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Chilling tale sees first glacier at sausage factory

21 February 2011

Starfrost has completed the first installation of its Glacier system, combining the latest spiral freezer technology and a unique low volume ammonia refrigeration plant in one complete package

DStarfrost has supplied a dual-purpose freeze/chill Glacier system to one of the UK’s largest producers of pork for a brand new product range. The company recently decided to launch a range of uncooked sausages in order to access new markets. A state-of-the-art freeze/chill system was key to achieving consistently high quality in the brand new product line.

Following a competitive tender process, UK-based freezing and chilling equipment manufacturer Starfrost was chosen to supply the new system. Starfrost supplied a Glacier system, a new range of equipment combining both a spiral freezer and its associated low volume natural refrigerant plant.

The launch of the new Glacier range is the result of the unique partnership between Starfrost and its parent company Star Refrigeration. The two companies are currently working together on a number of Glacier installation projects. Glacier offers food processors a total in-line freezing and chilling solution from a single source market leader.

The first Glacier project saw Starfrost custom designing the system for sausage processing. It features a dual-purpose spiral freezer/chiller with 24-inch wide stainless steel product belt and 30 tiers around a single rotating drum. The system is capable of processing up to 2,000kg/hr of uncooked sausages. A computerised control system gives the client the flexibility to freeze and chill raw sausages of various sizes and weights.

Starfrost Managing Director Neil Winney says: “Raw sausages have delicate skins that are notoriously difficult to freeze, often being prone to dryness and cracking. Our Glacier spiral features accurate temperature control and a unique airflow specially designed for delicate products. This will enhance product quality compared to a conventional spiral system.”

Starfrost’s Glacier spiral system has a simple but robust design to maximise uptime and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. The spiral unit has an all stainless steel structure, fully welded stainless steel floor system and a fully accessible product zone for ease of cleaning. A fully automated CIP (Clean in Place) system was also installed, which utilises high pressure, low volume water and chemical dosing for effective system cleaning.
Located externally within a weatherproof housing, the sausage manufacturer’s Glacier refrigeration package has a 215kW capacity and operates with very low volume natural refrigerant ammonia. This results in excellent operating efficiency, with zero environmental impact in terms of ozone depletion and global warming.

Neil Winney adds: “Not only does the refrigeration plant run with a low charge of ammonia, the operating principle is simpler and easier to maintain than conventional pumped systems.”

The Glacier spiral and its accompanying refrigeration plant both have a compact design and small footprint. The weatherproof housing for the refrigeration package means that no internal plant room is required. Each Glacier refrigeration plant is factory assembled and only requires simple connection on site, whilst the spiral is delivered in modules for ease of assembly.

As a spiral system, Glacier is suitable for freezing or chilling food items such as pizza, ready meals, poultry, meat and fish, as well as pastry products and desserts. Each Glacier package is designed, manufactured and installed to meet individual cooling requirements, with dual-purpose freeze/chill operation available.

Glacier features a range of spiral systems and associated refrigeration packages, with cooling capacities from 75kW to 450kW. Available with a range of belt sizes and tier heights, Glacier can be designed to process from 500kg/hr, to over 6,000kg/hr.

Established in 1984, Starfrost has remained a market leader in freezing and chilling technology for over 25 years, working with food manufacturers in more than 50 countries worldwide. Starfrost’s in-line systems are designed to add maximum value, boost production and minimise running costs.

As part of Star Refrigeration, Starfrost also has the unique ability to offer total freezing and chilling solutions that are truly ground-breaking. Together the two companies have developed ‘green’ systems focused on energy saving and significantly reducing lifecycle costs for food manufacturers.

In addition to the new Glacier range, Starfrost’s equipment portfolio includes the Starlite HT (Hybrid Tunnel), Spiral Helix, Turbo IQF and StarContact system. The company’s UK headquarters and manufacturing facility is based in Lowestoft, Suffolk.


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