The benefits of blast chillers in commercial kitchens

Blast chillers assist in maintaining food safety and cutting costs in commercial kitchens.
Blast chillers assist in maintaining food safety and cutting costs in commercial kitchens.

Keeping food out of the 'danger zone' is important to the reputation of any foodservice business. Plus, it is important to ensure the health of the customer.

Commercial blast chillers and shock freezers assist in accomplishing optimal food safety whilst also keeping food costs down.

With their ability to rapidly cool and freeze prepared foods, blast chillers and shock freezers have become a significant component in many commercial kitchens.

Let's take a look at how they work.

Nuts and bolts

Blast chillers blow chilled air at a high velocity to rapidly cool food. Blast chiller units cool cooked food down to below 5oC in a fast amount of time. Shock freezers act in the same manner and bring cooked food rapidly down to between -18 & -24oC. Both units allow the core temperature of food items to move through the danger zone faster than they would in a standard conventional commercial refrigerator or freezer.

Who uses blast chillers and shock freezers?     

Blast chillers and shock freezers have traditionally been used by larger operators, such as hotels or catering companies who cater for large volumes of meals per day, or serve multiple dining events on a daily or weekly basis. However, smaller food service operations are now utilizing this equipment as well. These units are available in a variety of sizes and provide the same cost- effective benefits for stand alone restaurants or small food service operators.

Some units offer two-in-one options, acting as both a blast chiller and a shock freezer. This equipment is ideal for any operator looking to reduce waste and improve overall food cost.

The benefits

Blast chillers and shock freezers allow for food to preserve original organoleptic properties, including it's colour, moisture content, nutrients and most importantly, flavours. This ensures it will still taste freshly cooked once regenerated. Food that is cooled at a faster rate retains higher quality.

Large batches of food can be kept longer, saving on food cost and reducing waste.

Roll-in options are available for oven trolleys, so food product can go straight from the oven in to the blast chiller or shock freezer, without the food being directly handled or delayed.

These units create an efficient and easy way to remain compliant with HACCP (Health Analysis & Critical Control Points) regulations.

Many models come equipped with advanced record keeping software or built-in printers to monitor food temperatures throughout the chilling process. Consider installing a blast chiller or shock freezer in your restaurant for optimal and sale cold holding.

Advantages

  • Time savings up to 30 per cent

Thanks to the longer shelf life of blast chilled food, it is possible to plan production better and prepare larger quantities of dishes and semi-processed foods in advance, without having to repeat the process every day. All this while always keeping the quality of the served foods at a very high standard.

  • Savings on purchases

Thanks to the longer shelf life of blast chilled and shock frozen foods, keeping their original qualities unchanged, it is possible to purchase seasonal ingredients when they are less expensive and of better quality.

  • Waste reduction

Blast chilling and shock freezing increases the shelf life of foods, leaving all the time to use the foods prepared in advance and the raw materials, with a large reduction of waste.

  • Less weight loss

After cooking, food releases moisture by evaporation. Blast chilling immediately after cooking stops evaporation, therefore reducing the loss of water and moisture content and therefore reducing the loss of water moisture content and therefore the finished weight of the cooked and chilled food product. If?the product is sold by weight; revenue can be increased by up to 7 per cent.

  • Wider menu

The longer shelf life of blast chilled foods and semi-finished items makes it possible to increase the number of courses offered, without complicating production organisation.

  • Reduction in bacterial growth

At around +37°C, the number of bacteria doubles every 20 minutes. Blast chillers and shock freezers cross this range as quickly as possible, taking the core of the food to +3°C in less than 90 minutes, and -18°C in less than 240 minutes.

  • Improved food safety & quality

Blast chillers and shock freezers reduce the quantity of bacteria in food after cooking to a minimum, improving the foods safety and quality, whilst also preserving all its organoleptic properties.

  • Compliance with HACCP standards

The blast chiller considerably improves food safety, ensuring full compliance with HACCP standards.