article reads: “use of the Araven container with the perforated bottom offers greater benefits”, highlighting those of “maintaining hygienic quality for longer, in addition to increasing useful life”, and keeping the breast fillets “juicier on a sensory level, leading to improved organoleptic properties”.



The IA2 study showed that the microbial load after thawing increased by 25% in breast fillets remaining in contact with the liquid, while there was only a 2% increase in the container with the perforated bottom, delaying the appearance of signs of deterioration.

Microorganisms grow quickly because of the nutrients dissolved in the liquid, which is why the liquid in the container without the perforated bottom presented greater cloudiness, “associated with higher bacterial activity”. Likewise, separating food from the liquid significantly reduced the potential biological hazard of pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella spp.

Moreover, an important reduction in raw weight loss was demonstrated by separating the exudate. The net weight of the breast fillets was diminished by 7.5% when this system was not used, against 3% with use of the container with the perforated bottom, which also provides restaurants with economic advantages.

Furthermore, the marked difference in WHC and protein and water-soluble nutrient retention implies that the nutritional properties of food are better preserved.

The WHC also implies that there is less weight loss during cooking, another important factor that is associated with the juiciness and the texture-related qualities of food. This result was also contrasted in the sensory analysis, for which the experts analysed different factors both in the raw product (colour, texture, smells) and cooked product, adding culinary advantages to all the others.

Finally, the University of Zaragoza researchers also pointed out that the study on chicken meat was conducted, “taking into consideration the time recommended for use in the restaurant and catering sector”, but suggested a longer period, of up to six days: “the container with the perforated bottom may have a greater effect on preserving the hygienic quality of the chicken breast, increasing its useful life”.



In order to make the most of all these advantages in all manner of products and in all kinds of hospitality establishments, Araven offers a full range of containers with perforated bottoms, allowing you to choose the most suitable for thawing or storing an entire product batch in the one container, guaranteeing food safety monitoring.

For volumes ranging from 500 ml to 12.5 litres, there are Gastronorm drain trays, which are compatible with Araven food storage containers. For capacities between 12 and 35 litres, the best option is a three-piece set, with airtight outer container, container with a perforated bottom and protective lid. And for large items, there are Gastronorm 2/1 containers with a height of 300 or 400 mm.



What is more, as with all the products in the Araven catalogue, their exclusive design is meant to make professional work easy. The base of the drain tray is corrugated to reduce the area in contact with food to a minimum and achieve faster thawing. In addition, there are no crannies where liquid can accumulate and hinder its cleaning.

Likewise, these products are all reusable and recyclable, which guarantees their strength and durability, and lower environmental impact. Araven manufactures more than 700 different products to meet the needs for food storage and handling solutions of the most demanding hospitality professionals.

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