Accu-Chill SC recognized with Anuga Gold Medal
In the food processing industry, cooling hot liquids such as soups and sauces can present a number of challenges. Products need to be quickly cooled in order to minimize bacterial growth and to improve shelf life. Traditional cooling methods are both costly and timely, and can create bottlenecks during processing. Linde addresses these challenges with a novel, cryogenic solution: Accu-Chill SC.
Accu-Chill SC was launched in North America first, and more recently in Europe where Linde won a gold medal at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany earlier in 2018.
Accu-Chill SC cools sauces and soups faster than traditional kettle chillers, heat exchangers or immersion cold water baths, said Mark Ewig, global food and beverage application technology marketer for Linde Gas. To do this, he said, it uses pure liquid nitrogen and direct cryogenic injection, chilling hot liquids from temperatures of 195°F down to 40°F in just a few seconds without freezing them. Accu- Chill SC can process up to 3,300 lb/hr.
“It’s pretty powerful,” said Ewig.
The technology works as an in-process system. Sauce is pumped from the cooking kettle into the tubular Accu- Chill SC mixing chamber. Extremely cold liquid nitrogen is then injected directly into the sauce. The unique nozzle design ensures a very high heat transfer rate between the nitrogen and the sauce, said Ewig. Once cooled, the sauce is then transferred to a container for cooling and excess nitrogen is quickly vented.
“So why is that important?” he asked. “For one, you can increase capacity with a very small footprint. You can change over easily. Imagine if you’re doing alfredo for three or four hours and then you have to switch over to a marinara sauce. It’s easy to clean because it’s so small versus some of these systems.”
Nitrogen is a natural product that is extracted from air, purified and chilled to -196°C. The process, said Ewig, helps to maintain food integrity and has no impact on flavor or aroma, as nitrogen is inert. All components feature a hygienic, maintenance-friendly design, and the high-capacity innovation has a small footprint within the overall system. It can be customized to the user’s needs.