Our Armfield blast chiller-freezer can blast chill, blast freeze or individually quick freeze products on a fluidised bed. The blast freezer section contains removable trays on which the food samples to be frozen are placed. Temperature can be set from 10°C down to -34°C, and the air speed varied up to 10 m/s. Product can be monitored through observation panels, whilst thermocouple sensor leads can be used to monitor environment and product temperatures and rates.
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At Campden BRI we have recently upgraded our rapid-freezing capabilities with the purchase of a new Armfield FT36 blast chiller freezer. There are two operating modes, blast freeze where products such as bakery goods or soft fruit and vegetables are placed on stainless steel trays in a flow of chilled air, maximum air flow across the trays is 11 meters per second and dampers can be used to reduce this to 6 metres per second. The second mode is fluid bed freezing where products such as peas or blackcurrants are fluidised in a flow of chilled air. This system will also work for sliced, diced or chipped vegetables such as carrots or potatoes. This, to some extent, can mimic IQF - individually quick-frozen.
As well as freezing the unit can be used for blasts chilling, this is useful for cooling ready meals after retort processing or drinks after hot filling from a UHT pasteuriser. This equipment is useful for NPD work where chilling or freezing is required and small-scale trials replicating industrial freezers.