What does a Blast Chiller do?

A lot of commercial kitchens are beginning to see the benefits attached to adding a blast chiller to their arsenal. It’s now something that everybody in the hospitality industry wants to have in their kitchen.

With a blast chiller, you can lower the temperature of foods you just cooked. You can lower the temperature of prepared foods from above 70 degrees to below 5 degrees centigrade within 90 minutes, making your food safe for later consumption or storage.

Bacteria grows fastest in the 'danger zone' which is between +70 °C to +5 °C. When food stays in this "danger zone," it becomes unsafe for future consumption. Freezing temperatures inhibits bacterial growth, making blast chiller your best bet when it comes to food preservation. With blast chiller, the likelihood of contamination is low.

There are a lot of other things that the blast chiller can do for you apart from increasing your food safety for your commercial food preparation. The blast chiller will help preserve the colour, quality, flavour, fragrance, and appearance of your food thereby extending its shelf life.

What is the working principle of a Blast Chiller?

When food gets frozen, all the water molecules in the food turn into crystals. If you place your food in commercial freezers, the freezing starts from a warm temperature. This will cause the ice crystals which will form to be large. Now, large ice crystals pose a lot of challenges for frozen food. One of these is that the larger the ice crystals, the more damage they do to the cell walls of the food.

So when the large water crystals melt, it causes the cell molecules of your frozen food to rupture. This will affect the texture and taste of your food making it deteriorate. As the food thaws, liquid seeps out of the collapsed ruptured cells.This causes changes to the texture of your food, making it softer and less resilient. All the liquid that seeps out of your thawed food results to loss of flavour, weight, and nutrients.

A blast chiller helps eliminate these challenges by promoting rapid freezing – the faster the freezing, the smaller the crystals. The blast chiller gives your food micro-crystallization by lowering the temperature at a rapid rate. So you retain all the qualities of your food as a whole. Because the blast chiller freezes the molecules of water in your food to a micro-crystallization state, the food particles are not tampered with.

The blast chiller's rapid cooling feature works by reducing loss from evaporation during the cooling process. This makes the size of the ice crystals in your food to be tiny. Once your foods are frozen, you are free to move them to other freezers for storage. When you defrost, there will be no loss of firmness, liquid, or flavour.

For your blast chiller to work well, you have to place the food to be frozen on wire trays with a lot of space between the trays. The fans of the blast chiller will push circulating chilled air over the food surface – making the food’s temperature to drop fast. This happens due to fluid dynamics, (laminar flow). This occurs when a fluid or (in this case air) flows in parallel layers, with no disruption between the layers.