Optimal processing of leafy vegetables

Frozen vegetables are affordable, and manage to keep a sizable part of their nutritional value – making them an increasingly appealing purchase for many households worldwide. As fully fresh vegetables are more difficult to obtain, and can often seem unaffordable, frozen vegetables serve to fill the created niche. 

The production of frozen vegetables is a competitive market, where gaining an edge means putting out the best possible product. The fresh texture, smell and colour are all factors your customers will take into consideration – isn’t it best to make sure all of them are the best they can be?

Frozen versus fresh

Frozen vegetables may offer intriguing benefits, which are simply impossible to achieve through fresh vegetable processing alone. Fresh vegetables need to be transported for a duration that can last up to a month. Then, they need to be chosen by the customers. All of these can make the  vegetables to become less appealing, or lose nutritional value during transportation.

On the other hand, some studies show that frozen food may be able to preserve many more nutrients than the fresh counterpart, given the right conditions. Depending on the factors involved, buying frozen may be healthier and taste better than the fresh alternative!

The right processing makes all the difference

Before, older technologies used to block-freeze vegetable pieces. This made the vegetables involved, especially leafy ones, bunch together, be uncomfortable to defrost and lose much of their natural appeal. With the introduction of modern IQF Octofrost technology, it’s possible to get the best-looking greens, while keeping more nutrients than ever and decreasing waste!

Thanks to the unique, perfectly realized patented processes and equipment involved, Octofrost has managed to revolutionize the processing of frozen food for the better. From on-site processing to prevent the vegetables from altering their texture, smell and taste, to a novel freezing technology that ensures there are no blocks of product – it’s the entire process that counts.

Locking in nutrients

The very first step of the entire process is split into two distinct phases, to ensure the vegetables are treated as well as possible. Beginning with a thorough blanching, which deactivates the enzymes vegetables have and preserves the natural look and feel of the greens. Octofrost’s IF Blancher lets you choose a second temperature zone, making the process adjustable for various sensitive products. 

The second part of the beginning step is of course chilling. During the chilling phase, the greens are immediately showered in chilly water after their blanching to lock in the natural texture and colour. Thanks to the uniform rainfall system, you can be certain that the vegetables receive the necessary treatment uniformly.

Freezing – where the magic happens

The IQF Octofrost Freezer is where the greens take their final shape – so it’s one of the most important steps of the process. It is a quick-freezing process,  serving to avoid the creation of water crystals in the food, which, coupled with the design, makes it produce the best possible frozen leafy greens. 

The bedplates use asymmetrical movements and can be regularly replaced and washed, making them both more hygienic and more practical than previously existing solutions. With frigid air getting circulated through the fans, it’s possible to gently yet effectively separate the vegetables during the freezing process, thereby guaranteeing none will cluster together. 

As you can see, it requires thorough processing to freeze vegetables, while preserving their best qualities. Paying special attention to any single part of the process is not enough, as each part is vital to creating the best texture, feel and smell once the product is defrosted. Octofrost has a line of equipment designed specifically for the task at hand, which works great together, or as part of your existing production line.

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