One of the most popular trends in the frozen vegetable sector at the moment is IQF edamame. Edamame (or soya beans) is a vegetable that has almost the same nutritional value and health benefits as meat, being considered the new super-food in the food industry.
Soy bean has been cultivated in Asia for centuries, and it has been used for generations as a healthier and more cost-efficient version of meat, while also being the most popular protein source for vegetarians. Lately, the interest towards edamame, which is immature soybeans, started to grow more and more among the Asian consumers.
Edamame was already popular in Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea, but the popularity and demand for this vegetable are rapidly increasing in the Western world, as well. Many consumers are becoming more aware of the health benefits of IQF fruit and IQF vegetables. This trend for a healthier lifestyle has a big contribution to the growth in popularity of edamame. People consume edamame as an appetizer, a snack or as a salad ingredient, even though this trend came along together with sushi consumption. The increasing demand for this young soy bean is also a challenge for the frozen food processors, who need to deliver high quality IQF edamame to the market in order to keep up the pace with this trend.
In order to obtain high quality IQF edamame, every frozen food processor needs to follow some mandatory steps, among the most important being a performant processing equipment.
Edamame is a vegetable with a hard and thick pod, therefore it needs a longer blanching time. For the best results, it is recommended to use a performant section blancher that can ensure an optimal temperature control. Also, the most recommended refrigerant for the chilling process of IQF edamame is glycol, which is the best option for avoiding the risk of having ammonia inside the production zone. For excellent freezing results, IQF edamame processors need the most advanced IQF technology that can ensure superior end products and also increase production yield. The OctoFrost IQF tunnel freezer ensures a higher production yield, minimum dehydration and lower energy consumption by 30%.
The increasing interest in IQF edamame on the frozen food market seems to never stop, with new products, new super-foods and new technologies innovating the food industry. The success of IQF edamame in Asia is inspiring the western markets to produce and process this wonder vegetable, as well. We, at OctoFrost, are curious to see how big this success will become and how fast it will grow. Processors might encounter some challenges on the way since consumers are becoming more aware of what they eat, the quality they expect, as well as being overall more knowledgeable and informed about their choices. For questions and thoughts on the topic of freezing IQF edamame feel free to get in touch on www.octofrost.com