Whether suffering from rising operation costs due to escalating liquid nitrogen prices or looking for cost-effective alternatives to cryogenic freezing, mechanical freezing is now more favorable than ever for start-ups and new production lines thanks to its low running cost, quicker return on investment and technological advantages, according to JBT.
Cryogenic freezing has historically been seen as the freezing method of choice for new or small food producers due to its lower initial investment start-up cost, but this is no longer the case. With the prices of liquid nitrogen soaring – some estimates put increases as high as 266% over the past two years – producers are suffering from extremely high running costs and are now looking for cost-effective alternatives to cryogenic freezing.
“We hear from many customers that liquid nitrogen prices are soaring and that there is a shortage, meaning customers can’t even get hold of it,” says Torbjörn Persson, director of Global Sales Support & Product Line Management, Frigoscandia Freezers. “There is now a trend that more and more companies are looking at mechanical freezing from day one,” he continues. “With JBT, we are with you from the start and as production grows, JBT solutions will grow with you and provide you with the operating savings you need to run an efficient production line.”
For customers looking to take advantage of the cost and technological benefits of mechanic freezing, JBT Frigoscandia offers a number of leading and innovative options. The JBT Frigoscandia ADVANTEC™ Impingement Freezer brings together the running cost advantages of the best mechanical freezers with significant quality and appearance benefits.
“Although cryogenic freezers have a lower initial investment cost than mechanical freezers, there’s a high running cost for the gas, and this is especially true at the moment,” explains Martin Andersson, JBT’s Freezer Application Specialist. “With a mechanical system, like the ADVANTEC, which uses electricity, there is a bigger investment at the start, but companies can reach a break-even point within a few years, at which point it becomes cheaper.”
For customers seeking to preserve product quality during freezing, the ADVANTEC is ideal. Making use of impingement technology (high pressure air jets blown through a series of small holes), the system employs a faster freezing time to conserve quality, and assure taste and mouthfeel. In the process, dehydration is drastically minimized and yield is maximized, while shelf-life is increased.
The Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT 40
Another system which delivers a winning Return on Investment for start-ups or smaller producers is the JBT Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® 40 (GC40), JBT´s most compact, hygienic and efficient spiral freezer ever made. Crucially, the GC40 is a system which comes with all the same innovative JBT features of a larger machine.
Demonstrating that customers are already moving away from cryogenic freezing in the face of high gas price challenges, Persson says the GC40 experienced a substantial sales increase in the second half of 2021 as companies sought more cost-effective alternatives.
Capable of freezing capacities of up to 1,000 kg/hour, the GC40 is aimed at start-ups or companies moving from using cryogenics for freezing. “Energy has crept up in most parts of the world, and liquid nitrogen is now really expensive to produce and use,” continues Persson.
Relatively simple to set-up and with all the latest hygienic features expected from JBT, the freezer is extremely compact at only 6.5 meters long and 2.5 metres wide. The GC40 also features 35%-40% higher capacity than any similar competitor model.
“The GC40 was built to serve smaller processors, some who are just starting up and others who are converting from liquid nitrogen,” says Persson. “We’ve seen some customers skipping the liquid nitrogen and going straight to mechanical.”
Martin Andersson adds: “At JBT, regardless of whether you choose a Frigoscandia ADVANTEC or a Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT Spiral Freezer, we have very reliable and hygienic freezing solutions that keep customers’ businesses running as they should.”