In the previous articles, we have spent plenty of time going over what IQF is and what industries use it. However, we have yet to have a detailed informed discussion about the meaning of IQF and how its presence changed the food industry in a myriad of ways.
As such, in this article, our main focus will be going over the meaning of IQF, how it works as well as the ways in which it has changed the food and production industry.
IQF Meaning :
The term IQF stands for Individual Quick Freezing. To clarify this the individual quick freeze technology that is used in IQF is not set in stone. In fact, different IQF Freezer manufacturers use different processes to achieve IQF. For example, while some manufacturers use air pressure in their IQF Freezer to create an environment for IQF Freezing to be possible.
On the other hand, there are also manufacturers who try to give IQF meaning through the use of technology that allows for the conveyor belt to shake in the process of freezing, ensuring the products do not stick to one another. Some other manufacturers try to give IQF meaning by using an internal circulation mechanism that causes enough disturbance to create sufficient gap within the products to ensure IQF Freezing.
So, when it comes to the means and methods through which we understand IQF Meaning or how manufacturers try to give IQF Meaning, it becomes obvious that no one individual method is the right answer. Thus, in order to best give IQF Meaning and find out which IQF Freezer is best suited for your business, it becomes necessary to understand not just the freezer but also your product and how you intend to freeze it.
Freezing using IQF :
Different products have different ice crystal formation thresholds. Depending on the product and the temperature gradient between its core and its external surface, it may become necessary to conduct tests on different models to understand which method works best with which product.
For example, certain kinds of sardines freeze incredibly well when vacuum packed and dipped in cooled alcohol brine solutions. However, the same sardines end up freezing quite differently in a typical IQF Freezer. Depending upon the skin and its delicacy as well its texture, the results of IQF Freezing can be very different to those of alcohol based brine freezing.
Industries using Individual Quick Freezing :
Now that we have gone over IQF Meaning, we can take a look at the various industries that rely on IQF Freezing and how they have revolutionized the way in which they handle their product and inventory and even packaging.
To illustrate this, let us take the example of the strawberry industry. Strawberries, being a crowd favourite are always in demand. As such, in order to keep them available all year round, many manufacturers choose to freeze them so as to preserve them longer. However, given the delicate nature and texture of strawberries, it became difficult to freeze them together without having the strawberry stick to one another, get damaged upon defrosting and losing moisture and flavour.
This is where IQF Freezers came to the rescue. By ensuring equal and even freezing along with a high freezing threshold, IQF Freezing made it so that the strawberries were frozen independently, with minimal interaction among the surrounding strawberries and came out frozen yet individually separated. This revolutionized not just the strawberry production industry but also its packaging and distribution sector. In addition to this, demand for strawberries increased many fold as customers could now enjoy their favourite berry at any time of the year with quality comparable to having been freshly picked out of the garden.
It was fantastic and the companies that seized the opportunity to work with this new technology experienced tremendous growth. That is the true meaning behind IQF. To be able to create opportunities to preserve, maintain and process food while minimizing damage, wastage and food loss.
Purchasing an IQF Freezer :
Prior to purchasing an IQF Freezer, it is always recommended that you do your research. After all, an IQF Freezer is not a very cheap product. However, if careful deliberation and thought has been put into the process prior to purchase, there should be no problems whatsoever in regards to investing in an IQF Freezer.
By taking the time to truly understand your product and its needs, you can find an IQF Freezer that is capable of delivering the best possible results at a very reasonable price point. In addition to all of this, it is also important to check your IQF Freezers for certification. This is necessary because certified products have the benefit of being white listed by health and safety regulatory boards and as such, purchasing an IQF Freezer that has the appropriate certifications will help greatly mitigate any health or advisory issues.