Gastronorm

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Gastronorm containers in a salad bar.

Gastronorm (GN), sometimes spelled Gastro-Norm, is a European standard for kitchenware tray and container sizes that is commonly seen worldwide in the catering and professional food industry, as well as in certain parts of the high-end consumer market. Gastronorm is generally used worldwide except in the United States, which has its own domestic system. The gastronorm standard was first introduced in Switzerland in 1964 and became an official European standard in 1993 with the EN 631 standard.[1][2][3]

The basic format is called "GN 1/1" and measures 530×325 mm, with other Gastronorm sizes being multiples and submultiples of this basic module size. Gastronorm containers allow for flexible, place efficient, and compatible storage, transport, processing, and serving and can be adapted for shelving, transport on trolleys and conveyor belts, secure temporary placement in compatible sinks, working tables, refrigerators, freezers, ovens, hot water baths, and compatible dishwashers, or display. Other products that have adopted the Gastronorm format include cutting boards and non-stick mats. Many professional food products are even packaged for optimal compatibility with Gastronorm containers, such as pizza base sizes, pre-baked breads, or frozen vegetables.

Materials most commonly used for the container are either stainless steel or plastic (transparent or non-transparent). Stackable baking trays and stainless steel containers are commonly used for cooking in an oven, while polycarbonate and polypropylene variants are suited for storage of cold foods. Porcelain or melamine containers are used for display.

History[edit]

Gastronorm sized containers and lids stored in a shelf.

Gastronorm originated in Switzerland during the 1960s when various associations gathered and agreed on standard dimensions for movable kitchen inserts and containers such as pans, trays, wire racks as well as other kitchen utensils and equipment.[4] The goals of the standard was to maximize use of the capacity in ovens and fridges by introducing kitchenware in compatible square sizes that left no corners unused. The standard was first formalized 17 November 1964 when different Swiss hotel associations gathered and agreed on the basic metric size of 530 × 325 mm. Despite initial skepticism by chefs claiming that "gastronomy cannot be standardized"[citation needed], the Gastronorm (GN) format has since gained worldwide recognition and is used by a large majority of equipment manufacturers and users of professional kitchens worldwide. On 15 December 1993, the format was adopted by the European Committee for Standardization in the standard EN 631-1: 1993 "Materials and articles in contact with foodstuffs - Catering containers - Dimensions of containers". Today almost all professional European kitchen equipment is built according to the gastronorm standard, enabling flexibility of kitchen operations across Europe when it comes to planning, transfer, delivery, storage and production. Professional kitchen equipment from America often are not built according to Gastronorm, but rather to national non-metric size standards.

Sizes[edit]

Visual representation of European Gastronorm sizes

The Gastronorm system is based on a fractional sizing, making containers of different sized GN containers interchangeable. For example, a GN 1/1 tray can be substited with two GN 1/2 containers.

Common Gastronorm Dimensions
Gastronorm size Dimensions
GN2/1 650 × 530 mm
GN1/1 530 × 325 mm
GN2/3 355 × 325 mm
GN2/4 530 × 162 mm
GN1/2 325 × 265 mm
GN1/3 325 × 176 mm
GN1/4 265 × 162 mm
GN1/6 176 × 162 mm
GN1/9 108 × 176 mm

Containers usually come in standard depths of 20 mm, 40 mm, 65 mm, 100 mm, 150 mm, 200 mm[5].

Drain lids and lids with cut-outs such that a serving utensil can be placed into the container are common accessories. They are made in these sizes especially for the catering industry. There are also covers in the same measurements: GN 1/1, GN 1/2, GN 1/3, GN 2/1, GN 1/4, GN 1/6, GN 1/9, GN 2/3.

Other less common sizes are:

Less Common Gastronorm Dimensions
Gastronorm size Dimensions
GN 2/8 324 x 132 mm
GN 1/12 162 x 88 mm
GN 2/24 132 x 108 mm
GN 1/18 108 x 88 mm

Materials[edit]

Containers can be made of stainless steel, enameled steel, metal covered with a non-stick surface, synthetic or composite materials, earthenware or porcelain. Containers can either have a closed or perforated bottom to facilitate draining or certain specialized types of cooking. Recently, fully compostable Gastronorm trays have also been introduced.[6].

Examples of use[edit]

  • Electrical kitchen equipment: Gastronorm compatible kitchen equipment such as bain-maries which are designed solely to hold Gastronorm containers are available. Large mobile racks or serving carts are also available for storage and portability.
  • Plates: A few companies (such as Olympia, Emile Henry, Genware) manufacture ranges of white porcelain dishes in Gastronorm sizes as serveware including decorative lids.
  • Serving tray: Gastronorm-sized stainless steel or plastic serving plates are available.
  • Bread warmers
  • Dishwashers[7]
  • Cutting boards: Gastronorm compatible cutting board are available, for example in the sizes 1/1 and 1/2. For instance as an integral tray that slots in beneath chopping boards, so that food chops can be pushed easily into the tray for either later use or disposal.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GN Sizes PDF" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  2. ^ "GN Behaelter Normen". Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  3. ^ "DIN EN 631-1 (DIN standards)". Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  4. ^ A Guide to Gastro-Norm Pan Sizes - Learning Center - FWE
  5. ^ "GN Pans / Hotel Pans Buying Guide 2020". Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  6. ^ « Castelsarrasin. Cellulopack : une barquette alimentaire 100% biodégradable » La Dépêche.fr, 3 juin 2016
  7. ^ Commercial Dishwashers & Glasswashers | CS Catering Equipment