Unlocking Growth: The Surge in Frozen Cheese Demand and the Superiority of IQF Technology
Capturing the Potential of the Frozen Cheese Market

Capturing the Potential of the Frozen Cheese Market

Jan 15, 2024 | News

The cheese market is experiencing an increased demand for the frozen category, particularly from the convenience and ready-meals sectors. Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of frozen cheese, the overall demand for this category is likely to grow at a strong CAGR of 6% between 2022 and 2032, totaling around US$ 17.4 Billion by 2032.

In recent years, cheese consumption has taken off in China with double-digit growth (~18% YOY) showing very strong potential for the category. China is also one of the growing markets for frozen and chilled cheese. It is estimated that by 2032, the Chinese chilled and frozen cheese market will reach US$1.35 billion. High disposable income, the introduction of new products, and the rising demand for convenience foods will further drive the growth of the country’s frozen and chilled cheese market in the coming years – and the local producers are making deliberate efforts to capture this potential.

Producing Premium IQF Cheese

IQF is emerging as the most efficient and superior freezing method for cheese. Cheese that is IQF frozen will have minimal textural change compared with cheese that is frozen using older technologies, like cold storage freezing. While you can freeze just about any type of cheese, softer cheeses like young cheddar and mozzarella can be frozen either cubed (balls in the case of mozzarella) or shredded. The firmer varieties, such as cheddar, gouda, and Swiss, are generally considered to be easier to freeze due to their stable structure. Also, it’s worth noting that cheese that is IQF frozen doesn’t require pre-treatment with an anti-caking agent. These are important aspects to be taken in account by processors at the start of their journey.

The Importance of Using an Optimal IQF Freezer 

With multiple large customers producing premium IQF cheese, OctoFrost has learned that there is no room for compromise when it comes to product quality and food safety for a profitable frozen cheese business.

Processing cheese comes with some of the highest demands in terms of food safety and cleanability of the equipment. The OctoFrost™ IQF tunnel is designed to meet and exceed the most stringent requirements in this field.

Moreover, product quality, high yield, and energy efficiency are other important aspects that every cheese processor takes into account when choosing the right IQF technology for their business.

Guaranteed Food Safety

OctoFrost™ IQF tunnel Freezer is designed as an easily accessible hermetic unit with rounded corners and sloping surfaces for thorough and efficient cleaning. Easily exchangeable and cleaned outside the freezer - the OctoFrost bedplates decrease downtime without compromising food safety. In combination with an effective Clean-In-Place (CIP) system, it helps processors maintain high food safety standards. The free-standing monoblock housing allows easy cleaning under the freezer as well.

Mozzarella Cleaning System

Shredded mozzarella particularly poses additional challenges in terms of cleanability – as it is sticky and difficult to wash off any equipment when it comes in contact with.

To meet the most demanding requirements of cheese processors, OctoFrost has developed a dedicated Mozzarella Cleaning System. This system is an add-on to the standard CIP system, and it is comprised of a much stronger cleaning agent that dissolves the sticky mozzarella leftovers from all surfaces. Additionally, the system features a recirculating system that filtrates the cleaning agent, thereby reducing costs. The new cleaning system has reduced cleaning time by 50% and improved cleaning results for some of the largest mozzarella processors in the world.

Energy Efficiency

The OctoFrost™ frequency inverter-controlled motors allow optimal adjustment of airflow and air pressure to avoid product overblow, product damage, and formation of fines; this prolongs the time between defrost, improves product quality, and contributes to significant energy savings for cheese processors. Some of the OctoFrost™ customers freeze cheese for up to 5 days without defrosting.

The decrease in fan speed is also allowed by the open structure under the bedplate and no obstructive parts that can divert and slow down the airflow. The ability to decrease the fan speed, results in energy savings as high as 30% while preserving a premium product quality.

Natural Appearance

The “browning effect” is a common issue some cheese processors face when freezing cheese. With the OctoFrost IQF Freezer this issue is completely avoided due to the efficient quick crust-freezing and effective fluidization which takes place in the freezer. The browning effect is a result of a too slow freezing process, while in the OctoFrost Tunnel the quick crust-freezing preserves the natural color of the cheese and ensures minimal dehydration of the products resulting in premium product quality.

High Yield

The OctoFrost IQF Freezer design is based on years of experience, scientific methods, and thorough testing. The complex aerodynamics in the freezer, together with the unique octagon shape of the freezer, significantly improves air circulation, reduces product dehydration, and prevents snow formation in the freezer. The product dehydration with the OctoFrost tunnel is below 0.5%, while with other freezing technologies it can reach as high as 10%. Minimizing product dehydration, the OctoFrost IQF technology helps cheese processors to stay profitable and competitive with a high-value product.

Many of the largest IQF cheese processors worldwide have chosen OctoFrost IQF technology for their business. Get in touch with us and learn more about how OctoFrost IQF technology can help you establish a successful IQF cheese business.

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