Drip-loss and product damage caused by ice crystals are one of the main quality and yield challenges faced by frozen food processors using slow freezing processes. Created during slow freezing, ice crystals can damage the internal cell structure of frozen foods, risking diminishing both the quality and flavor for the end consumer.
JBT Frigoscandia’s ADVANTEC™ Impingement Freezer, which makes use of innovative air jet technology, has been developed to solve both problems, employing a faster freezing time to conserve product quality and assure taste and mouthfeel.
With the ADVANTEC freezer, dehydration is drastically minimized and yield is maximized, while shelf-life is also increased. Less dehydration means more yield and more profit. Suitable for a wide range of thin or flat products – including hamburger patties, fish filets and high value seafood products – the impingement freezer also offers surface stabilizing freezing for soft food before further slicing operations.
JBT’s ADVANTEC freezing system makes use of impingement technology; high pressure air jets blown through a series of small holes that break through the boundary layer of air around the product and in the process achieve a very fast freezing time, according to JBT’s freezing applications expert, Martin Andersson. “The ADVANTEC fast freezes products using jets of air that result in far lower dehydration and higher yield compared with freezers without impingement technology,” he explains.
“In a slow freezing process, large crystals are formed which destroy the cells in fish or meat, and destroyed cells mean more drip-loss, so when you thaw out the product, you end up with a much drier meal,” continues Andersson. “When you freeze something faster, the crystals formed are small, so far fewer cells are affected and you get much less drip-loss.” The result, he says, is a much better quality end product, with an improved texture, taste and mouthfeel.
Maximizing slicing operations
However, the benefits of the ADVANTEC aren’t just limited to conventional frozen foods. Using crust freezing, the system stabilizes deli products for slicing operations, improving throughput, yield and hygiene. Successful slicing means minimizing waste and maximizing conformity.
A continuous in-line process step, rapid chilling with the ADVANTEC impingement chiller keeps pace with the rest of your production line, delivering a uniform product temperature to the portioning line, and dramatically reducing labor-intensive manual handling. No other chilling method can offer these advantages so quickly and in such a cost-effective manner. And successful processing equals maximum throughput and quality, and minimum downtime.