Starfrost’s Mechanical Freezing System Brings COOK a 30% Increase in Production

With the installation of a second spiral freezer manufactured by Starfrost, a company that specializes in mechanical freezing, COOK Trading has been able to increase the production capacity of its ready-to-cook meals.

With its premium quality frozen ready meals, the family business COOK has been able to completely revolutionize the market for ready-made meals in the 25 years since it was first established. COOK satisfies the rapidly growing consumer demand for high-quality ready-to-cook food by drawing inspiration from the flavor of delicious traditional home cooking.

Over 30 million meals are prepared annually at COOK’s three production kitchens located in the South of England. These meals are then distributed to more than 900 independent stores in addition to COOK’s own 90 retail locations. Following the purchase of new premises and the development of new product ranges, the company has experienced rapid and significant business growth over the course of the past three years.

After coming to the conclusion that new freezing equipment was necessary to support the company’s expansion plans, COOK reached out to its partners in the cooling technology industry, Starfrost. The two businesses had previously collaborated on an expansion project in 2019.

A mechanical freezing system that was custom-built by engineering teams at Starfrost and designed to integrate seamlessly with COOK’s processing line was developed and constructed by Starfrost. Since it was installed earlier this year, the additional Helix spiral freezer has increased COOK’s total production capacity across all production kitchens located in Sittingbourne, Kent, by 30%.

“Choosing the correct freezing process for food products is essential to maintain high manufacturing standards. The freezing process has an effect on processing time and consequently impacts profit margins. It is also key to deliver the consistent product quality we require at COOK,” said Ben Walker, general manager at COOK. “The choice between spiral freezing and blast freezing – a process we had used before, was made following extensive research and product test trials; the conclusion was that the spiral freezer option would facilitate greater efficiencies in the freezing process and provide consistent freezing. It also removed the need for the trolleys that blast freezing requires, reducing the risk of potential accidents caused by moving trolleys around the kitchen. The Helix spiral freezer has enabled us to significantly expand production capacity by 30%. The use of automated equipment means that our production line is continuously moving without interruption and our product quality levels are improved with consistent, non-stop freezing.”

The spiral freezer that was custom-built for COOK runs continuously and freezes the produce uniformly, making it possible for COOK’s production to be precisely controlled and monitored while also delivering reliable quality results. COOK was able to achieve an 80% increase in their total throughput thanks to the automated solution provided by both of their Starfrost spiral freezers.

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