Why the IQF tunnel freezer is a better solution than the cryogenic freezer?
Nowadays, there are 9 main types of freezers on the market and most of them have more than one name:
- the cold storage / air blast freezer;
- the box / carton freezer;
- the spiral belt freezer;
- the fluidized bed / IQF tunnel freezer;
- the brine / immersion freezer;
- the block / plate freezer;
- the cryogenic freezer;
- the contact belt freezer;
- the flat product / impingement freezer.
In this article, we will further discuss the IQF tunnel freezer and the cryogenic freezer.
1. IQF tunnel freezer
The IQF tunnel freezer, sometimes simply referred to as "tunnel" in North and South America, is equipped with a perforated bed, on which the product is fluidized with the help of a strong vertical airflow, that passes from beneath the bed. The IQF tunnel freezer is regarded as the most technologically advanced food processing equipment, since the product is not statically frozen. Therefore, the freezing result will be influenced by multiple variables, such as the shape of the product, its firmness and ripeness, its water content, and the aerodynamics.
The most important advantage of an IQF tunnel freezer is the high air velocity, which suspends the product in the cold air stream, allowing the separation of each product, without creating any lumps or blocks. This technology is suitable for small products, such as peas, shrimp, diced meat, and sliced or diced fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, as its name suggests, Individual Quick Freezing is a very quick process, therefore the products' dehydration is minimal.
2. Cryogenic freezer
This technology implies exposing the product to an atmosphere of around minus 60 degrees Celsius, through direct contact with liquefied gases, normally carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Today, two types of cryogenic freezers exist: those that spray medium on the product and those that use dipping or immersion of the product into the medium. In both cases, the product is transported on a belt to the other side of the freezer. Normally, the cryogenic freezers that use the dipping method are consuming more medium, but they offer better freezing results. On the other hand, the spraying method ensures a lower medium usage, which translates into lower costs.
The main advantages of the cryogenic freezer are its small size, mobility, and good freezing results. However, the high costs of liquefied gases and the constant dependency on suppliers is seen as an important drawback for this type of freezers, especially for processors in remote areas. In conclusion, the IQF tunnel freezer remains the optimal solution thanks to its multiple advantages both for processors and consumers, in terms of energy efficiency and food quality.
For more info, check: https://www.octofrost.com/
Page Updated Last on: Oct 12, 2018