Being able to achieve thin slicing of meats without a resulting loss in yield is a key requirement for many processors serving the ready-to-eat market, but until recently this was not always simple to achieve. However the recent introduction of Surface Stabilizing technology as part of JBT’s ADVANTEC™ series of impingement freezers has gone a long way to making thin slicing a relatively straightforward – and speedy – process.
JBT has also launched the Super-Chilling application for the ADVANTEC range; an innovation that enables warm products to be cooled quickly without jeopardising product quality.
According to Stefan Paulsson, JBT’s Director of Value Stream & Global Product Line for Cooking & Linear Freezers, both applications have been introduced to meet the needs of processors seeking practical, effective solutions for ready-to-eat products.
“Surface Stabilizing can be used with products such as deli meat where you are looking to cut it into very thin slices,” explains Paulsson. “This can be quite hard, but if you freeze the surface around it, then you can cut it very thin without suffering any yield loss and you will get a much nicer slice surface as well.”
Likewise, Pausson says Super Chilling can be employed by processors who want to quickly cool warm products without freezing them. “Super Chilling freezes the surface of the product, before the temperature is evened out as a whole, resulting in a chilled product that has quickly been taken from warm to cold,” he says.
The story of the ADVANTEC Impingement Freezer range can be traced back to the Frigoscandia Flat Product Freezer (FPF), a system which was created in the 1990s to offer a more cost-effective solution than cryogenic freezing for meat patties.
Launched in the year 2000, the Frigoscandia ADVANTEC Impingement Freezer was introduced with the aim of being more suitable for a broader market and a greater range of applications and products.
“Impingement freezers are good for quick freezing of thin products,” says Paulsson. “ADVANTEC uses impingement sheets, which are sheets of metal with multiple holes. Through this, a jetstream of air hits the products at high speed, so it cools and freezes really quickly. This compares to many competitors who use air-knives instead, where you only freeze the product when it’s actually underneath the air-knife. Using the ADVANTEC impingement system, products are continually exposed to cooling air.”
As well as being faster and more effective than an air-knife freezer, Paulsson adds that ADVANTEC’s metal sheets are also more hygienic and easier to clean a sheet than a series of air-knives.
Now sold worldwide, ADVANTEC is available in two different belt widths – 1250mm and 1800mm – and one to four separate modules, meaning customers can have ADVANTEC in the length and width required for their needs.
JBT also markets the ADVANTEC Compact Chiller, a smaller unit, which is particularly suited to surface stabilization where companies are looking to freeze product surfaces to achieve thin slices.