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Refrigeration and freezing - Articles and news items

Avoid losses in food quality by observing the cool chain

Featured news  •  9 June 2016  •  PCE Instruments

The concept of an uninterrupted cold chain in the food industry consists of two main pillars which are transport and storage…

Refrigeration: A deep dive into the deep freeze

Issue 2 2016  •  26 April 2016  •  Ruud van der Sman, Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen University & Research Centre (UR)

Freezing is an important means for food preservation as, with this technology, long term storage of high quality foods is possible. To achieve high food quality the freezing rate is an important parameter, determining ice crystal size and shape and also the mechanical stresses imparted to the food. For foods with a cellular structure the ice crystal size, with respect to the cell size, is a critical measure, determining the texture and water holding capability of the food after thawing. If ice crystals grow too large during freezing, they will puncture the cell membrane and the food will leak the intracellular fluid during thawing. Also, the food texture will become unappetising and mushy…

Temperature control strategies for smarter energy use in refrigerated warehouses

Issue 4 2015  •  1 September 2015  •  Kostadin Fikiin, Refrigeration Science and Technology, Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Chairman of the EHEDG Working Group ‘Food Refrigeration Equipment’

Temperature is generally considered as the single most important factor for determining food quality and safety. This definition means that a lot of other process parameters or storage conditions may more or less influence upon the food product in different industrial situations, but temperature is the main physical value as its impact is always enormous. Hence, we will never be wrong to say that “proper temperature control, temperature control and again temperature control” is the prime simple receipt for the success of every food processor, store operator or retailer. The temperature-controlled cold supply chain for refrigerated processing, storage, distribution, retail and household handling of foods is therefore of paramount importance for guaranteeing safety, quality, wholesomeness and extended shelf-life of perishable commodities…

Superchilling can safely extend shelf life by 120%

Featured news  •  19 August 2015  •  Victoria White

Research carried out by Campden BRI has shown that superchilling can safely extend the shelf life of chilled foods without any loss of sensory quality…

Industry experts feature at the highly anticipated Refrigerated Food Safety Forum 2015

Featured news  •  15 June 2015  •  Smithers Pira

Full program announced for the Refrigerated Food Safety Forum, taking place from30th September – 1st October 2015, London, UK…

Refrigeration: Can magnetism improve the storage of foods?

Issue 2 2015  •  23 April 2015  •  Christian James, Graham Purnell & Stephen J James, Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education

Frozen food is one of the largest sectors of the food industry and its value is increasing throughout the world. According to market research by Food For Thought, the frozen food market in seven of the major Western European economies was valued at €83.51 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow in value by approximately 11% by 2016.

Wall’s creates world’s most energy efficient cabinets

Industry news  •  11 August 2014  •  Unilever

Figures released demonstrate how significant advances in refrigeration technology have resulted in a new generation of ice cream freezer cabinets capable of a 70% energy reduction…

Packaged chillers with ammonia as a refrigerant: the natural choice

Issue 4 2012  •  6 September 2012  •  René van Gerwen, Global Lead Engineer Refrigeration & HVAC, Unilever Engineering Services

Industrial chillers for the supply of chilled water, cold glycol or brine, are frequently used over a long time, and have become even more attractive for several applications to replace direct refrigeration systems. Greenhouse gas footprint and lifecycle costs of ownership of industrial chillers can be significantly reduced by using ammonia as a refrigerant, instead of the traditionally used HFCs. Ammonia does not contribute to ozone depletion nor global warming and ammonia chillers are generally more energy efficient than equivalent HFC chillers. Packaged chillers, using ammonia as a refrigerant, are currently available from several suppliers.

On the basis of supplier information, com – parisons have been made between a typical packaged ammonia chiller and an equivalent HFC chiller, confirming that packaged ammonia chillers are an attractive and feasible alternative for conventional HFC chillers, particularly in industrial applications. As the chiller community is unfamiliar with ammonia as a refrigerant, more standardisation in safety regulations, equipment and housing details, simplified operation and maintenance procedures and lower equipment costs may further help in accelerating the wider use of the natural refrigerant ammonia in this new application area.

Emerging technologies for food refrigeration applications

Issue 2 2011  •  13 May 2011  •  Savvas Tassou, Head of School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University

Refrigeration is used in all stages of the food chain, from food processing to distribution, retail and final consumption in the home. The food industry employs both chilling and freezing processes where the food is cooled from ambient to temperatures above 0°C in the former and between -18°C and -35°C in the latter to slow the physical, microbiological and chemical activities that cause deterioration in foods. In these processes, mechanical refrigeration technologies are invariably employed that contribute significantly to the environmental impacts of the food sector both through direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce these emissions, research and development worldwide is aimed at both improving the performance of conventional systems and the development of new refrigeration technologies of potentially much lower environmental impacts.

-2°C to -12°C, not chilled but not frozen

Issue 2 2009  •  1 June 2010  •  Christian James, Research Fellow, Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC) and Stephen J. James, Director, Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC)

The drive to maximise the storage and display lives of perishable foods has led to increasing interest in holding foods in the region between their freezing point and -12°C. This is a grey area in terms of much international legislation, since food is not usually considered fully ‘frozen’ until it is below -12°C and only considered ‘chilled’ above its freezing point. There is also a confusion of terms used to describe the states of foods and processes in this temperature region. The terms ‘super-chilled’, ‘deep-chilled’, ‘ultra-chilled’ or ‘partially-frozen’ are often used for foods held in this temperature region; the Japanese also use the term ‘Hyo-on’.

Refrigerants and legislation in the UK

Issue 1 2008, Past issues  •  28 February 2008  •  Miriam Rodway, Secretary, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board

You most probably rely on it for the operation of your food processing and storage systems – but how much do you know about your refrigerating equipment and the environmental obligations you have for the refrigerant they contain under UK law?

Developments in food refrigeration

Issue 2 2007, Past issues  •  23 May 2007  •  Judith Evans, Senior Research Project Manager, FRPERC (Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre), University of Bristol

Refrigeration is a vital part of modern food production. Without a means to cool and keep food cold, the quality and safety of food would be compromised and the sophisticated cold chain we are used to would not be possible. The whole food chain is underpinned by refrigeration from primary food processing through storage, transport, retail and domestic refrigeration in consumers’ homes.


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