With COVID amplifying the ongoing labor shortage and high turnover rate in the foodservice industry, blast chilling and shock freezing technology has transitioned from a luxury item to an absolute necessity.

Blast chilling and shock freezing can allow the operator to help mitigate staffing shortages by speeding up production times, taking ownership of food costs by extending shelf life, and allowing for better production management with freezing capabilities that allow for true long-term storage.

What Is Blast Chilling? What Is Shock Freezing?

Blast chilling is the rapid removal of heat from a food product. The best machines can begin the chilling process, and rather than blowing cold air onto the product, they remove the heat from the food product. This minimizes surface dehydration and allows for maximum product freshness and quality.

Shock freezing is the rapid freezing of food products to 0ºF at the core. This rapid freezing to 0ºF at the core builds micro-crystalization that does not damage the food’s cellular structure or create freezer burn. This allows for long-term storage of food items – up to 6-12 months – without any quality loss.

Why Would You Want to Blast Chill Something? 

The benefits of blast chilling are twofold: the first step is to cool food products down to 153F, which stops steaming and locks in moisture. It is crucial to begin this chilling process immediately from the heat source to increase this impact. The second step is the rapid drop through the temperature dangerzone. This minimizes the bacterial load on the food item and extend shelf life by 2-3 times. Additionally, the increased cooling speed allows for better labor management & labor cost control.

Shock Freezing adds an additional dimension, changing the perception of freezing food without quality loss. With its rapid freezing capabilities, food items can be prepared in bulk and then frozen for up to 12 months without any discernable quality loss. Imagine the possibilities if most of next month’s prep is already prepared and ready to go when needed?

What Are the Benefits of Blast Chilling? 

There are many benefits associated with using a blast chiller. One of the benefits of using a blast chiller is that it can stop the cooking process and cool food, ensuring food is properly cooled. Walk-in freezers cannot do this, as the heat will clog the condenser.

Another benefit associated with blast chilling is that it ensures food is properly frozen, helping to prevent food waste. A blast chiller can properly complete the food preservation process, helping to cut the waste expenses associated with restaurant and foodservice companies.

Lastly, many businesses can reduce their labor expenses thanks to blast chillers. A blast chiller allows a company to prep food a couple of times a month rather than preparing food daily, which can decrease overall labor expenses. 

Why Is Irinox an Industry Leader in Blast Chilling? 

Since its founding in 1989, IRINOX has made it its mission to push the technological boundaries of blast chilling and shock freezing by continuously raising the industry bar with focus on advancing the capabilities of its units.

They are the only blast chilling and shock freezing manufacturer that can take hot food directly from the heat source and not only begin the chilling process but also ensure that all items 2” or less in thickness will be cooled below 40ºF within 90 minutes, a quarter of the HACCP regulations required in the USA.

Additionally, the shock freezing of those items can be done in four hours or less. Understanding the need for additional capabilities, IRINOX MultiFresh NEXT has a Temperature Range of +185 to -31, which allows for low-temperature cooking, thawing, overnight rethermalization, proofing and much more.

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