The shock freezing units provide and maintain high consumer properties for long-term storage in food industry. The main purpose of this equipment is to avoid the formation of large crystals of ice that destroy tissues and interstitial membranes. The 0°C zone passage rate is a decisive factor in counteracting low-temperature destruction. The higher speed, the smaller the size of the ice fractals. However, the optimization of the cooling schedule depends on the type of product. Any shock freezer designed and/or tuned to a separate specific nomenclature. Meat, bread or fruit - each product has its own preferred parameters of temperature change.
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In addition to specialization in the processing product, a separate aggregate or shock freezing line classified is taking into account a number of other factors:
Despite the wide variety of shock freezing equipment, the defining characteristic of the machine is its structural design - box, tunnel chamber or spiral type installation.
They have a similar design to single-chamber household refrigerators and evaporative-type freezers. The evaporator is located at the top or side of the chamber and generates heat transferring cold air that goes down. The main difference between a box-type chamber and a conventional freezer is the use of a much more powerful motor, as well as one or more fans, which serve to evenly distribute the cold and speed up process.
Small boxes designed to fit individual trays. Large units designed to load products using mobile carts. The cases of such machines can be equipped with two doors (tunnel type chambers) for loading and unloading products.
Using at the food, trade, public catering facilities for fast cooling or freezing:
Shock freezing chambers, in addition to their high performance, are also valued for their considerable adaptability. Due to the wide range of possible cooling schedules, the same line can configured both for freezing meat or fish, as well as for processing vegetable products.
From economic point of view, the organization of freezing production using a shock-freezing chamber is one of the most appropriate. This technology used when working with medium and large size products. Equipment of this class shows the greatest effect with relatively small volumes of products.
Tunnel shock freezing is a horizontally oriented refrigeration and freezing conveyors. Designed for the production of shock-frozen products on an industrial scale, or for use in large gastronomic retail chains and supermarkets. The second name for these units is linear type shock freezers. The conveyor belt passes inside the chamber, divided into several temperature zones. Each zone has its own evaporators and fans.
Manufacturers continuously use tunnel chambers for significant periods (up to several days). Certain technical solutions implemented to maintain such marathon:
Tunnel chambers use liquid nitrogen as a refrigerant and require expensive technical solutions. However, in some cases, cryogenic aggregates help to save money due to a significant reduction in the required area of the workshop or site. The length of such lines at the same load in comparison with machines using freon shorter by 5 to 10 times.
Devices of this type are equipped with cylindrical cameras located vertically. Inside the cylinders, spiral conveyors are mounted. Unlike tunnel shock freezing, the physical processing parameters in spiral chambers are constant in all sections of the conveyor - from loading to unloading products.
Modern machines of this type are equipped with anti-freezing and operational cleaning systems, which allows increase the continuous operation cycle up to 14 days. The capacity of large plants reaches 7 tons/hour.
For pastry and pizza, the freezing schedule optimized and based on the fastest possible achievement of a temperature of -7°C. Product freezing to storage temperature (-18°С) can be carried out at an arbitrary speed, but the process lasts to ensure a temperature margin (up to -25°С). This buffer is necessary to ensure that during packaging the product does not have time to warm above the storage temperature.
A special feature of processing ready-made French fries: the product enters the freezing line in a hot condition at a temperature of about 100°C. Therefore, the majority of the production line occupied by pre-cooling tunnel chambers. The first such chamber barely consumes electricity, because the characteristics of the refrigerant (ammonia) make it possible to use the heat of hot potatoes for the working cycle.
High-speed berry frosting carried out in air currents pumped from special nozzles on the top and bottom. This technology called "fluidized bed". Only air mixing and separating elements from each other can cool the mass of berries evenly without violating their delicate structure. Processing performed in a fluidized bed at the stopped conveyor. Thus, despite the presence of the tape itself, tunnel aggregates for express freezing of berries and small fruits can be designed as batch machines.
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