Tunnel freezer aimed at small processors poised for European launch

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Liquid nitrogen

Tunnel freezer aimed at small processors poised for European launch
Affordability, ease of use and space savings are all benefits claimed by Air Products for its cryogenic tunnel freezer to be launched in Europe later this month.

The company said its Freshline QS tunnel freezer is able to cryogenically freeze or cool a raft of foods such as meat and poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, pasta, dairy products, baked goods and prepared meals.

The equipment has been designed with smaller volume food processors and start-up operations in mind. It offers simplicity and minimal up-front costs, Air Products spokeswoman Debbie Bauer told FoodProductionDaily.com.

Cost and labour savings

It can easily be integrated into new or existing production lines and is suitable for processors wishing to convert to continuous freezing, alleviate a bottleneck in their operation, or grow and diversify their existing product line, said the company.

“Compared to a standard cryogenic system, the QS freezer arrives in one piece, which requires less labour to install,”​ added Bauer. “With fewer moving parts, there are fewer components to install and test, allowing for a quick installation and start-up. Having fewer moving parts also results in lower preventative and maintenance costs.”

“The system has an approximate throughput range of between 250-900 pounds (113 -360 kg) per hour,”​ she added. “It was recently launched in North America and will be introduced to the European market later this month, shortly followed by introduction to the Asian market.”

The company declined to reveal any price information on the QS freezer.

Footprint saving

A further advantage of converting to the in-line system is that it enables manufacturers to free up walk-in freezer storage space, said Air Products.

US meat packer J&G Foods, which tested the kit prior to its US launch last month, backed this claim.

Matt Pollard, company production manager said: “The production floor is very expensive real estate. “With this new freezer, we can get the same amount of product through in half the space, so we have extra floor space that can be used to make something new or different.”

Air Products said its cryogenic freezers use liquid nitrogen (LIN) at -196°C to achieve rapid temperature reductions, enabling them to freeze food within minutes instead of the hours required by traditional ammonia or freon-based systems.

Benefits of the process, they claim, are higher throughput and improved product quality as the formation of smaller ice crystals cause less damage to a foodstuff’s cellular structure.

The system has an easy-to-use automated control system where product-specific operating set points can be stored, which can reduce the time and manpower needed to freeze products. An open and easy access design to the internal parts allows for simple cleaning, said the company.

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1 comment

interesting for processing small quantities

Posted by harish,

It may help in really processing small quantities economically and trails can be carried out very easily

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