Overview Of Cheese Freezing Technologies

December 06, 2021 00:00 | Posted in News

The freezing of cheese enables new export and domestic market opportunities for Cheese Makers and Converters. There are a number of ways to freeze cheese so lets look into the current process technologies to accomplish this.

 

Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) & Spiral System Technologies have been available for many years. Freezing cheese presents challenges for processors in terms of consistent crust freezing, final product quality, yield, and clumping.

 

 

Spiral Freezing Systems

 

Spiral Freezers are often used to automate the freezing of packaged prepared foods. Usually designed for slow automated freezing applications with the freezing process occurring gradually over an hour or so in the spiral. These systems require a tremendous amount of space compared to IQF systems. The longer time to freeze also results in dehydration losses as well as product discoloration. These results have a negative impact on the processors quality, yield, and profit.

 

IQF – Liquid Nitrogen Technology

 

IQF wire belt conveyor systems that utilize Liquid Nitrogen (LN) are an efficient way to freeze cheese – requiring infinitely less space than a Spiral Conveyorized Freezer. They do however require that an LN tank be installed and rented as well as an LN contract for a number of years. The end result is a much higher cost to freeze (per pound) than the latest IQF technologies. Clumping of cheese pieces can occur with these systems.

 

IQF – Fluidized Bed Technology

 

By Comparison the latest IQF Freezing Technology utilizes standard refrigerants (Ammonia, CO2, Freon R404 & R507) to freeze the product at a much lower cost than LN IQF technologies. These systems are also infinitely smaller than Spiral Freezers and can fit in a space as small as 10’ x 10’ x 10’. Since air movement is used to create a fluidized bed in the cabinet freezer the product is separated from its neighbors which provides optimal crust freezing – and therefore moisture retention in the product. Additionally clumping of cheese pieces is prevented in this way.

 

Cheese pieces as small as shreds can be frozen as well as cubes, curd, mozzarella balls, sticks and strings, and other formats without the use of Liquid Nitrogen.

 

By Comparison the latest IQF Freezing Technology utilizes standard refrigerants (Ammonia, CO2, Freon R404 & R507) to freeze the product at a much lower cost than LN IQF technologies. These systems are also infinitely smaller than Spiral Freezers and can fit in a space as small as 10’ x 10’ x 10’. Since air movement is used to create a fluidized bed in the cabinet freezer the product is separated from its neighbors which provides optimal crust freezing – and therefore moisture retention in the product. Additionally clumping of cheese pieces is prevented in this way.

 

The latest IQF technology has been developed with the customer in mind and offers unique features that make the system ideal for Cheese producers and converters.

 

Want to discuss and application and what is possible?

 

Book an application discussion with Valcour’s Norm LaVigne, Founder of Valcour Process Technologies today.