Poor quality food, bad hygiene and a lack of food options can all be damaging to your business and your reputation as a catering specialist. Working in the food industry is no easy task but there are things you can do to ensure your produce is the best of the best.
This guide looks at the benefits of blast freezing and how commercial caterers can take advantage of an investment in cold storage.
What are the main advantages of blast freezing?
No matter what industry you work in, blast freezing holds some impressive advantages that can dramatically improve the quality of your food and in turn, your profitability.
Waste reduction – Blast freezers reduce waste in two ways. Firstly, their reliable temperature control ensures that goods stay at a safe temperature of -18°C or below. Secondly, freezing at low temperatures ensures that food spoilage is kept to a minimum as bacterial development is halted more quickly. It really is that simple.
Speed – Blast freezing allows you to cool and freeze larger volumes of food at a much quicker rate than when using a conventional freezer, saving you time and money. Again, this process halts the spread of bacteria more quickly, resulting in food that is both fresher and safer to eat.
Smaller ice crystals – A by-product of this fast freezing process is that the formation of ice crystals is much smaller. It’s these ice crystals that can run the taste, texture and appearance of goods, leading to a lower quality product. When blast freezing, only ‘micro’ crystals develop, this is why blast freezing is such a popular and effective tool in commercial catering.
When working in the catering industry, the quality and safety of your food should be the two most important things you can get right. If you want to ensure your company is known for their outstanding commitment to the freshest produce, then freezing and storing your food correctly is not simply a smart option, it’s critical to your success.
What can I blast freeze?
Another great benefit of blast freezing is the variety of goods you can prepare and freeze in advance. If you’ve never experienced using a blast freezing before, you might be surprised at just how much you can store safely for weeks and months at a time. You can prepare and freeze many foods ahead of time and the below list is just some of the most popular food items caterers choose to blast freeze.
Raw and cooked meat, fish and poultry
Just like a regular domestic freezing unit, blast freezers are perfect for storing raw and cooked produce for use at a later date. From oily fish like mackerel to hardier meats like prime beef joints, a blast freezer can help to extend the life of meat, fish and poultry substantially whilst not compromising on flavour or safety.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Whole and pre-cut fruits and vegetables such as berries, chopped carrots, broccoli and peas are all suitable for blast freezing if stored correctly. They can be thawed to be eaten as is or added into soups, smoothies and other cooked meals.
Other helpful ‘prepare ahead’ items for caterers include things like breakfast pastries, pies, canopies and savoury baked snacks. These are particularly popular buffet foods but are often overlooked when it comes to freezing ahead. Like other goods, bakery produce will freeze best if stored correctly.
Blast freezers are actually a fantastic way to store full, ready cooked meals ahead of time. Ready-made meals can sometimes be necessary and often essential, particularly when serving large volumes of people daily. Blast freezing ready meals is particularly useful for caterers working for public organisations such as schools or hospitals, as you can freeze and thaw full meals without losing that all-important nutritional content.
These are just a fraction of the most popular goods suitable for blast freezing. However, anything that can be stored in a domestic freezing unit is suitable for a blast freezer too. So no matter what food your business serves, you can make blast freezing work for you.
What type of blast freezer do I need?
Yet another great benefit of investing in a blast freezing unit? The choice.
The type of blast freezer you should invest in will usually depend on three things: the size of your business, the volume of food you produce and your future expansion plans.
Blast freezers come in a range of grades from the very basic to the more sophisticated. Grade A blast freezers are a popular choice and best suited to commercial catering as they offer good protection, hygiene and temperature control for food.
Pre-constructed blast freezers are available in 10fft, 20ft and 40ft sizes, although larger sizes and bespoke designs can be catered for if your business requires extra storage. When choosing a blast freezer for your commercial catering company, it’s also important to consider future expansion. Whilst it’s easy to upgrade your storage, looking ahead could save you time, money and allow you to expand your range of produce more rapidly.
Make it your own
All Grade A blast freezers operate at temperatures of - 40°C to +10°C and come with hygienic, easy to clean, non-slip floors as standard. For companies requiring a blast freezer that can move with them, portable units are available. Choosing a portable unit means that wherever your business goes, your food can follow.
Optional extras and bespoke design additions can also be catered for if a more unusual set up needs to be considered. For a custom designed unit, simply speak to a member of the CRS team to discuss your unique needs. Alternatively, complete our enquiry form and one of our cold storage experts will get back to you.