‘Soft Chill’ Technology Improves Temperature Control for Food Processors, Says Air Products
A new way of using liquid nitrogen to control the temperature of foods while they are being processed will improve quality, even when used with the most heat-sensitive or reactive foods, according to Air Products.
As an effective refrigerant, liquid nitrogen has long been used to help control the temperature of a wide range of food products, such as meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dairy products and sauces for ready meals, while they are being processed. It is beneficial in a number of ways: preventing the food from over-heating while it is being mixed, which could affect its appearance and quality; minimising moisture loss and limiting microbial growth. The liquid nitrogen is usually injected into the bottom of the food mix at intervals in order to keep it cool and its temperature is regulated.
For some heat-sensitive or reactive food products, however, such as dough, which contains yeast or sauces prone to foaming, Air Products has found that temperature control can be significantly improved by vaporising liquid nitrogen over the top of the mix, as well as injecting it into the mix itself. In view of this, Air Products has refined its existing Freshline® LIN-IS (Liquid Nitrogen Injection Solution) so it is capable of offering either top or bottom injection as part of a tailor-made process solution.
Ann Callens, European food sector specialist at Air Products, said:
“We discovered that by vaporising liquid nitrogen over the top of the foods being processed we could achieve a softer chill ideal for sensitive products such as doughs. This method of chilling can also help to reduce air bubbles in foam-sensitive products such as creamy sauces.
“As consumer tastes become more sophisticated, food processors are looking for solutions that can deliver a high-quality and consistent food product, while ensuring the highest safety standards. Top injection technology, when used as part of a complete chilling solution, can achieve this even when working with the most sensitive foods. The fact that it can be retrofitted to existing chilling systems means it is easy to install too.”
Developed 10 years ago, the Freshline® LIN-IS (Liquid Nitrogen Injection Solution) complies with the latest hygienic design standards.and The process equipment is simple to operate, clean and maintain. Specifically, the nozzles have been specially designed to allow for clean-in-place cleaning.
For more information about Air Products’ Freshline® LIN-IS (Liquid Nitrogen Injection Solution) visit www.airproducts.com/linis.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. Recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies by both Thomson Reuters and Forbes magazine, more than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply effective solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2013, Air Products had sales of $10.2 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
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