Freezing delicate and sensitive products like IQF pasta is optimal in the OctoFrost™ IQF tunnel. The benefits of our individual quick freezer are that it is designed with up to five (5) freezing zones that control the circulating, bubbling and fixed bed fluidization. This enables quick freezing of the surface of the products to avoid dehydration and lump formation.
The aerodynamics and movement of the bedplates ensure that there will be no belt marks on the product surface, nor damage on the product corners.
With low dehydration and no lumps, IQF pasta will keep its natural appearance in volume and shape, and will fill the bags better.
Product characteristics of IQF pasta
Future growth in the IQF pasta industry will be fuelled by gluten-free varieties, new and innovative products and in general healthier solutions to the traditional pasta products. The growth of the ready meals sector is driving the increase in IQF pasta consumption, with pre-cooked IQF pasta gaining more and more attention.
A typical pre-treatment for short IQF pasta and IQF ravioli is light blanching followed by pasteurization.
Possible challenges when freezing
Pasta products can be challenging during the freezing process due to their fragile texture and starch-rich surface which makes the pasta sticky and at risk of forming lumps during freezing. The corners of filled pasta, in particular, can get very fragile and brittle during the freezing process.
OctoFrost™ freezer is successfully avoiding lump formation with the help of the vibrating bed plate and an even fluidization. The frequency inverter controlled motors are making it possible to adjust to optimal airspeed which in combination with a correct bed motion and bed depth achieves excellent IQF pasta.
Another important advantage of the OctoFrost™ is the function of reducing the freezing intensity to finish-freeze the product, which can be used as a "buffering time" for pausing the production while avoiding the over drying of the IQF pasta. In addition, OctoFrost™ freezer has the following food safety features: free-standing, no joints, easy access for cleaning, removable bedplates, and cleanable design.