Crust Freezing with Beef and Pork for IQF

What is Pre-Chilling?

Pre-chilling, in this case, literally means to crust freeze a product quickly prior to further freezing or processing. Typically this is done using a cryogenic freezer upstream of a spiral freezer. The pre-chilling step enhances product quality, improves yield and may increase production levels. Get an idea of the cooling economics by using our online pre-chill calculator and request a customized assessment of your operation.

Benefits for Your Product

Product quality is enhanced because flavor and moisture are quickly sealed in rather than being lost through dripping or water evaporation, as often occurs during a traditional freezing process. Marinated meats retain more liquid and hot products keep their moisture – your profits don’t go up in steam. Pre-chilling is especially useful when processing high-value or delicate products like:

  • Cooked, raw and marinated poultry
  • IQF seafood
  • Red meat—cooked, raw or marinated
  • IQF fruit

Or with products that are:

  • Yield sensitive
  • Hot or steam cooked
  • Difficult to handle
  • Extremely wet
  • Going to be sliced
  • Breaded

Operational Benefits

In addition to the product quality gains, using pre-chill improves overall operations by lowering costs by reducing yield losses. Production is increased and sanitation is improved—less product is left on belts for later clean up which improves profits.

Cryogenic pre-chilling combined with either a mechanical freezing process or upstream from a cryogenic system lets users capture the benefits of both systems. Pre-chill units have a small footprint and relatively low capital costs, so they are easily incorporated into existing floor plans. 

Learn about wastewater treatment applications for your meat operation.