Afrox’s Cryoline CW multi-purpose cryogenic freezing technology combines flexibility and versatility to freeze a large variety of meat and seafood products in IQF (individually quick frozen) or non-IQF format in a single freezer unit.
During mechanical freezing, food products tend to freeze slowly as a result of operating temperature limitations. Slow freezing can damage these products, as the process could destroy cells in the food portion. By comparison, cryogenic freezing is up to four times faster than mechanical freezing and results in smaller ice crystallisation. Because the water inside and outside the cells freezes at the same rate, the cells remain intact and the food keeps its freshness, flavour and texture.
“This freezer is the newest and most advanced tool worldwide for boosting productivity and yield in freezing lines,” says Hendrik Pretorius of Afrox.
“Cryogenic freezing technology represents a hi-tech departure from the traditional approach of mechanically freezing food products on a conveyor belt, or immersing them directly into a pool of liquid nitrogen. Instead, this technology freezes free-flowing IQF products by completely surrounding them with a stream of high-velocity cold vapour.”
Afrox’s value proposition in this arena comprises equipment rental and gas supply associated with cryogenic freezing technology being developed by its parent company, The Linde Group.
“Being a part of The Linde Group and having access to its world-leading freezer technology allows us to offer South African food companies the broadest range and diversity of cryogenic freezers in the local market,” says Pretorius.
“This diversity is important, because each production facility is unique. Working with an applications engineer, we’re able to tailor cryogenic freezing systems that meet the actual and future needs of each customer. Our offering includes operator training and ongoing technical support.”
Two South African companies – leading pasta manufacturer FG La Pasta in Gauteng and frozen fruit and vegetable processor Dynamic Commodities in the Eastern Cape – have already commissioned Cryoline CW freezers in their production plants and are producing export quality IQF products.
The Cryoline CW Cryowave dual mode IQF freezer effectively addresses the traditional food freezing issues of product clumping, low yields, fines generation and high costs. The freezer uses product vibration within the refrigeration medium to produce rapid and constant heat transfer, improved product yields, enhanced product quality and shorter freezing times, with smaller floor space requirements.
The Cryoline CW freezer’s vibratory wave action produces quality IQF products regardless of whether the product is wet, small, sticky, or tends to clump when loaded into the freezer. Even when products are piled onto the belt, the vibratory wave action gently tosses them, distributing them evenly on the belt and preventing them from sticking to other products or to the belt. The Cryoline CW also delivers a crust freeze to the outer portion of IQF products, locking in moisture, reducing dehydration losses, minimising evaporation losses and maximising yield.
The system is highly efficient in its use of cryogen. High speed fans distribute cryogen vapour throughout the freezer to break down thermal barriers that exist around the product. This results in the highest quality IQF product from the lowest cost of operation.
By turning the vibratory mechanism off, the Cryoline CW can be utilised as a highly efficient straight line belt freezer that can process flat product in trays or directly on the belt. The freezer design incorporates stringent hygienic and sanitary standards, offering easy and complete access to all food contact surfaces. During manual cleaning and while using the automated Clean In Place belt cleaner, the Cryoline CW freezer’s sloped surfaces inhibit the pooling of water that encourages bacteria growth.