After blanching, the vegetable product is immediately fed into the IF Chiller where ice-cold water gently falls over the product through a rain shower system. This is usually done to decrease the core temperature of the product before IQF freezing for a better freezing result and higher capacity.
Vegetable processors understand the importance of preserving the natural color, taste, and texture of the product, as a premium appearance and low dehydration contributes to a high yield.
Chilling can be done with cold water or cold air however the cold air chilling can cause product dehydration which will affect the yield and the product quality. This is why the OctoFrost™ IF Chiller features a rain-shower system as it achieves very quick chilling of the product, a high yield, and a premium quality end-product.
For a premium product, chilling must be quick and that can be achieved by having the same temperature of chilled water in all parts of the chilling machine. This is the reason the OctoFrost engineers designed this chilling tunnel with a crossflow water system.
A crossflow water system means that the high volume of filtered and recirculated 1°C water is distributed evenly across the whole width and length of the chiller; deluging the product and immediately exiting through the sides of the chiller to be re-chilled by the Plate Heat Exchanger (PHE).
Whereas, a traditional counter-flow water system would have the cold water enter from the opposite side of the product infeed. This water passes repeatedly through the product which means that it will warm-up while passing through the whole length of the chiller. This means longer chilling time and significantly less control over the water temperature and core temperature of the product.
The system of the OctoFrost™ IF chiller is designed to reach a product core temperature of 5°C or less. Since the water falls gently over the product by means of gravitation only, the product preserves its natural appearance.
The OctoFrost™ IF chilling tunnel provides multiple important benefits when chilling vegetables.
High Yield and Premium Product Quality
The OctoFrost™ IF Chiller achieves efficiently chilled vegetables with a core temperature of 5°C or less. This guarantees the retention of the product’s moisture level and flavor.
Energy Efficiency is at the core of all OctoFrost™ processing technology. As heat transfer is faster with water than with forced air or traditional counter-flow water chillers, the OctoFrost™ IF Chiller tunnel with its rain shower system achieves the fastest heat transfer.
After each cycle of water filtering, the temperature needs to be cooled down to less than 3°C for minimal energy consumption. By efficiently using the energy in the chilling tunnel, the energy consumption in the IQF freezer is significantly reduced.
The OctoFrost™ IF Chiller has been designed to exceed all international regulations on food safety and hygiene. Every part of the chiller that comes in contact with the water can be cleaned by a CIP (Cleaning-In-Place) system.