The commercial catering industry is highly competitive, and businesses are almost always held to a high standard.
Poor quality food, bad hygiene, and a lack of food options can damage your business and reputation as a catering specialist. Working in the food industry is not an easy task with so many competitors, but there are things you can do to ensure that the product is of a high-quality to ensure you differentiate against competitors.
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 safe temperatures 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.
Speed – Blast freezing allows you to cool and freeze larger volumes of food much quicker than 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 the freezing process is that the formation of ice crystals is much smaller. These ice crystals can run the taste, texture, and appearance of goods, leading to lower-quality products. Microcrystals develop when using a blast freezer, making it a practical and popular solution in commercial catering.
When working in the catering industry, the quality and handling of the food should be the two most essential things achieved to the highest standards. If you want to ensure your company is known for its outstanding commitment to the freshest produce, then freezing and storing your food correctly is critical to the business.
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 a blast freezer, you will be surprised at how many products you can store safely for months. The below list is some of the most popular edible products caterers choose to blast freeze.
Raw and cooked meat, fish and poultry
Similar to a regular domestic freezing unit, blast freezers are perfect for storing raw and cooked produce for later use, from oily fish like mackerel to hardier meats like prime beef joints. Additionally, blast freezers help 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 or added into soups, smoothies and other cooked meals.
Other helpful ‘prepare ahead’ items for caterers include breakfast pastries, pies, canopies and savoury baked snacks. These are top-rated buffet foods and are often overlooked for freezing ahead. Like other goods, bakery products will freeze best if stored correctly.
Blast freezers are a fantastic way to store full, ready-cooked meals ahead of time. Ready-made meals can sometimes be necessary and often essential, mainly when serving large volumes to people daily. Blast freezing ready meals is beneficial for caterers working for public organisations such as schools or hospitals as they can freeze and thaw full meals without losing all-important nutritional content.
These are just a fraction of the most popular goods suitable for blast freezing. However, anything stored in a domestic freezing unit is suitable for a blast freezer. 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 type of blast freezer you should invest in will usually depend on the size of your business, the volume of food you produce, and your future expansion plans.
Blast freezers come in various grades, from 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 products.
Pre-constructed blast freezers are available in 10ft, 20ft and 40ft sizes, although larger sizes and bespoke designs can be provided if required. 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 and money and allow you to expand your range of products 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. Portable units are available for companies requiring a blast freezer that can move with them. Choosing a portable unit means that wherever your business goes, your food can follow.
Contact us for more information about how CRS can support commercial catering, helping you to maintain high standards in the food industry. Call today and speak to our Blast Freezer specialists, who can consult you on the best solution for your business.