Freezing and thawing of food stuff is often an important as well ass a critical process in the value chain of food processing companies. Especially freezing is often a major cost driver but both processes highly influence the product quality of the frozen or thawed product. Optimized blast freezing or shock-freezing can contribute to higher product quality and lower production costs. 

Even though the food industry generally is highly effective, the processes of freezing and thawing often gets low attention. Often we meet situations or questions from end users which indicate a lack of focus to this important process.

Meat, Ice-crystalines and freezing-time

Meat contains up till 75% water which in the process of freezing is converted into ice-crystalline. The longer the freezing process takes the larger are the ice crystals formed. As large ice-crystals tend to ”merge” this can disrupt the structure of the meat-cells. Amongst others this impairs the meats ability to hold or ”bind” water

Fluctuating temperatures during the freezing process can also lead to the merger of ice-crystal. A fast and effective controlled freezing therefore not only influences the energy consumption in the freezing-process but also the defrosting process and the ”drip-loss” related hereto.

Blast- / shock-freezing

One of the dominating freezing techniques within industrial food processing is still blast- or shock-freezing.  Here the products are placed in a blast freezing chamber where a number of fans and cooling devices expose the products to airflow with temperatures down to -40º. A technique which first was developed by the American inventor Clarence Birdseye in the early twenties.

Factors influencing freezing time

The time to freeze a product to the desired temperature is influenced by a number of factors; Such as the products density, start temperature, packaging, air-temperature, air–speed, design of the freezing chamber including efficient design and usage of the created air-flow.
(Typical Blast-Freezer set-up’s)
As such airflow is the obvious parameter to adjust in order to increase the efficiency in existing freezing facilities.

Open profile freezer spacers™

As airflow will always chose the path with least resistance the cooled air must be ”forced” not only in-between the stacked layers of products but also in-between the pallets. Hence the location of the pallets in the blast freezing chamber and the use of open-profile freezer spacers™ in-between the stacked box-layers is of utmost importance for the total freezing efficiency.

The use of open profile freezer Spacers™ allow a high airflow is therefore one of the most profitable investments you can do in order to reduce energy costs, increase efficiency and improve product quality.

Freezer spacers are offered in a variety of designs and materials. The more open profiled a spacer is the more airflow is allowed through the spacer and as such the shorter the freezing time.

In short a reduced freezing time leads to;

  • Reduced use of energy and as such cost savings
  • Faster flow and as such better utilization of existing freezing facilities
  • Increased product quality including reduced drip-losses.

During the years we have had several clients claiming that the investment in highly effective freezer spacers had reached break even within months.

Uniform and fast thawing is equally important

The tendency that ice-crystals merge to larger units is also seen during defrosting as various temperature fields arise when foodstuff thaws from the outside in. Consequently it is also here a big advantage if the defrosting can be as uniform and fast as possible, (not exceeding normal cold-storage-temperatures) Using freezer spacers to create an improved airflow in-between the thawing products therefor highly influences the product quality and drip-loss.

SOKI project awarded Elforsk Prisen 2019

The "Super Optimized Carton Freezer" (SOKI) project by Danish Technological Institute has been awarded the Elforsk Award 2019. The objectives of SOKI project is to develop an optimum design solution...

Why spacers are important when blast freezing

Spacers are an important part of optimizing your blast freezing process. A lot of energy can be saved by freezing smarter. By smarter, we mean knowing about the entire freezing process and knowing...

FreezeTec attending Kälteforum 2018

FreezeTec is sponsoring and attending the annual KäLTEforum, which this year takes place in Dresden, Germany on November 6 and 7 2018. The forum is a great opportunity for all participants to meet...

Freezer spacers in action

Retreiving freezer spacers after freezing can be done in seconds. Italian pallet inverter manufacturer Toppy have made a couple of demonstration videos showing how to retrieve freezer spacers from a...

FreezeTeq sponsoring upcoming Kälteforum 2018

FreezeTec is sponsoring and attending Kälteforum 2018, which takes place from November 6. to 7. 2018 in Dresden, Germany. We look forward to meeting our existing clients as well as...

Cross-Industry co-operation

Cross-Industry cooperation makes life easier in freezing- and logistic companies As cardboard boxes are getting thinner, unstable stack-loads is becoming an increasing challenge when...

Investigating the nature of blast freezing

The foundation for improvements is knowing the nature of blast freezing At FreezeTec we continously strive to improve the efficiency of blast freezing operations – for the benefit...

Freezer spacers – how they work

Freezer spacers - how they work When blast-freezing foodstuff, high air velocity across the product, as well as maximum contact between the cold air stream and the stacked boxes, are essential for...

FreezeTec sponsors and attends Kälteforum 2017

We at FreezeTec are happy to announce that we are sponsoring and participate at this years "Kälteforum" to be held in Bremerhaven, Germany from november 14th til 15th. We believe in...

Do you want to know more?

Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

We are pleased to assist you in any way to meet the objectives of your company.