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Plate freezing for large scale productions

Horizontal plate freezers from DSI Dantech

Plate freezing

Plate freezing is a block or tray freezing method with a large freezing capacity and a small footprint. The method has a well-established preservation process that maintains high quality, nutritional value, and ensures the food a long storage life. It is particularly relevant for fast freezing of high-volume products, and if you choose a plate freezing solution from us, it is up to 30% more energy efficient than alternative freezing technologies.

Plate freezing is relevant for many industries. In the fish & seafood industry, it is often used for immediately freezing the whole product. This is also the case with ready to eat products. Plate freezing is also suitable for freezing parts of the food, such as fish filets – and in other food industries, such as meat, poultry, and fruit & vegetables, it is widely used to freeze the secondary product before further processing.

We recommend plate freezing for large scale productions of high-volume products. Compared to a cryogenic solution, the start costs are higher, but it will break even in a very short time due to the extremely large freezing capacity and the energy saving plate freezing technology.

Direct and double contact freezing

The plate freezing process

Vertical plate freezing process

Plate freezing is based on direct and double contact freezing. The plate freezing process consists of plates with refrigerant flowing through them. Depending on the compressor system, it is possible to use various refrigerants such as ammonia, freon, CO2, and brine in the plate freezer. When the product is placed in the freezer between the frozen plates, it will freeze quickly and uniformly. The uniform freezing makes it possible to stack the blocks.

The freezing time depends on the product and the distance between the plates. However, due to double contact freezing, it is one of the fastest freezing technologies on the market. Plate freezing is efficient for continuous bulk freezing and can be done in blocks or trays.

Two plate freezing methods

We offer two different plate freezing methods: vertical and horizontal.

Vertical freezing is ideal for bulk freezing with little pre-handling. Similarly, horizontal freezing is suitable for bulk freezing and is also often used to freeze products in packaging.

In vertical plate freezing, the product is poured down between vertical plates. It weighs down, allowing no air in the block. This method speeds up the freezing process and results in less loss of quality and quantity compared to other freezing methods. In horizontal plate freezing, the product is frozen in trays, cartons boxes, or frames. This is often the case with ready meals.

Plate technology

Plate freezing for your production

Plate freezing for your production

Plate freezing is especially suitable for freezing fish & seafood, fruit & vegetables for further processing as well as meat & poultry by-products. It is also used for liquids and fluids – from dairy products and juice to blood. Finally, many manufacturers of pet food also use plate freezers in their production line.

The investment in a plate freezing solution is higher than the starting cost for a cryogenic solution, that in turn freezes faster than a plate freezer. However, in the case of a large-scale production with high-volume products, the plate freezing solution will make its money back very quickly.

Customized solutions

Our plate freezers are customized and will fit any production – from super trawlers and slaughterhouses to food processing plants. This allows you to freeze food quickly and instantly after processing it.

If you need to combine technologies to freeze and handle all the parts of the food, we are the only all-in-one supplier of plate freezing solutions as well as IQF mechanical and cryogenic equipment. This guarantees you honest advice on your specific project, cost savings as well as high quality service across technologies.

Automation

It is also possible to add automation to your plate freezing solution and complete your production line. Our high quality handling solutions for loading, unloading, and packaging is likely to reduce the manual labor and operational costs while speeding up your production.

Cooling, heating, and heat exchanging

It is also possible to use plate freezing technology for cooling, heating, and heat exchanging. We have helped customers handle food in various ways depending on the cooling system, from cooling at 3°C to pasteurization at 100°C.

Food quality and sustainability

Fast freezing for better food quality

Plate freezing of meat and poultry

Fast freezing is the best way to sustain food at its peak freshness. It reduces the activity of microorganisms, chemical and enzymatic reactions, and it sustains a high degree of nutritional value. It also results in less yield loss and better product quality.

This also applies for plate freezing, as it is one of the fastest methods to freeze food today. During any freezing process, ice crystals will form inside the product. Different foods freeze differently based on the amount of water, sugar, muscle tissue, and air in the product. Common for all types of food is that the faster food freezes, the smaller the ice crystals are. Small ice crystals are preferable; they do less damage to the cell walls than large ice crystals that punch through the membranes. As a result, when foods with small ice crystals thaw, there is less drip loss of liquids and fewer changes to the product’s shape, texture, and color.

Plate freezing is an energy friendly choice

When you choose a plate freezing solution, you are likely to save resources.

Tests show that whether you work with fish, meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, liquids, fluids, pet food, or ready meals, converting to plate freezing will be visible in your bottom lines; in operational savings and in environmental footprint, as plate freezing technology is up to 40% more energy efficient than other freezing technologies.

Temperature control

Add core point technology for food safety

Core point technology - DSI Dantech patent

It is possible to include core point technology in your plate freezing solution. It measures the core temperature of the blocks of food inside the plate freezers and allows you to control and stop the freezing process at the accurate time, rather than relying on an estimate, which is likely to extend the freezing time. Not only does it save energy, but it is also time-saving and ensures food safety even further. The technology also enables the enhanced documentation of the freezing process for each product.

Frequently asked questions

What is plate freezing?

Plate freezing is a bulk block freezing method with a large freezing capacity and a small footprint. It is especially suitable for large scale productions of high-volume products.

When is it relevant to use plate freezing?

Plate freezing and quick freezing is relevant in all industries. For fish & seafood, it is used to freeze the whole product but also parts of the product such as filets. In the same way, ready meals are often plate frozen in its packaging. In other food industries, such as meat & poultry and fruit & vegetables, it is used to freeze the secondary production before further processing.

Why is plate freezing favorable?

Plate freezing technology is very fast. The efficient technology saves resources, spares quality of the food, and can fit an extremely large freezing capacity within just a few square meters.

How does plate freezing work?

The plate freezing process is based on direct and double contact freezing. The product is filled down between vertical plates or pushed in between horizontal plates that has a refrigerant flowing through it. The contact with the frozen plates makes the food freeze fast and uniformly.

Is plate freezing sustainable?

In general, plate freezing and quick freezing is more energy efficient than other freezing technologies. Tests show that the technology is up to 40% more energy efficient than other freezing technologies.

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