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'Fast turnaround proves deal winner'

11 August 2010

Starfrost recently helped a food manufacturer to secure a major contract with a UK supermarket chain by supplying a new chilling system in just 12 weeks

Once part of Northern Foods, Riverside Bakery concentrates on the making and baking of quiches, as well as chilled savoury snacks and party foods.

The company is based on the banks of the River Trent just two miles from Nottingham city centre. Riverside Bakery’s key customers are the UK’s major multiple retailers, each with demands for significant ‘own label’ ranges.

Earlier this year Riverside Bakery was looking to secure a major contract for a brand new quiche range from one of the main supermarket giants. In order to win the contract, Riverside Bakery needed to assure the customer that the new product line would be up and running within a short timescale.

Following a competitive tender process, Riverside Bakery chose UK freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost to supply a spiral chiller for the new quiche line. As well as being a timescale critical project, the new machine needed to fit within an existing part of the factory with restricted height. Product quality was also a key factor, with the surface of egg-based products prone to cracking when subjected to low temperatures.

Starfrost’s Helix Spiral system provided Riverside Bakery with a highly flexible, technologically advanced solution. The chiller was installed on site within 12 weeks and was commissioned for automated in-line production of cooked quiches in foil trays.

Chris Steel, Programme Manager for Riverside Bakery says: “The Starfrost team impressed us with their design flexibility and ability to deliver within a tight timescale, which helped us to secure a key contract. This is the first Starfrost spiral we have purchased and we are delighted with its performance and the consistently high product quality we have achieved.”

Starfrost’s custom design for Riverside Bakery comprises a reduced height Helix Spiral with a single oversized drum. It features a 38-inch wide Flex Link stainless steel product belt with 17.5 spiralling tiers. The system is capable of chilling over 4,000kg/hr of baked quiche product and is currently working to full capacity.

A horizontal airflow was selected, as it ensures fast and efficient chilling without air directly impinging on the delicate product. With long run times of up to 120 hours between defrosts required, it was essential to install a custom designed oversized air cooler. Starfrost’s standard stainless steel design and a CIP (Clean in Place) system ensures very high hygiene levels at the start of each production run.

Starfrost’s Helix Spiral is suitable for food items such as pizza, ready meals, poultry, meat and fish, as well as pastry products and desserts. The system has a low tension, single belt design and twin drive for ultimate durability, whilst requiring minimal maintenance. Available with a range of belt sizes and tier heights, the Helix Spiral can be designed to process from 500kg/hr, to capacities over 6,000kg/hr.

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