Static vs Fluidized Freezing: What is the Premium Method for IQF Berries?
Increased Demand for Raspberry Processing
In 2021, the global export of raspberries saw a record-breaking boost, especially in the regions of Europe and North America. This boost is linked to the increase in global prices for frozen raspberries that was followed by an increased expansion in the raspberry plantations. Due to its perceived health benefits, adaptivity to different soil and climatic conditions, and increased economic efficiency, raspberries offer many advantages over other fruit plants, including a quick repayment of the initial investments.
Static vs Fluidised Freezing
To maintain competitiveness within the industry, frozen raspberry processors smartly choose their freezing methods and equipment in order to be able to sell competitive, premium products on the global market. The two most common methods of freezing raspberries are 1) cold storage freezing, achieved through static freezing, and 2) individually quick frozen (IQF) freezing, which is achieved in a fluidized freezer.
Static freezing involves stacking boxes with products inside of a cold chamber and slow freezing them for about half a day. On the other hand, IQF freezing involves freezing in a fluidized tunnel that quick-freezes raspberries within minutes.
The Capacity Challenge
Since static freezing takes a considerably longer amount of time to freeze berries, the capacity with this type of freezing is compromised. Moreover, processors cannot freeze washed or wet raspberries with static freezing which complicates the process even more. While cold storage, for example, can freeze 3 tons over a span of maybe 8 to 12 hours roughly, the OctoFrost IQF Freezer can freeze the same amount in approximately 8 minutes. Thus, a fluidized freezer allows processors to run considerably higher capacities and produce greater output compared to the static approach.
“In freezing raspberries, our experience shows that OctoFrost is the best way you can do it.”
OctoFrost Customer from Eastern Europe
Though the popular belief with static freezing is that it would maintain the berries’ shape, that is not always the case. Having a stack of overripe raspberries put together can often result in clumping, which damages the product's appearance.
On the other hand, a fluidized freezer with bedplate technology ensures that individual pieces of raspberries remain separated during the freezing process. The adjustable airflow and air pressure in the OctoFrost IQF Freezer also guarantee gentle freezing and minimal crumbles, without compromising product shape and IQF quality.
Low Dehydration for Higher Profitability
One problem processors face in raspberry processing is dehydration. Customers report that in IQF freezing, dehydration levels for IQF raspberries range from 1% to 5%, while in static freezing these can range from 4% to 10%, which is many times more the amount of weight loss. With a fluidized freezer, raspberry processors save up to 10% in yield and make more profits on the basis of dehydration alone.
IQF Technology for the future
Given the multiple benefits that a fluidized freezer offers over a static freezer, moving from static slow-freezing to fluidized IQF freezing becomes an intelligible choice for a modern IQF berry processing business. With more and more berry plantations every year, together with OctoFrost Freezer’s ability to process multiple kinds of applications throughout the year, processors can grow their businesses at substantially high rates and enjoy premium profits.