When it comes to food preservation, cold storage isn’t the only choice. “Individual quick freezing,” or IQF, is another alternative. And what exactly is IQF? And what is the difference between IQF and cold storage freezing?
What Is Cold Storage Freezing and How Does It Work?
As we all know, cold room freezing is the method of choice in the industry. Because it is particularly effective at freezing large amounts of foods. Not just that, but it’s also suited for bigger items like the whole chickens or other meats.
Food goods will be placed in a cold storage unit until they are completely frozen. and it normally takes a long time to complete.
What Is IQF? and How Does It Work?
As the name suggests, IQF freezes foods individually instead of all together. This is also known as flash freezing. Usually, it’s used for smaller food products, like berries, vegetables, pasta, or cheese.
With IQF, foods are rapidly frozen to speed up the frozen process. This results in fewer ice crystals, which then boosts the quality of your frozen foods.
The Benefits of IQF
Below, we’ll compare different aspects of IQF freezing and cold storage freezing, You’ll get to learn the key differences between these two methods.
There is a reduction of time required.
It takes a long time to freeze items in a cold store. IQF, on the other hand, uses a freezer with a fluidized bed that moves the food items in a thermodynamic way. As a result, the foods freeze faster to the core.
Color Retention is Improved
Cold-store frozen foods, particularly meat, have a grey appearance after defrosting.
At first glance, frozen items from the cold store appear to have a more bright color. When you defrost them, however, they soon lose their color and turn gray.
Because the flash-freezing process keeps the product’s natural quality and causes very little decay, IQF prevents discoloration. When IQF food is defrosted, they take on a more natural color.
Nutrient Retention is Better
Ice crystals usually always exist in cold storage freezing, and they will affect the molecular structure of foods. It will, in most situations, destroy the nutrients.
however, the original molecular structure of the food will be preserved in IQF, which means that the nutrients naturally present within it will be better retained.
Food of higher quality
The high amount of dehydration is one of the key drawbacks of Cold Storage Freezing. Dehydration is considerably decreased by using IQF technology.
Ice crystals cause drip loss as you defrost items from cold storage. This removes moisture from the food, which is therefore lost after defrost.
As a result, the food’s natural texture and quality may be lost.
There is no deformation.
It might be difficult to separate various food products when they are frozen together. If you succeed in tearing them apart, you risk causing damage and/or deformation. This might lead to a decrease in production.
The items freeze faster and separate from one another throughout the IQF process, making it impossible for them to adhere together and remain that way until the first thaw.
Less manpower required
When it comes to cold storage freezing, you’ll need a lot of labor to move boxes and trays around, as well as cleaning and storing them. Also, if the food is frozen in blocks, mechanical separation is required.
Using IQF technology the frozen food will be unfrozen quickly. Shrimps froze using IQF, for example, maybe frozen in a matter of minutes or, even better, cooked right from the freezer, but defrosting shrimp blocks(in cold room) can take up to 20 hours.
Improved Food Safety
Employees are almost never exposed to IQF foods since they need very little handling. It’s even possible to attain O exposure. When an item of food is frozen in a cold store, it passes through several hands before reaching the end customer.
And, for frozen food distributors, it’s critical to choose food that’s not only of good quality but also has a long life span, so it will be considered to who use IQF rather cold storage freezing.