As technology advances and the fruit and vegetable market becomes more global, there is an increasing emphasis on ensuring that food safety is of the highest standard. Swedish based company, OctoFrost Group, believes that their IQF freezers can play an important role in ensuring reliable food safety for the food processing industry.
The fresh fruit and vegetable sector is the company's largest segment and they work with many well known processors in South America, Europe, North America and Asia. The freezers are manufactured in Sweden and are then shipped worldwide. Svetlana Plotean from OctoFrost says that one of the greatest benefits of their IQF freezers is that they can be adapted to the needs of the customer.
"One of the most important features of our IQF freezer, in terms of food safety, is the exchangeable bedplates. The spare bedplate system makes it easy to thoroughly clean the bedplates outside of the freezer, without the need to stop production. This is different to a wire mesh, which is typical of many IQF freezers, which are extremely difficult to wash and can create major food safety risks, as it can become a source for bacteria build-up. We also have a highly efficient coil cleaning system and an automatic foam cleaning system, which is available for both cleaning and disinfection of the whole freezer. In addition to all this, the OctoFrost IQF freezer has a mono-block body with no grooves or joints that can accumulate water and permit bacteria to hide and grow in the freezer. Due to these features, which ensure reliable food safety, together with the adjustable airflow which leads to almost no dehydration of the product - the energy consumption is lower while yield is higher, and this means higher profitability for our clients." shared Svetlana.
The issue of dehydration is especially important for berries due to their high moisture content. This is why the exchangeable bedplates and adjustable fans play an important role in creating optimal airflow, according to the product you are freezing. This is especially beneficial for both preserving the moisture and preventing damage to delicate products, such as tropical fruits and berries; for example, mango, avocado or raspberries.
Cleaning time is also a crucial factor when it comes to profitability, especially during the high production season. The cleaning cycle should not only be fast, but more importantly – as ample as possible.
Any inefficient cleaning systems will threaten the food safety of all production as fans will keep circulating bacteria contamination over and over through the production batches.
The company started producing their freezers in 1999, and the current model of the OctoFrost freezer is the result of numerous improvements implemented year after year, after carefully listening to the customers’ needs. Svetlana shared that no two OctoFrost freezers are identical as each is fully customized to the customer’s requirements and to the products frozen - this way the best freezing results are achieved.