April 23, 2018
Blast-freezing – the process of pushing cold air at high velocity across a product to freeze it down to minus 18°C as quickly as possible – has revolutionised the freezing process. But what about the reversal of this procedure?
Traditionally the defrosting process could take up to a week for high density products like pork or beef, which is clearly prohibitive for the fast-paced food industry and the increasing demand for quick deliveries.
Last year, Rick Bestwick opened Europe’s largest up-tempering facility following a £3.2 million investment. The 10,000 square foot purpose-built site at Rick Bestwick’s Chesterfield headquarters, houses two new continuous microwaves with a weekly capacity of approximately 2,000 tonnes and was constructed to solve just this problem for its customers.
Capable of up-tempering products from -18°C to -3°C in under one minute, the microwaves not only provide the opportunity for faster dispatch but also offer consistent and predictable results. The reduced tempering time increases shelf life and minimises any risk of product degradation including organoleptic, chemical and physical characteristics as well as cutting down drip loss. Additional benefits, such as reduced packaging moisture, also means products need not be re-packaged. Each microwave cycle is tailored to the customer’s individual product. This role is fulfilled by a team of technical staff and trained vets who conduct trials before the start of each new contract to ensure that the correct parameters are known for every new product.
The up-tempering facility has enabled more food manufacturers to take control of seasonal demand, quality and peaks and troughs of production, whilst reducing waste and driving efficiencies.
To see the story "in print", view Meat Managements online magazine; http://edition.pagesuite-profe...