An arctic chill sends the mercury level on a wall-mounted thermostat plummeting. The perishable contents inside the insulated storage unit freeze. This is a blast freezer, an environment that’s ruled by frigid power. In here, banks of fans force icy air across the food. Flash frozen in an instant, the cooling system does consume more energy than a conventional freezer, so what benefits offset this extra power expenditure?
Supports Cellular Preservation
Imagine a plate full of raspberries. Cooled inside a regular freezer, the water stored inside this succulent fruit expands. It turns to ice. The cell membranes of each juicy raspberry end up as a mushy mess because of that cell rupturing effect. Blast freezers cool water-loaded foods so fast, there’s no way this cellular damage can take place.
Flavour and Texture Preservation
This next benefit follows directly on from our initial conclusion. Basically, the flash frozen cells remain undamaged, so the food’s texture is retained. Meaty soft tissues cook as intended when this key feature is realized. Likewise, the nutrients stored in the meat, vegetables, and fruit are preserved. Finally, and perhaps best of all, the food tastes better. Those preserved nutrients are plainly translated into a finer eating experience.
Acts as a Powerful Bacterial Exterminator
Regular freezers do slow the growth of these microorganisms, and they may even send the bacteria to sleep. A shock freezer, which is another name for this rapid freezing equipment, eliminates all but the most stubborn bacteria. The tiny organisms can’t stand the extreme cold, nor can they metabolize when they’re deprived of liquid water. Shock freezers enhance food-hygienic cooling environments.
Designed to Create Specialized Commodities
Classed as a time-sensitive freezing process, shock cooling is also employed in many other food-based instances. Ice cream makers rely on the production of tiny ice crystals when the fan-powered cooling effect sends the temperature tumbling. TV dinners also take advantage of this fast production feature. The cellophane-packed meals slide past the chiller units on a production line, only to exit seconds later as a packaged item, ready for the supermarket cooler.
Instead of large, cell-rupturing ice crystals, blast freezers create small packets of finely chilled water. Those smaller ice particles assure taste and texture preservation. Furthermore, this rapid cooling process is designed to kill bacteria, so the equipment has an inbuilt food purifying feature. Finally, blast freezers are designed to operate on production lines. They flash preserve TV dinners, ice cream, seafood, and other perishable commodities so that they can be delivered to market in a timely manner.
Glass isn’t good at conducting heat. Take a look at a glass-lined thermos. It keeps its contents thermally stable for hours at a time. Glass windows do the same for the home, especially when they’re made from Low-E glass. How do coolrooms use this talent for minimizing energy losses? Well, transparent glass panels do materially maintain that cooling effect, but wouldn’t this insulation factor increase if the glass was thicker?
The Effects of Thicker Coolroom Glass
The contents of a cooler are shown off by glass doors. Thin or thick, the glass remains transparent. If a busy shopper wanders the aisles of a frozen food department, only the contents of a frost-rimed shelf are on view, not the armoured glass. Thermal energy doesn’t work like the visible light spectrum. The heat just won’t penetrate denser glass. In effect, the material characteristics of the translucent panel pair with this augmented dimensional aspect to really stop all energy losses in their tracks.
What’s the Required Glass Thickness
Measured in millimetres, see-through door panels can exceed 15-mm in thickness. That’s an impressively dense sheet of glass. Used in smaller plate sections, this type of reinforced glass is popularly employed in freezer doors as a small portal, a means of viewing the contents of a frozen enclosure. Out on the floor, standard coolroom enclosures employ panels that are between 5mm and 9mm thick. Remember, this is a door. It’s supported by hinges. If it’s too heavy, then the hinges will warp and the enclosure seal will fail. That’s why we install the more manageable but still energy efficient glass panels in conventional coolers.
Augmenting the Conventional Design
So the concealed freezer is enjoying 15mm thick glass. It’s edged with a white frost, but the kitchen staff can clearly see the contents. The pure glass doors out in the frozen foods section can’t support the weight or expense associated with this thick material, but they can get around this issue. Instead of pure glass, the panels are double and triple glazed. They’re also fitted with a Low-E coating, a transparent film that rejects infrared heat. Finally, just to really bolster the insulation, the air between those glazed segments is replaced with argon or some other inert gas.
Coolroom and freezer glass doors employ some innovative insulating solutions. Denser glass is the first option, for glass does not easily conduct heat. That’s a strategy that works well on a reinforced freezer, but it can create more problems for a standard cool room because of the dense plating. When a lighter frame requires an insulated glass coolroom door, try opting for a triple glazed door with a Low-E film.
C&M Coolrooms can create a custom solution for your specific needs. Talk to one of team members today.