Reduce Ice Formation in a Blast Freezer using a Dehumidifier
May 18, 2020
What is a blast freezer?
A blast freezer is commonly used throughout the commercial food production industry. Their practical uses within this environment are vast and vitally important for a world that is driven by the pursuit of excellence and the highest quality. However, they are limited by their own application and being able to effectively reduce ice formation can be difficult. So, how is using a dehumidifier an effective solution to increasing the productivity of the production line?
Blast freezers can take food that is at 70 °C and reduce that to -18 °C within 45 minutes. This is a function that not only helps maintain the quality of flavour but also prevents the formulation of micro-organisms that are harmful to the food.
Why would you use a blast freezer?
There are a whole host of advantages to using a blast freezer within the world of food and drink production. From a commercial kitchen to a bakery and everything in between, the inclusion of a blast freezer in this world eliminates any worries regarding quality and hygiene.
Blast freezers are able to create much smaller crystals inside the food due to the rapid rate of freezing- this is when its compared more traditional means of cooling.
When it comes to thawing the food, these large crystals melting can rupture food cells. This has the knock-on effect of affecting the taste and texture of the food.
These smaller crystals also ensure that there are no physical or aesthetic issues with the product. This is a vitally important advantage in the resurgence of products with an artisan feel to them.
All the delicacies of these products can be perfectly preserved without sacrificing flavour or changing the way it looks.
What are the issues?
The conditions of a blast freezer ensure that the dew-point will be below freezing. In these conditions, there is an inevitable build-up of ice and frost. On a larger scale, we have seen these kinds of issues arise within cold-storage distribution centres.
In those situations, the build-up of frost and ice causes health and safety concerns. In the case of maintaining the quality of a blast freezer, those issues are transferred onto the food and the workings of the freezer itself.
Any time a warm material enters a cold, unconditioned area- the variance between heat causes those vapours to become ice crystals. If left untreated, this ice will continually build until it causes electrical issues within the freezer.
This can affect temperature gauges and cause misreadings and therefore causing the temperatures to be wrong for the contents of the freezer. It can also have an effect on your ability to fully shut the doors, something that has obvious consequences.
Just as you have to defrost the freezer in your home, a blast freezer is no different.
How do we fix them?
Given that ice build-up within a blast freezer is the result of condensation, the only surefire method of preventing this is to stop the ability for condensate to occur in the first place. The way that this is achieved is through developing an environment that is dry enough to ensure that condensation will not form.
If moisture can’t form in the conditioned space, then there is nothing to freeze over and hamper the quality of your product. This also prevents any mechanical or electrical issues from occurring so downtime is limited by eliminating the requirement of regular defrosting.
There is one method of alleviating these issues, preventing downtime and improving quality- desiccant dehumidification.
By lowering the relative humidity within a blast freezing environment, you can ensure that condensation and moisture will not be an issue to any of the components could be affected.
Desiccant dehumidification will condition the environment to prevent the moisture created by the hot and moist components of the food production life cycle.