Blast Chillers & Blast Freezers

Did you know bacterial contamination in food occurs most quickly when food is between 3°C and 70°C? With consumers’ growing emphasis on food hygiene and freshness preservation, more F&Bs are investing in super refrigerators to reduce the temperature of hot foodstuffs in a short time. These super refrigerators are known as blast chillers/blast freezers in the commercial kitchen equipment industry.

Remember what our mums always tell us? Never to put hot food directly in the refrigerator! Although it is true that immediately storing a pot of freshly boiled pasta in the chiller will increase the internal cavity’s temperature, thereby affecting the surrounding food products, it is never good to leave the food to cool in the open as bacteria multiplies very quickly below 68°C.

A blast freezer shock freezes food products from:

Temperature

Products cooled through blast chillers keep four times as long as traditionally cooled products (e.g. fruit salad, cooked cream, vegetable soups etc). Furthermore it provides food manufacturers with opportunities to consolidate purchases when seasonal products are offered at lowest prices.

Some blast chilled samples certified by the Institute of research “Agrindustria” of Modena compares the shelf life of a variety of products cooled also by traditional methods:

Product

Traditional

Blast Chiller

(+90°C to +3°C)

Bolognese Sauce

6 days

11 days

Boiled Chicken

5 days

11 days

Roast Beef

5 days

11 days

Baked Pork

5 days

11 days

Cooked Cream

5 days

14 days

Stewed Fish

3 days

7 days

Further, a blast chiller improves productivity as fewer employees are needed in the kitchen as an effect of cooking extra quantity of foods to last more days, wastes are reduced, and quality of food is increased through shock freezing instead of traditional freezing. F&Bs can prepare fifty portions of soup and not significantly increase the cooking time compared to preparing twenty portions of soup. The fifty portions of soups may last a couple more days and only a few minutes will be necessary to regenerate the soup each day. With consolidated batches to cook for, kitchens save cleaning time for utensils, pots, work surfaces etc.

Lastly, blast chillers and freezers also safeguard the quality of food. Cooling through traditional methods (e.g. in a normal refrigerator) causes water molecules contained in the food to increase and the following laceration of the tissues reduce food thickness. During defrosting, considerable liquid is lost, often causing a shrinkage loss of 15 to 20%. With rapid blast chilling, water is trapped in the food cells and minimal ice crystals take place internally. The nutritional and organoleptic characteristics remain unaltered and weight loss, drying up and oxidation do not occur.