Whether you have heard of blast freezers before or not, in the following article you will learn a lot more about them. If you are completely new to the term – a blast freezer is a special kind of freezer used to keep food safely at very low temperatures in order to prevent micro-organisms from forming and growing. Another name that you may be more familiar with for a blast freezer is a shock freezer and they are something you should consider for your commercial food production or storage company. Before you decide to go ahead and invest in one with the help of a company such as London’s adk.co.uk, let’s take a closer look at what they are all about.
At a normal temperature, bacteria grows at a very exponential and rapid rate. Food thus becomes more and more unsafe for consumption. However, bacteria and micro-organisms cannot survive in extremely low temperatures, like those inside a blast freezer. This is why blast freezers are often used by companies, businesses and manufacturers in the food industry. Commercial kitchens, for example, use blast freezers to safely store cooked food and meals, leftovers, confectioneries, dairy products, seafood and meat. Ice-cream parlours, bakeries, caterers and restaurants are the type of businesses that you blast freezers the most.
Blast freezers can normally reduce food’s temperature from 70 degrees Celsius to -18 degrees Celsius within 4 hours.
What Is The Brief History Of Blast Freezers?
Food originally was preserved in ice brine and salt until 1842. It was only after the invention of the mechanical refrigerator that this preservation method was discontinued commercially. The first refrigerated frozen meat cargo was shipped in 1880 from Australia to Britain. At the turn of the 20th century, the most effective way of quick freezing was blowing air over the surface of food. This is the form of freezing that paved the way for the method of blast freezing used today.
Understanding A Blast Freezer’s Working Principle
In normal refrigerators, the water inside food crystallises when food is frozen. The crystals that are formed inside the frozen food are larger than the crystals formed in food frozen in a blast freezer. This is because blast freezers chill and freeze food rapidly. When the large crystals in food frozen by a conventional freezer start to melt, they rupture the preserved food’s cells. Eventually this can affect the taste and texture of that food.
Blast freezers quickly freeze food stored inside thanks to the blowers inside that pass the chilled air over the surface of the food. Modern models now feature movable trays that allow you to customise the positioning of food stored inside to optimise freezing times.
It is important to be careful when using blast freezers not to store too high a volume of hot food as this will increase the overall internal temperature. Because the food inside a traditional freezer is stacked one above another, the air that circulates inside can become stagnated. This means that the cold air that is pumped inside has to cool not only the food but the stagnant air. This is why when you are cooling food in a normal freezer it takes longer than it does in a blast freezer.
There is always a large amount of space between the trays in a blast freezer and as cold air is pumped in smooth and laminar fashion behind the racks, it makes the process a whole lot quicker and more efficient.
What Are The Main Advantages Of Blast Freezing?
- Blast freezing locks the nutritional value, flavour, texture and colour of the food it preserves.
- Food involving delicate preparations such as pasta, soufflés and fruit extracts are protected from damage to the physical appearance and dehydration by an ice skin formed on the surface as a result of the faster freezing.
- As blast freezing presents the growth of micro-organisms, it ensures that the food is 100% safe.
- Food from a blast freezer when thawed, keeps its structure and quality better.
- The chance of contamination is very low when using a blast freezer as it provides different compartments for different food preservation.
- Blast freezers are ideal for storing very large batches of leftovers, meaning that a chef’s options are increased, while his food wastage is decreased.
What, If Any, Are The Disadvantages Of Blast Freezing?
- Blast freezers are not suitable for domestic use and are usually very expensive
- The process involves a larger energy consumption than standard freezing, which is why it is only used commercially.
For expert advice on blast freezers , feel free to call ADK on 0208 8318900