March 8, 2023

Air Products freezing solutions demonstrate power of industrial gases

Chemical industry corporation Air Products’ quick-freeze and injection cooling systems offer processors solutions using industrial gases in a variety of natural food products, including plant-based food processing applications.

The Allenton, Pennsylvania-headquartered company’s Freshline IQF+ Tunnel Freezer allows for efficient production of consistent, high-quality Individually Quick Frozen products, such as berries, diced meats or seafood, in larger throughputs than standard spray freezing cryogenic IQF freezers. It also allows for 99% free-flowing product and keeps costs low, the company said.

Air Products’ IQF+ Tunnel Freezer. Image: Provided

The freezer, along with the Freshline Bottom Injection Cooling System, are being showcased at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, this month.

The cooling system hygienically injects liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide into a product during the mixing, blending or grinding process. Combined with Air Products’ proprietary clean-in-place and analytics platforms, the cooler provides producers with a safe and efficient long-term processing solution.

Its line of Freshline solutions can improve food freezing and chilling, with the extremely cold temperatures of cryogenic gases enabling products to be chilled or frozen in minutes instead of hours, the company said. This rapid freeze results in smaller product weight losses and helps to ensure moisture and quality are maintained longer.

Cryogenic gases are also beneficial in grinding nutraceuticals, industrial hemp, spices and other ingredients. During grinding operations, LIN or CO2 can be used to eliminate frictional heat to improve mill throughput and grind consistency, which helps prevent the loss of flavor and aroma, according to the company.

Air Products operates food laboratories in the U.S., Europe and Asia, offering testing on commercial-scale equipment to determine the feasibility of using cryogenic freezing or chilling for a customer’s specific process. The company also provides engineering services as well as on-site testing capability and processing audits to reduce cryogen consumption.

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