Main difference Between Coolrooms and Freezers

30 April 2015

We’ve covered a few of the obvious differences between coolrooms and freezers. The two labels actually clue us in to those surface features, but now it’s time to get down to details. It’s no longer enough to point at one and think ‘cool,’ then gesture at the opposing model while thinking ‘freeze.’ So, without further ado, let’s tag these two cold storage forms with some hard numbers. A coolroom floats ambient temperatures above freezing point, sending the mercury level of the storage thermostat down to between +2°C and +4°C. We’d define this storage space as cool or cold and use it as an appropriate area to hold food, thus extending the life and freshness of perishable meat and produce.

It’s common practice to place storage units within coolrooms. Stacks of Tupperware containing sauces and soups are often seen here as kitchen staff stroll down the narrow aisles. Alternatively, pharmaceutical research labs assign this same area to the storage of sensitive chemical compounds because this below room temperature but above freezing point zone is seen by laboratories as an ideal environment for fluid storage.

The +2°C to +4°C scenario fits all forms of organic material, which includes food, organic chemical compounds, and even suits the floral industry, but what about scenarios that require more dramatic cooling? Freezers adopt a subzero chilling factor, therefore requiring a plummeting freezing range that seldom deviates above the -18°C to -24°C sweet spot. Water ceases being a fluid at this frosty temperature range and transforms into ice crystals. Due to this transformative phenomenon, it’s critical that the manager of the freezer knows how different commodities will react at this temperature point. For example, the soft tissues of certain delicate fruits will rupture when water crystals form.

Hooks and rods of stored raw meat are frozen for several months at a time in a freezer, with the cellular structure of organic matter slowing to an invisible crawl as ice forms. As such, the auxiliary structure of a freezer tends to be more complex than the coolroom equivalent. Defrosting cycles are incorporated within the freezer. Other extra features could include drip alarms and drainage systems to address the issue of ice buildup. In fact, this environment can be seen in action by opening an ordinary domestic refrigerator and seeing how ice builds on the freezing section. One final note, one that doesn’t align with our refrigerator example, is that both of these rooms require substantial wall insulation, but the freezer, obviously, will require that much more insulation to ensure subzero temperatures are maintained.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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