Extend the Shelf-Life of Perishable Goods With Step-In Chillers and Freezers

Extend the Shelf-Life of Perishable Goods With Step-In Chillers and Freezers

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January 2, 2023

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If you are in the food retail and food service industry, you would definitely understand the importance of the quality of perishable items. Perishable goods including seafood, meat, vegetables, fruits, cooked or ready-to-eat food, etc. have limited shelf-life after harvest. Therefore, they need to be refrigerated or frozen to preserve them and keep them safe for consumption for a prolonged period of time. 

Product quality as well as environmental factors such as storage temperature, relative humidity, the concentration of gases, presence of decaying microorganisms can have a direct impact on their storage and shelf-life. Here, cold chain solutions such as step-in chillers and freezers can be a proven solution to your challenges. 

Food Loss and Refrigeration

Too high a temperature can increase the respiration rate and the growth of microorganisms, leading to food spoilage in just a few hours or days. Whereas, low temperatures can cause cold injuries, resulting in a food item that is not suitable for marketing. 

However, perishable items when stored at an appropriate temperature and ambient conditions can be preserved at high quality for weeks, months, or even years (in the case of frozen food).

Hence, refrigeration plays a critical role in avoiding food loss. Especially, when globalisation has enabled the movement of fresh produce across the globe to meet the demand of consumers for a wide variety of fresh produce, businesses need to invest in effective refrigeration solutions. 

Image source: FAO

What Is the Difference Between Step-in Chillers and Freezers

Step-in chillers and freezers are compact cooling and storage units with adjustable or fixed racks. 

Here is the primary difference between a step-in chiller and a freezer. 

  • Step-in chiller:  It is primarily used to store perishable items of immediate use or those with a short shelf life, such as food items, vegetables, medicines, flowers, milk, and dairy products. The temperature maintained for preservation is within a temperature range of -2°C to -5°C.
  • Step-in freezer: It is used for the storage of frozen vegetables, medicines, frozen seafood and meat, as well as milk and dairy products (except ice creams) for prolonged periods. The temperature for storage is maintained in the range of -12°C to -18° C.

Some providers offer a combination of step-in chiller and step-in freezer in a single unit, which maintains different temperature zones and are suitable for a variety of products.

Extending the Shelf-Life of Perishable Goods with Step-In Chillers and Freezers 

Here are various benefits that step-in chillers and step-in freezers offer.

  • Food safety: These storage units are able to maintain the required temperature for a prolonged time, without compromising food safety. Moreover, many providers ensure that the construction material used for these units adheres to health and safety standards.
  • Accessibility: With step-in chillers and freezers, you can organise your space more efficiently. This means, when you want to access any item, you can easily walk in without moving other items, enabling free movement and quick accessibility.
  • Shelf-life: Maintaining perishable items at the right storage temperature can prolong their storage duration and shelf-life. With sturdy, insulated construction and electronic controls, you can be assured of consistent storage conditions.
  • Storage: The use of multiple refrigerators and freezers take up more space when compared to the walk-in chiller and walk-in freezer. You can use smart racking and shelving solutions that effectively utilise storage space. Plus, depending on your need, you can customise the capacity and size of these units.
  • Energy efficiency: Using multiple standalone refrigerators and freezers can toss your energy bills. Instead, constructing a step-in chiller or freezer with energy-efficient condenser and compressor units and eco-friendly refrigeration units means you can save significant money on your energy bills.

Unique Features of Step-In Chillers and Freezers

Rinac offers a range of modular cold storage solutions for various industries under the brand name of Preserva

  • Preserva-P: It is a modular step-in cooler which maintains a temperature range of 2°C to 8°C and used for perishables with short shelf-life such as food items, vegetables, medicines, flowers, milk, and dairy products.
  • Preserva-C: It is a modular step-in chiller which maintains a temperature range of -2°C to -5°C and used for items of immediate use or those with a short shelf life.
  • Preserva-N: It is a modular step-in freezer which maintains a temperature range of -12°C to -18°C and used for frozen vegetables, medicines,  seafood meat, as well as milk and dairy products except ice-creams.

Preserva step-in chillers and freezers offer easy installation, improved energy efficiency, complete electronic control, and compact design features for maximum space utlisation. 

To know more about technical features of Rinac’s step-in chillers and freezers, talk to us today! 

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