Overcoming Challenges in Modern Freezing Equipment
Competing with new technologies of minimal processing of foods, industrial freezing is still considered the most satisfactory method for preserving quality during long storage periods. When compared in terms of energy use, cost, and product quality, freezing always comes out on top.
The frozen potato industry mostly grew after the development of scientific methods for blanching and processing in the 1940s. Only after the achievement of success in stopping enzymatic degradation, did frozen vegetables gain a strong retail and institutional appeal.
Features and Technology
For potato products, GEA is one equipment producer that offers IQF tunnel freezer solutions since decades and providing the major potato processors with some of the largest freezing production capacities reaching up to 30,000kg/hour combined with 21 days continuous operation.
“High hygienic design, high product quality and yield, minimum energy consumption and effective frost management for long operating time have always been and remain key drivers at GEA for freezer development,” says Mathieu Nouhin, head of Product Management, Food & Healthcare Technologies, Frozen Food, GEA. “Fully welded stainless-steel structure, floor and enclosure, open profiles, external motors, and ease of access to all areas for cleaning are proven features in GEA freezers. Recirculating cleaning systems are available for large tunnel capacities for effective and automated cleaning with strongly reduced water and detergent consumption,” he adds.
FPS is another renowned producer that offers extremely hygienic spiral and tunnel IQF freezers for formed and cut potato products as well as special designs for most other frozen food products. All freezers feature purpose built stainless steel and polyurethane enclosure walls and integrated sloped bathtub floors incorporating flexible TIG welded joints.
“Our proprietary door design offers a bonded solid one-piece door gasket, integral wall heating and no penetration to potentially expose foam to water. Hygiene and durability are improved with externally mounted drives and fan motors. Internally, we incorporate polished non-hollow welded support frames, with minimal surface area, elevated from the floor welded to integral floor studs,” explains Greg Sheridan, Sales Manager, FPS Food Process Solutions. “Our welding of most assemblies reduces lap and bolted joints, eliminating harborage risks. See-through coils are specifically designed for each application and our baffle-less SynchroSD defrost system allows multi-week production runs without the use of dirty and complicated coil baffles. Our recirculating Clean-In-Place (CIP) system operates like a dishwasher, automatically cleaning the entire freezer. The CIP system saves water, chemical use and energy. In addition, it offers the ability to run a high temperature kill step, which insures no bacteria survival in the freezer,” Sheridan points out.
You can read the rest of this article in your complimentary e-copy of the May/June Issue of Potato Processing International magazine, which you can access by clicking here.