HOW TO ACHIEVE HIGH QUALITY IQF BANANA
Bananas are one of the most demanded fruit worldwide, known for providing a quick and sustained energy boost. They are easy to digest and don’t contain any fat, cholesterol or sodium. Bananas have been commercialized on the market for decades, but the increasing demand for new, diverse and high-quality products, made the producers come up with new alternative products.
The frozen banana market has grown significantly, as a direct reaction to the increasing trend for ready-to-eat products. Along with fresh bananas, frozen bananas are sold on the market, the consumers and processors using them for yogurts, smoothies, ice cream and also for frozen snacks and deserts.
If you want to achieve high quality frozen banana there is one only way: the individually quick freezing method. The IQF technology is far more superior to traditional freezing methods, because it ensures the banana’s natural smell, taste, texture, and nutrients while also maintaining perfect separation of each piece of the IQF banana.
If you want to obtain high-quality IQF banana, you need to keep in mind some important elements. Bananas are sticky products and have a high sugar content, which makes them difficult products to freeze. The selection of raw material is the first step of great importance if you want to achieve the best results. Choosing premium raw material at the right ripeness stage is essential if you want to avoid the formation of lumps and other surface defects on your IQF banana product. The raw bananas need to have a firm texture while overripe ones should be avoided from the start, removing them before starting the freezing process. The sticky pulp of the overripe bananas can get stuck on the bedplate, contaminating the other banana pieces and destroying the whole batch.
The next step after the selection of raw material is an adequate pre-treatment. Pre-cooling is necessary before slicing or dicing. Afterward, the bananas need to be dipped in a bath of ascorbic acid in order to prevent oxidation. For the optimal IQF banana, with no risk of coral formation, the OctoFrost specialists recommend a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius for the pre-cooling treatment and an ascorbic acid bath that shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. The infeed temperature is also of very high importance if you want to achieve premium IQF banana. A very high infeed temperature can compromise the IQF banana separation.
Choosing the optimal freezing technology makes the difference when it comes to the quality of the IQF banana. The OctoFrost IQF tunnel freezer is renowned for achieving great results even with difficult, sensitive and delicate products like IQF banana, surpassing any other freezing methods.
An increasing interest in a healthy diet has been observed at consumers and the interest in IQF fruit will continue to grow, IQF banana being no exception.