Air Products launches online freezing calculator tool

Air Products has launched an interactive, online tool that enables food manufacturers to compare freezing times for their products using cryogenic versus mechanical freezing technologies.

The tool will allow food manufacturers to determine, at a glance, if they could make production improvements by implementing cryogenic freezing technology at their sites.

Cryogenic freezing, which typically uses liquid nitrogen at -196°, can significantly reduce freeze times, speeding up production and improving efficiency. By entering a few simple details including product category, start temperature and production rate, the tool will calculate estimated comparative freeze times as well as the freezer belt length required.

For example, a bakery product manufacturer producing 2,000kg/h for 16 hours a day could take just four minutes to freeze product using a cryogenic freezer, instead of approximately 23 minutes using a mechanical freezer, and could reduce belt length by up to 66 metres.

According to the industrial gas company, cryogenic freezing has a number of other benefits for food producers too. A faster freeze time minimises the formation of ice crystals, reducing cell wall damage and resulting in better product taste and texture as moisture levels are maintained.

Cryogenic systems are also more flexible than mechanical freezers and can be set up for different recipes meaning the same machine can be used for various throughputs and products. The smaller footprint of cryogenic freezing tunnels, in relation to mechanical freezing technology, also delivers benefits for production sites where space is at a premium.

Neil Hansford, industrial cryogenic and food expert at Air Products said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed consumers’ shopping habits, with people increasingly choosing frozen options. As a result, food producers are having to adapt quickly to cope with new spikes in demand. Cryogenics makes freezing capability more agile and allows producers to flex their outputs.

“Likewise, Covid-19 has changed the way our customers look for information about new technologies and they’re increasingly searching for information online. Our new digital freezing tool recognises that, enabling producers to find the data they need to make buying decisions quickly and easily.”

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