Chilling fruits and berries is usually done either right after blanching to halt the blanching process or simply to drop the temperature of the product before IQF freezing, for a better freezing result and a higher capacity.
The challenge occurring when chilling fruits or berries is to preserve the natural color and keep the juices and sugar levels of the product. When it comes to dices or halves (open structure of the meet) this aspect is even more critical. As berries are not usually cut, these are less prone to this risk.
Chilling can be done with chilled water or cold air however the cold air chilling is usually causing product dehydration which translates in yield loss and product quality loss.
With the OctoFrost™ IF Chiller however, the yield is not compromised and the OctoFrost™ rain shower system ensures the preservation of the natural appearance of the product. In addition to the advantage of not dehydrating the product, the OctoFrost™ chilling tunnel has a number of other very important benefits, when it comes to chilling fruits and berries.
The OctoFrost™ IF Chiller achieves the quickest heat transfer through its rain shower system. The water is filtered, recirculated and then chilled by the plate heat exchanger (PHE). The PHE provides ice-cold water with a temperature of 1°C. The system is designed to reach a product core temperature of 5°C or less. The water falls gently over the product by means of gravitation only, therefore product quality is not compromised. Additionally, the rain shower system has a product cleaning function.
For a quick chilling it is very important to have the same temperature of the chilled water in all parts of the chilling machine. This is why the OctoFrost team of engineers has designer our chilling tunnel with a crossflow water system. The high volume of filtered and recirculated 1°C water is distributed evenly across the whole width and length of the chiller; deluging the product and immediately exiting the chiller to be re-chilled by the PHE (a traditional counter-flow water system, however, has water with the set chilling temperature entering the opposite side of the product infeed. This water warms-up while passing through the whole length of the chiller, resulting in a longer chilling time and significantly less control over the water temperature).
Here are the main benefits which come together with an OctoFrost™ IF Chiller:
High Product Quality and Yield
A well-chilled product has a core temperature of 5°C or less and has retained its moisture and flavor. The OctoFrost™ IF Chiller is designed to achieve just that.
Energy Efficiency is one of the main design criteria of the OctoFrost™ IF Chiller. As heat transfer is faster with water than with forced air or traditional counter-flow water chillers, the OctoFrost™ rain shower system achieves the fastest heat transfer.
After each filtered cycle, the temperature difference or is less than 3°C, therefore requiring minimal energy to re-chill the water. It is important to note that by efficiently using the energy in the chilling machine, energy consumption in the IQF freezer is considerably reduced.
The OctoFrost™ IF Chiller has been designed to exceed all international regulations on food safety and hygiene. Every part of the chiller which comes in contact with the chilling water can be cleaned by CIP (Cleaning-In-Place).