A tunnel freezer is a type of cryogenic freezer that uses a conveyor belt to move food through a cold tunnel of circulating air. This process freezes the food quickly, and it helps to minimize the formation of ice crystals that can damage the quality of the finished product. It also helps to retain nutrients in the food that would otherwise be lost during a slower freezing process. In addition, tunnel freezers can be used to freeze a variety of foods, and they are relatively easy to maintain.
Tunnel freezers can be cooled with either liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide. The choice of refrigerant depends to some degree on the type of food being frozen, as the use of one type of gas will have different effects on the product’s flavor and texture. Liquid nitrogen is often chosen for freezing delicate products, such as fruits and vegetables, because it can effectively cool the product without damaging its natural taste or appearance. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, can have a negative effect on the flavor of some meat products and seafood, so it is usually not used to freeze these types of foods.
The most popular type of tunnel freezer is a straight-belt liquid nitrogen (LN2) tunnel. This freezer takes advantage of the latent heat of vaporization (86 BTUs per lb) to convert liquid nitrogen into very cold vapor, which is then blown over the food to be frozen. This type of freezer typically uses less energy than a horizontal-flow tunnel freezer, because it is designed to maximize the amount of refrigeration that can be extracted from the air.
Another common type of tunnel freezer is a flat-belt liquid nitrogen tunnel. This type of tunnel is designed to freeze a wide range of foods, including meats and vegetables. In order to optimize the freezing process for each type of food, this freezer is configured differently based on its water content, weight, and shape. The freezer is also programmed to operate at a specific speed in order to ensure that the food is frozen evenly and at a consistent rate.
For those companies that need to freeze a large volume of food, a tunnel freezer can be an efficient solution. This type of freezer can be configured to run at very high speeds, and it can easily handle a very large number of products simultaneously. Additionally, tunnel freezers are often easier to clean than other types of freezers, which can help to reduce the risk of contamination and bacterial growth in the food being frozen. Moreover, the low initial investment and quick installation of a tunnel freezer can help to improve a company’s return on investment. These factors make a tunnel freezer an ideal choice for many businesses. However, before purchasing a tunnel freezer, it is important to research the options available and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Choosing the right freezer can ultimately lead to a higher quality product and improved customer satisfaction.