Asparagus is a high value product and in the case of IQF asparagus, extra attention is needed for the pre-processing techniques as well as for the freezing technology used to freeze asparagus
Pre-cooling – the first step to quality Iqf asparagus
To achieve premium quality IQF asparagus, the first step is to start with the cutting of fresh asparagus, then the selection, blanching and cooling of asparagus. The team from OctoFrost recommends that pre-cooling is made with a hydro cooler at +7oC. Asparagus can also be frozen at higher infeed temperatures but it can negatively affect the overall capacity. Now, the freezing process in the IQF tunnel can start.
Placing asparagus on the belt and the importance of light airflow
Asparagus is a particular product, which is why for freezing there is a big difference of technique in comparison to other food products. For other products you want the air to move the product and create a complete fluidization but for IQF asparagus the air circulating inside the IQF tunnel freezer need to be set in such a way that the product is not moving at all. In addition, the loading of the asparagus needs to be in the cross direction of the belt movement, to avoid the risk of the product rolling out to the bed side. The load of asparagus can be as much as possible, as long as there is airflow going through the asparagus pieces.
Premium product equals happy customer
Consumers will pay more for premium quality food products with natural appearance, shape, color, taste and texture and the OctoFrost Frozen IQF asparagus is exactly that. The OctoFrost™ freezer is the most innovative IQF tunnel on the market, providing the best results with asparagus. A good quality product with natural appearance will be sold at a premium price, and in addition to this, asparagus processors will also have a higher yield of the production due to the innovative technological features of the OctoFrost™.
Saves money with consistency in the quality of freezing
Other IQF freezers offer a two-belt solution for processing asparagus which results in broken tips of the product. In addition, the asparagus will come out unsorted. This is a typical problem with two-belt solutions and requires more people at the outfeed for sorting. In comparison, the OctoFrost™ requires limited manual handling because the product is placed in good order into the freezer and comes out in the same order at the outfeed.
It is important to keep in mind that every food product is different and will require different freezing techniques for the best freezing results. The OctoFrost™ is customize on the needs of our customers and the production line which is why you will not find two identical OctoFrost freezers. Our team has extensive experience in IQF freezing and will gladly help you with any questions you might have about your processing line.