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‘Making mincemeat of costs’

24 September 2008

An automated HT (Hybrid Tunnel) system has been designed by Starfrost for Anglo Dutch Meats, and is said to have proved a cost-effective solution for the meat specialists

Anglo Dutch Meats (ADM) says it supplies meat solutions to leading names in the UK ready meal and foodservice industries. The company wanted to replace an ageing nitrogen tunnel freezer with a new system for minced beef at its facility in Eastbourne.

Freezing and chilling equipment manufacturer Starfrost designed an automated Starlite HT (Hybrid Tunnel) system for ADM. The bespoke HT freezer was supplied to ADM through Dawsonrentals, the temperature controlled solutions company.
Starfrost’s pre-assembled Starlite HT freezer is energy efficient and economical. It has generated estimated running cost savings of more than £12,000 per week, compared to ADM’s previous nitrogen system.

“Starfrost’s HT has enabled us to significantly reduce running costs, increase efficiency and improve product quality,” says ADM’s MD Nik Askaroff. “Our agreement with Dawsonrentals has also enabled us to benefit from fixed monthly payments, with no large capital outlay.”

Dawsonrentals has agreed a three-year contract with ADM. The agreement includes total maintenance support, with full equipment servicing twice a year. ADM also benefits from the combined engineering expertise generated by the partnership between Starfrost and Dawsonrentals.

ADM’s Starlite HT features three 1.4m x 8.5m product belts configured on a cascade principle. This sees minced beef cascading from the top belt to each lower belt in turn, to ensure separation. An oscillating in-feed conveyor also aids product spread across the belt.

ADM’s HT is designed for rapid freezing. The system was originally designed to process up to 2,500kg per hour but is achieving a capacity of 3,000kg per hour.

Starfrost’s HT system is suitable for processors looking to move to continuous IQF production and for those requiring additional capacity and flexibility. It is available with up to five belts that can be operated independently at various speeds. This allows different products to be processed simultaneously within one machine.

The HT is capable of processing from 50kg to 3,000kg per hour, depending on product type and retention times. The system can be adapted to harden, chill, freeze or thaw a wide range of food products including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

Starfrost’s HT is designed compete directly with conventional impingement tunnel freezers. It offers fast and efficient cooling by using an increased air volume without the need for excessive velocities. Air speed can be adjusted to allow controlled chilling or freezing of light and delicate products.

Starfrost claims it is globally renowned for the reliability of its equipment range and commitment to pioneering freezing technology. It says its freezing and chilling systems enable food manufacturers to minimise downtime, boost production and reduce running costs.

The company’s freezing and chilling equipment range includes the Spiral Helix, Starlite HT (Hybrid Tunnel), Turbo IQF and StarContact system. It specialises in low to medium capacity in-line freezers and chillers, as well as larger site-built systems.

As well as designing automated systems to boost manufacturing efficiency, many Starfrost installations are now driven by the customer’s need to reduce escalating nitrogen freezing costs.

Established in the UK in 1984, Starfrost says it has supplied bespoke mechanical freezing and chilling equipment to food processors in more than 50 countries. In addition to its UK headquarters and manufacturing facility in Lowestoft, Suffolk, Starfrost has sales offices and agents in Poland, Russia, Norway, Italy, the US, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. In 2004 Starfrost was acquired by Star Refrigeration, one of the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering companies. More information on Dawsonrentals can be found at

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