IQF is an existing technology that nonetheless plays a key role in the modern freezing industry. With humble beginnings half a century ago, it was initially discovered by a fisherman, who, inspired by the natives, decided to lay freshly caught fish directly onto the cold snow. The incredibly low climates enabled the fish to be flash-frozen, and, upon thawing, reportedly it even came alive.
Struck by this peculiarity, the modern father of the freezing industry has decided to take the lesson to heart and started up his very own flash-freezing business. Many years later, companies like Octofrost have innovated, and expounded upon existing methods and technology, taking the game to the next level.
Here’s everything you will ever need to know about IQF technology and its myriad applications in the modern-day.
A simple introduction
IQF stands for individual quick-freezing, a type of freezing that guarantees the quick individual freezing of the product, be it poultry, seafood or fruit among others. This has many advantages, in terms of appearance, texture, flavor, and vitamin retention. Moreover, the result is a premium quality product, at an amazingly fast pace, making IQF freezing one of the key players in the modern freezing market, as more products aim to reach middle-income customers.
Given that the product starts losing quality precisely as it is harvested, IQF presents an expedient route toward preserving the quality of the product. It processes food as soon as possible, and due to its fast speed, improved considerably in modern IQF processing lines, allows for a nearly perfectly preserved product.
Unlike other preservation methods, IQF needs no added substances such as stabilizers, acidifiers, or anything else to get the job done. As a freezing method, it is one of superior quality, with many advantages in terms of food safety ratings and processing effectiveness, to say nothing of yield and speed.
Primarily, IQF freezing is fast. That makes it one of the best freezing methods for achieving premium-grade products. During freezing, the moisture inside and covering the product gets frozen alongside the product. When frozen, water transforms into ice crystals. If the freezing process is too slow, these crystals become large enough in diameter to potentially break the cellular walls within the frozen goods, degrading their overall quality. These will then likely alter their taste, smell, appearance, and more.
Conversely, IQF looks to cut this problem by introducing high-speed freezing into the equation. When you’re working with an IQF Freezer, you’re getting the best in terms of an expedient freezing experience. Chilly air flows, a pre-freezing processing procedure that ensures the product is completely ready to be quickly frozen and supplies the necessary level of quality you would expect.
Additionally, the final product keeps its separation. That means that there are no large food clumps that the customer will need to separate, before defrosting, creating a more sustainable and easier to use choice, making it that much more attractive.
Frozen products under IQF processing also supply a higher count of vitamins and minerals, thanks to the previously described freezing factors. Both the speed, as well as small ice crystal formation are crucial in preserving the nutritious elements long-term when it comes to the premium frozen goods you’re aiming to create.
When it comes to IQF processing, there are many more possibilities on what to do with the final product. Depending on the type of food you process, many doors can open before you. With IQF technology, you’re able to provide nutritious, delicious fruits and vegetables at a reasonable rate. What’s more, you can essentially guarantee that they’re top-shelf quality, and provide a premium product, at an affordable price.
Beyond that, there are many infeed options, so you can freeze almost anything you set your heart to. From shrimp to cheese to blueberries, the world of freezing is your oyster.
OctoFrost’s novel Multi-Level Impingement Freezer adds an added layer of freezing. Multi-level freezing, featuring several types of products might be precisely what your business needs. Simply expand your production to include various products by adding one more layer to the freezing line. Additionally, it’s possible to configure the freezing process according to your exact parameters. Freezing temperature, fan speed, and even line speed are all up to you to adjust in the way that makes the most sense for your business.
Futuristic food safety
One of the key factors when it comes to the food industry is the healthy ratings your product receives. The worst PR moves involve food safety in some way, which is why modern competitors have worked tirelessly to create the greatest food-safe technology out there. Octofrost, especially, has gathered the brightest engineers across the world to design and develop the IQF line that supplies some of the best food safety around.
Thanks to the innovative bedplate technology, it can be done. With a unique, patented design, the bedplates let air flow efficiently and supply excellent quality freezing as a result. Additionally, the airflow and the unique exchangeable bedplates ensure the separation of the product pieces, ensuring no formation of groups of frozen products, and ensuring the IQF method is adhered to.
Importantly, the excellent bedplate technology makes it easy to perform maintenance on the go, preventing cross-contamination or productivity/yield losses. That’s because, during production, a bedplate can be simply extracted by a maintenance worker, then hosed down, while the gap is filled with a fresh bedplate. This design has helped Octofrost supply frozen food processing technology that is well ahead of industry food safety regulations, futureproofing their customers and ensuring that everyone benefits from high-quality frozen goods.
The future of the freezing industry lies largely in the hands of IQF technology, with its many innovations. Creating a significant percentage of frozen goods, the high quality, great visual and taste appeal, coupled with excellent vitamin and nutritional contents ensure that it will only continue to grow in popularity over the years.