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Starfrost showcases freezing technology

03 August 2011

UK-based equipment manufacturer Starfrost is supplying an innovative quick freezing system for mango to a pioneering food processing facility in India

With a strong agricultural production base, India is one of the world’s major food producers. Over the next decade the country is predicted to continue its significant year-on-year growth in the food and drink processing sector.

Located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in South East India, the Mega Food Park will provide local farmers and food producers with a state-of-the-art processing plant. As one of India’s largest integrated food parks, the 141-acre facility will bring vital post harvest infrastructure to a region renowned for fruit and vegetable production.

Following a competitive tender process Starfrost secured the prestigious contract from client Srini Food Park. The new venture is being supported by India’s Ministry of Food Processing Industries to showcase the world’s latest equipment and technology in one location. In time, further food parks will be developed across India based on Srini Food Park with similar facilities and equipment.

Starfrost is custom designing a new MS (Modular Series) Turbo Freezing Tunnel for the individual quick freezing (IQF) of 1,000 kg/hr of diced fresh mango. The rapidly frozen mango product will then be sold on to the domestic retail market and packaged for export.

Starfrost Managing Director Neil Winney says: “The new MS Turbo Freezing Tunnel is designed for effective individual quick freezing of large quantities of loose products. Even wet and delicate food items normally considered difficult to freeze are carefully handled and effectively processed.”

He adds: “The Turbo freezer allows diced mango to be rapidly frozen to ensure the freshest taste possible. The unit also features the unique Star-D Belt filter system to reduce product debris, improve hygiene and extend running time between defrosts.”

The MS Turbo Freezing Tunnel (6m length x 4m width) is being custom built in modular format at Starfrost’s UK manufacturing facility in Suffolk. The modular design allows shipment in standard 40ft containers and also enables rapid site assembly within one week. Starfrost has also been contracted to supply a special dual action vibratory conveyor to ensure continuous product separation at the in-feed to aid faster freezing.

A conveyor belt manufactured from low temperature plastic with fine grade perforations ensures a high resistance to product adhesion and allows very small particles to be frozen. After passing through an initial crust freezing zone with cascade and variable control agitation, the product transfers to a deep fluidised bed for final freezing.

Conveyor speed and airflow within the MS Turbo Freezing Tunnel are fully adjustable and can be optimised to suit various sized diced mango, as well as a multitude of other fruit and vegetable products. The freezer is fully automated and features an on-board computerised control system. This incorporates a simple product menu to allow the operator to adjust a multitude of system settings at the touch of a button.

The freezer has an all stainless steel structure and fully welded floor for ultimate hygiene. The unique Star-D Belt filter system ensures the interior remains as clean as possible, allowing for efficient cleaning with minimal water consumption.

The MS Turbo Freezing Tunnel features the latest IE2 high efficiency electric motors with variable speed drives for optimum freezing and low energy consumption. A stainless steel and aluminium evaporator with variable pitch fins throughout ensures maximum heat transfer and extended operation between defrosts. The refrigeration system is a pumped natural ammonia plant that ensures high cooling efficiency and fast response to product temperature or capacity flow changes.

Starfrost’s Turbo Freezing Tunnel is an enclosed freezing system that can be custom designed for product capacities from 500kg/hr to over 16,000kg/hr. Suitable IQF product applications include French fries, frozen herbs, bean sprouts, cooked rice and pasta, minced meat and a wide range of fruit and vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, peas, tomato diced mango and peach.

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