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Blast Freezing Case Study
Blast freezing, also known as, shock freezing or flash freezing, is a method used to rapidly bring down the temperature of food products in order to pause shelf life and preserve nutrients, taste and texture.
The Blast Freezing Process
Unlike standard freezers, blast freezers operate at a much lower temperature range. The typical temperature range for a blast freezing unit is around -30 to -40 degrees Celsius. These blast freezing units can house up to 33 pallets of the food product and cater to a wide range of products including meat, fish, plant based and dairy goods.
Freezing down ambient or chilled products must be carried out as safely as possible, and the output temperatures achieved must meet the requirements of the product (usually -18°C) and remain consistent throughout the entire pallet.
Blast Freezing Versatility
Just like traditional freezing, the time it takes to blast freeze food items depends on the density of the product and the packaging. The denser the product the longer it will take, however, the modern method is significantly more efficient. Bread, a low-density product, usually takes around 8-12 hours to reach temperatures around -18°C whilst extremely dense products, such as butter, pork and beef can take much longer to freeze. The timing is important, and we take care to always conduct validation trials at the beginning of any new operational process.
The Importance of a Fast Freeze
When water turns to ice, the molecules expand, and it is this expansion that causes damage to the cells of the food, whether it be protein, fruit, vegetables etc. Therefore, the temperature of the product must be brought down as rapidly as possible, using highly cooled forced air induction.
The faster the freezing process is, the smaller the structure of the ice crystals that form within the cell. The smaller the crystals, the less likely they are to burst through the cell wall, which affects both taste and texture.
If you’re interested in blast freezing, call 01246 854999 or visit www.magnavale.co.uk/contact/
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