The Advantages of Blast Chilling
Q. What are some of the disadvantages in traditional chilling methods?
Tim Murray: Traditional chilling methods — such as tabletop chilling, ice baths, and standard refrigeration chilling — do nothing to preserve the organic properties of hot products. When you see steam or heat waves rising from a hot product, that food item is losing organic properties. If you can smell it, it is losing aroma. Aroma and flavor go hand in hand. It is losing color, nutrition and moisture. Because of the moisture loss, the product will be drier or more tough, and it will weigh less.
Q. What are some of the advantages in using a blast chiller?
TM: Flavor, aroma, texture, color, nutrition, and moisture will be preserved when hot product is placed directly into an Irinox. Our MultiFresh (MF) and ICY series are capable of achieving temperatures as low as -40?F. The cold atmosphere of an Irinox will close the pores of the hot product and trap in all of the goodness that would normally escape, reducing or eliminating any carryover cooking. The trapped-in moisture will benefit the finishing stage so the product will taste as if it was just prepared.
Since Irinox can achieve -40?F, it is possible to shock-freeze fresh or cooked products as well. At that low temperature, the water molecules inside the food cells form microcrystals. These minute crystals keep the cellular structure intact whereas slower shock freezers or traditional freezers create macrocrystals. These large crystals rupture the cell wall lining, causing the products to purge the natural moisture held inside. This purge can account for a 3 to 7 percent yield loss. Once that natural liquid escapes, you can never get it back. Irinox allows lower-cost seasonal or sale bulk purchases, which have a direct savings on bottom-line food cost but keep quality intact.
Q. What makes Irinox products different from other blast chillers?
TM: The Irinox MF series can also thaw product, proof, reheat, hot hold, pasteurize, dehydrate, melt chocolate and the coolest feature of all, Low Temperature Cook (LTC). The top achievable temperature in an Irinox MultiFresh is 185?F, so you can LTC and chill, LTC and freeze, LTC and hold (cook and hold) all in the same cabinet. Irinox will perform these LTC functions while you’re at home sleeping. Come in the following morning and the product is holding at any temperature you want. Only in the Irinox MultiFresh can you achieve all these functions and more.
Imagine placing a roast in an Irinox, programming it to cook to a fixed temperature or for a certain time and coming in the following morning to find the roast at a chilled state, with all the cooking and holding temperatures recorded and waiting for you to transfer wirelessly to a remote location. The future is here. The preservation of freshness is now achievable and it all happens in an Irinox MultiFresh.