Individual Quick Freezing usually abbreviated Freezing […]
Individual Quick Freezing usually abbreviated Freezing IQF is a freezing method used in food processing industry. Products commonly frozen with IQF Freezing technologies are typically smaller pieces of food products and can range from all types of berries, fruits and vegetables diced or sliced, seafood such as shrimps and small fish, meat, poultry and even pasta, cheese and grains. Products that have been subjected to IQF are referred to as Individually Quick Frozen or IQF'd
One of the main advantages of this method of preparing frozen food is that the freezing process takes only a few minutes. The exact time depends on the type of IQF Freezing and the product. The short freezing prevents formation of large ice crystals in the product’s cells, which destroys the membrane structures at the molecular level. This makes the product keep its shape, colour, smell and taste after defrost, at a far greater extent.
Another significant advantage of IQF Freezing technology is its ability to separate units of the products during freezing, which produces higher quality product compared to block freezing. This advantage is also important for food sustainability, as the consumer can defrost and use the exact needed quantity. There is a range of IQF Freezing technologies, but the main concept is to transport the product into the freezer with the help of a processing line belt or infeed shaker. Inside the freezer, the product travels through the freezing zone and comes out on the other side. Product transportation inside the freezer is by different technologies. Some freezers use transportation belts similar to a conveyor belt. Others use bed plates that hold the product, and an asymmetrical movement makes the plate advance by itself through the freezer.
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