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Crust freezing has a wide range of surprising applications for deli products. Did you know the process is as effective for hamburgers and pasta as it is for prosciutto, salami and mortadella hams?

This is because JBT’s ADVANTEC™ freezer doesn’t just make products easier to slice, but also effectively preserves quality and appearance, which can be damaged using conventional freezing methods.

The JBT Frigoscandia ADVANTEC™ Impingement Freezer is a pioneering solution for crust freezing that was launched in the 1990’s to meet processor demand for a fast-freezing system that could improve product quality, minimize dehydration losses, and improve yield at a fraction of the cost of cryogenic systems.

The ADVANTEC (pictured below) achieves the crust-freezing effect by utilizing thousands of high velocity jets of air directed at the top and bottom surfaces of products, blasting away the boundary layer of air resulting in extremely quick freezing times.

The advantages of crust freezing

One area where the ADVANTEC crust-freezing approach has proven highly effective is in deli industry products, such as ham, salami, salmon slices and much more besides. 

“With crust freezing, the ADVANTEC freezes the surface of the product in two minutes and as a result it is much easier to slice,” explains JBT Spain Sales Manager Jesús Gallego. “You can cut mortadella or prosciutto slices very thinly.”

The system also has significant advantages when it comes to shelf-life extension and food safety. “When you freeze the surface, you prevent bacterial growth and at the same time, you can increase the shelf-life by several days or weeks depending on the product,” says Gallego.

Applications from hamburgers to cakes

Far from only being limited to hams, crust freezing using the ADVANTEC is just as effective for an extensive range of other deli products, from hamburgers and pasta through to fish, sandwiches, omelettes, and even cakes and garlic.

“Because the system crystallizes the water in the product quickly, it preserves the appearance and the shape,” says Ivano Colombo, JBT’s Regional Sales Manager for Southern Europe. So successful is the ADVANTEC that it is now used by one of Spain’s main deli meat producers for a range of products.

Beyond meat, the system is also proving its worth. As with many delicate products, crust-freezing is an effective solution for preserving fish appearance and water content, while it has proven equally useful for sandwiches, omelettes, and more recently cakes. Here, as well as preserving the cake shape and content, it also sterilizes surface toppings, as well as creams or chocolate used in layers.

Another useful application is for garlic by making a notoriously sticky and delicate product easily to handle. Similarly, sauces can be frozen at -18C and cut into cubes for easy storage and transportation, while pasta can be frozen to improve shelf-life and logistics.

And one final advantage. As a modular solution, which starts at 5m in length, the ADVANTEC can be easily extended to cope with increased volumes and meet the needs of your business as it grows.

LEARN MORE about the JBT Frigoscandia ADVANTEC Impingement Freezer