Traditionally, freezing is the simplest and most natural form of preservation, which can be very long. For the engineers and cold room manufacturer, the cold process is defined as the refrigeration supply chain for products or processes, which takes into account all the steps sensitive to temperature, air quality, and influence of the surrounding environment, up to consumption or destination.
The basic objective of the cold chain in the food industry is to guarantee the organoleptic characteristics of the different products:
Food does not deteriorate by the application of cold if this process is done properly by the coldroom manufacturer. Freezing by industrial methods is carried out at temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius below zero. Due to the time, it takes for this operation, the products treated in this way are usually called: deep-frozen, nitro-frozen, among others, to distinguish them from food frozen at home.
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In the case of nitro-frozen, it means that freezing has occurred by means of liquid nitrogen; the others are identified with trademarks and their production techniques.
This is where the so-called cold chain begins. Food is kept at a temperature of -18 ° to -20 ° C until it reaches the consumer. The refrigeration processes properly applied do not cause changes in the chemical composition of the food, have little effect on the texture, taste, and nutritional value, and are, among the preservation methods, the ones that cause the least changes in the original qualities. To start this profitable business, do contact the leading coldroom manufacturer.
For best results, chilling processes should be applied only to healthy, fresh produce, and should be chilled or frozen as quickly as possible, after harvest, slaughter, or capture. The application of cold in the commercialization of perishable foods implies the fulfillment of aspects of great importance. Food products in this category must be subjected, without interruption, to the action of cold from post-harvest, until consumption or use by the industry.
For this reason, it is necessary to have adequate storage facilities in production areas, supply centers, or food processing industries. As well as having specialized transport, with regulated temperature and the appropriate means of distribution for retail sale. This set of elements for the best preservation of perishable food products is known as the cold chain.
Like a traditional chain, the cold chain has several links:
– Cold stores located in the production areas
– Refrigerated transport vehicles
– General, commercial, and consumer cold stores
– Urban refrigerated transports
Cold rooms and furniture of public or institutional establishments, supermarkets and retailers, and the domestic refrigerator.
The cold is the common denominator of all these links through which the products move from the production area to the most remote markets, under the condition that there is constant and unalterable maintenance of the low temperature.
Aspects for the design of a refrigeration chamber:
– The capacity will be in accordance with the process volume
– Reduce the intake of hot air
– Doors must be closing and tight-fitting
– Have manual operating systems, inside and outside the room
– Identify cold rooms
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Changes due to poor cooling:
The loss of quality and the decrease in the shelf life of perishable foods are caused by the misuse of temperature, whether it is subjected to very high or very low temperatures. For example, high temperatures can cause a loss of vitamin C in asparagus and a decrease in sugar or sucrose in sweet corn. Low temperatures can cause damage to fresh fruits and vegetables, such as improper ripening, decreased flavor, discoloration, and physiological deterioration.
However, the most serious effect suffered by perishable foods is the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, reaching levels that cause illness or poisoning in consumers. In the United States, rising temperatures during food refrigeration are the leading cause of foodborne illness.
Most perishable foods, such as meat products, are subjected to various processes that reduce the load and initial variety of microorganisms, thereby increasing the shelf life of the product.
The bacteria that cause spoilage are, for the most part, psychrotrophic, capable of growing between 0 and 4 ° C at a very slow rate; but growth is accelerated when temperature increases occur at some point in the coldroom manufacturer.
Certain perishable foods are more frequently identified as causing foodborne illness.
The presence of 15 to 20 cells of Salmonella in food can cause intestinal infections and although it does not compete with other microorganisms at refrigerated temperatures, it develops when there is a rise in temperature (15 to 20 ° C).
In the United States, it is the second most common cause of foodborne illness, including raw eggs, chickens, undercooked meats, dairy products, seafood, fruits, and vegetables. C. perfringens and B. And when they reach a level of 106 cells per gram of food, they cause poisoning by sporulating in the intestine.
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