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What’s In Your BUNN Ultra Slush Machine?

What’s in Your BUNN Ultra Slush Machine?

The question “what’s in your Ultra®” may seem like an obvious one. BUNN patented the first electronic product consistency control frozen beverage system in the U.S. in 1993 and, from a consumer perspective, the BUNN Ultra Frozen Beverage Systems are the ideal choice for the iconic refreshments available in a myriad of flavors and often referred to as “granita” or “slushies.” However, from an operator perspective the question can also refer to the method used to get the beverage ready to consume.

In order to make a frozen beverage ready for serving, a mixing process must take place where concentrate powder product or concentrate liquid product must be mixed with water to a specified ratio. The BUNN Ultra equipment line has three model options that maximize the flavor output for the desired mixing method: Pourover, Powder Autofill and Liquid Autofill which boasts two models of autofill in the CF Valve and LAF. All three models provide a quality beverage, but each boasts its own advantage from the operator perspective.


The Pourover models are basically plug-in, prep and dispense. Special plumbing is not required, and the operator is responsible for manually mixing the correct ratio of product and water directly into the hopper. The main advantage in the Pourover models is simplicity and portability.

Powder Autofill

The Powder Autofill (PAF) system must be hooked to a commercial plumbing configuration because it offers the convenience of automatically replenishing and continuously mixing the correct amount of powder concentrate and water. The unit must be situated in a counter space that can accommodate the 5-pound, dry powder capacity. If an operator manages a strict cleaning routine, employees will enjoy a long-term benefit from the PAF system due to its similarity to other powdered drink systems which produce and dispense beverages. The PAF system features double hoppers, each with a two-gallon capacity. It has a premium burst capacity, which refers to the dispenser’s ability to deliver drinks to the proper frozen consistency. The PAF system also has a delayed auto refill feature which can be programmed to dose powder product into the hopper at lesser amounts over time for more servable product. This differs from the Pourover model in that the flavor powder is mixed all at one time and the dispensed product has the possibility of becoming diluted by unfrozen product over time, especially when refilling large amounts in the hopper. The delayed refill feature will translate into more profit as it ensures more usable product. If marketing is a focus, the PAF also boasts a large merchandising space on the hopper lids.

Liquid Autofill

The Liquid Autofill (LAFI) system must also be connected to a commercial plumbing configuration because it offers the convenience of automatically replenishing and continuously mixing the correct amount of liquid concentrate and water. If an operator’s facility dispenses carbonated beverages from a bag-in-the-box (BIB) setup, the LAFI system will be familiar to employees due to system similarities. The LAFI also features double hoppers, each with a three-gallon capacity. The advantage of the LAFI system is its premium volume burst capacity and that it interacts with a Brix pump, a water-driven pumping system with an internal ratio mechanism to deliver product at a specified ratio as the Ultra refill control demands. Brix pumps are also ideal for premium flavor liquid concentrates.

The CF Valve (CFV) system is another version of the Liquid Autofill system. The product is driven by CO2 or compressed air in conjunction with BIB pumps. The interface with BIB configurations means it is capable of pumping product from the back-of-the-house to the product serving area giving operators more flexibility in setting up the serving location. It also provides easy adjustment for product changes and features the same delayed refill feature as the PAF models.

All models operate on the exclusive BUNN-engineered reversing auger design that quickens freeze time and reduces air mixing. New models also come standard with energy efficient enhancements such as LED lighting in the hopper covers, an improved side panel louver pattern, and software enhancements for more efficient control of the compressor operation. These equate to an approximate 15% reduction in energy usage versus previous models.

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