Organic, healthy and nutritious products continue to be in high demand, however, supplying a superfood like bilberries continues to be a challenge for producers, trying reach as many people as possible throughout the year.
"Bilberries (aka. wild blueberries) can only be grown in certain types of soil and only produce in single or paired berries on their bush, which can make it difficult to produce and supply consumers in regions which are a great distance for the growing areas. Right now, the only way consumers can have better access to bilberries and benefit from the nutritious values of this berry is by buying IQF bilberries." shared Carmen Popescu from OctoFrost Group.
Consumers are more aware in recent years that frozen fruits and berries can be just as good as fresh fruits and berries. In order to maintain year round availability, the IQF solution is becoming more and more appealing to the market. This is especially true for IQF bilberries, which can retain all of their nutritious value for a longer period of time, for more than two years.
"With all of the difficulties producing bilberries, the processing of the berry can be just as challenging. Bilberries are known to be softer and juicier and they break really easily. Because they are even more sensitive than other berries, the individual quick freezing process is not so easy. Pre-cooling is recommended before starting the IQF freezing process and a good pre-treatment process is also required in order for the berries to be individually frozen properly." said Carmen.
She continued, "Our OctoFrost IQF tunnel freezer has shown really good results with this small, delicate and sensitive berry, because the unique air control and technical features of the freezer, which quickly creates a crust on the surface of the berries, protecting them from damage during the rest of the freezing process. Our specialists working world wide has noticed the increase in demand for IQF bilberries and we are well prepared to advise and inform food processors about the opportunities this new trend could bring to their business."