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How to Get the Most Benefit from Blast Chillers and Flash Freezers

Posted by OAFVC on Sep 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Although you will sometimes hear the terms blast chillers and flash freezers used interchangeably, they actually have two distinct functions. Often, in commercial kitchens, both are used in food processing to increase productivity and reduce waste. Whether you want to preserve berries, tarts, or pre-made meals, your business can benefit from using a blast chiller or flash freezer.

A new blast chiller or flash freezer can cost between $5,000 to $12,000. Using the OAFVC commercial kitchen gives you access to both a blast chiller and flash freezer at a much lower cost.

Here are 8 business-boosting benefits of using a blast chiller or flash freezer:

  1. Preserved food nutrition
  2. Increased food safety (eliminate harmful bacteria)
  3. Increased shelf life
  4. Improved flavour retention
  5. Improved moisture retention
  6. Improved texture retention
  7. Reduced waste (able to preserve more of the crop in less time, with less spoilage)
  8. Reduced operating costs (rent space/pay staff for less time)

Blast Chillers vs. Flash Freezers

Blast Chillers

Using fast-moving air, a blast chiller cools food, bringing the temperature down to safe limits very quickly. It does not freeze it. It is used when the food will be served within a very short period of time, usually within 24 hours. Bacterial growth is prevented. Food that has been blast chilled is nearly indistinguishable from the same item when fresh; this allows for preparation ahead of time, such as for a large event. It could also be used when an item is made the night before for a customer to pick up the following day, such as with baked goods.

Flash Freezers

A flash freezer also uses fast-moving air to freeze contents very quickly. But this method is used to preserve food for longer periods of time than with blast chillers. You have the option to freeze in individual portions. Seasonal items can be preserved for year-round use with minimal reduction in flavour, weight and nutrients, because flash freezing reduces moisture loss and ice crystal formation. This is also good if you are shipping your products a significant distance or selling internationally. Flash freezing prevents bacterial growth that would happen if the product were stored unfrozen. Even ready-cooked meals retain their nutrients. Caterers and distributors flash freeze food for transport, but you can also use flash freezing as a stationary storage solution. Freezing quickly in bulk saves time and money. It minimizes waste of seasonal produce and expands access to produce and ingredients you can have on hand year-round.

Meet your customers’ demand for high quality, healthier food by using a blast chiller or flash freezer.

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Which One Do You Need?

Which one you need depends on three factors:

  1. Length of time for storage
  2. End goal for the food
  3. Any shipping that must occur

If you need short term food preservation, and the product does not need to actually be frozen, then you need a chiller. If you do need to store and/or ship your product for a longer time, and your product needs to be frozen, use the freezer.

Business Purposes for Blast Chillers and Flash Freezers

Blast Chiller

Flash Freezer

Short term food preservation for use within 24 hours (fresh food or prepared dishes)

 

Longer term food preservation of seasonal produce for year-round use

 

Stable food preservation for long distance/international shipping purposes

 

Food preservation in individual portion sizes/individually wrapped

Keep baked goods fresh until customer picks them up tomorrow

 

Freezing raw, pre-cooked or cooked baked goods for shipping or storage

 

Quick but gentle chill for perfect results on confectionery products

 

Day-before-catering prep for advance organization and efficient service

 

Adding items to restaurant menu to while maintaining flavour in storage

Is a Blast Chiller or Flash Freezer in Your Business Plan?

OAFVC has both so you don't need to buy them. Just let us know if you need them when you book. And use our “Farmers’ Market Business Plan” Checklist to help you decide whether you need a blast chiller or flash freezer, or both!

Farmers Market Business Plan Checklist

References:

https://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2012-06/kitchen-alchemy-cool-anything-fast-blast-chiller#page-2

http://flash-freeze.net/flash-freezing/blast-chillers-vs-blast-freezers.html

https://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-flash-freeze-foods/

https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/signature-series/the-benefits-of-blast-freezers-for-food-safety-and-business/

https://www.restaurantsupply.com/documents/brochures/delfield/delfield-blast-chillers-brochure.pdf

Topics: Commercial Kitchen