How Flake and Tube Ice Can Be Used in Different Business Operations

How Flake and Tube Ice Can Be Used in Different Business Operations


December 5, 2022


Industrial ice machines can prove highly beneficial and economical for businesses which require large amounts of ice continually to run their operations. Designed to take up less space and easy to maintain, ice machines offer high efficiency and production capacity for use in various industrial applications such as food servicing, food preservation, healthcare, meat processing, food retail, and others.

Commercially, flake ice machines and tube ice machines are popular choices and produce different types of ice that serve distinct sectors. However, there are other forms of ice too including crushed ice, cracked ice, nugget ice, block ice, cube ice, scale ice, dry ice, and slush ice.

So, let us get started with how flake and tube ice can be used and why you need to invest in an ice-making machine!

Flake Ice: Production and Uses

Flake ice is a soft, airy, light, and moldable form of ice. It is more snow-like and easier to work with. Moreover, flake ice does not stick together or condense to form a lump, making it easy to transport and store. On top of that, the low production cost makes it an attractive option for businesses!

Advantages of flake ice

Here are some unique advantages of using flake ice machines:

  • Flake ice is formed directly at low temperatures, ranging from -5 to – 8°C.
  • Once formed, ice flakes are dry, clean, and in good shape. This happens because flake ice is sub-cooled and absolutely dry. With no free water, the ice does not stick together or clog the delivery equipment.
  • Flake ice offers a large contact area and good mobility, ensuring full contact with the items that need to be refrigerated and preserved. This means better cooling efficiency and better coverage of the product or item.
  • The absence of acute/shard edges makes it easier to store and transport.
  • Since all unused or unfrozen water is recycled back to the flake ice maker, no water is wasted.

Applications of flake ice machines

Flake ice machines can be used in various industries including:

  • Food processing: Flake ice is used extensively in the food processing sector.
    • Dairy: Flake ice is used for a variety of fairy products including milk, yoghurt, butter, etc. especially in delivery trucks (for icing) and storage tanks (for cooling). Since these products are temperature sensitive, flake ice helps maintain low temperatures.
    • Seafood: Flake ice machines are used on board fishing vessels as well as seafood processing plants to prolong the freshness and shelf-life until it reaches the end customers.
    • Fruits and vegetables (farm produce): Since flake ice offer better product coverage and cooling efficiency, it finds use in cooling and preserving farm produce. It is also used before the shipment of pre-cooled vegetables and fruits to maintain freshness and integrity.
  • Food retail: Many food retail outlets such as supermarkets, stores, etc. use flake ice in their meat and seafood display counters. Passively refrigerated open beds with flake ice are used to attract customers. Moreover, since flake ice is soft, it not only keeps the food item fresh but also does not cause any blemish.
  • Hospitality (food servicing): Flake ice is used in bars, restaurants, salad bars, seafood restaurants, etc. for a variety of foods and beverages such as cocktails, juices, alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • Construction: Flake ice is used in the cooling of concrete to reduce cracking and control heat. It can also be employed at the construction site for bigger projects.
  • Baking (confectionary): During baking, to avoid the leavening of the floor when mixing flour and milk, ice flakes are used. It helps prolong the shelf-life of the batter and also prevents the formation of air pockets. Moreover, in the bread-making process, flake ice is used to control the growth over the years.
  • Healthcare: Flake ice is used by medical practitioners for injuries and pains and especially in physiotherapy. It is particularly used in ice baths and cooling packs as it provides a large surface area and is also soft on the body.

Tube Ice: Production and Uses

Tube ice machines freeze ice in the form of vertical (cylindrical) tubes that are hollow at the centre. The hole in the ice cube is formed during the formation of the ice as a result of water film falling and freezing inside the vertical tubes. An ice-cutting framework is usually used to give the desired length to these tube ice.

Typically, tube ice is around 28 mm to 35 mm in length and has diameters of 22 mm, 29 mm, or 25 mm for various applications.

Advantages of tube ice

Here are some unique advantages of using a tube ice machine.

  • When compared with flake ice and snow ice, the air permeability of tube ice is better.
  • Tube ice is hard, transparent, and hollow.
  • The melting time of tube ice is longer and, therefore, has a longer storage life.
  • The smoother outer surface ensures no blemish or injury to the food item (especially seafood) being preserved.
  • Since very less handling is involved, tube ice is more hygienic and of much superior quality than block ice.
  • Tube ice machine offers rapid ice production in batches every 15 to 20 minutes.

Applications of tube ice machine

The tube ice machine finds usage in various industrial applications and may overlap with flake ice machine.

Tube ice can be used in the cooling process, such as temperature controlling, fish fresh freezing, and beverage bottle freezing. Apart from that tube ice is also used in the following sectors:

  • Food processing: It is primarily used to preserve the fresh produce and extend shelf-life.
  • Packaged ice
  • Hospitality (food servicing): Tube ice is used in bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. for a variety of foods and beverages such as cocktails, juices, alcoholic beverages, etc. It is also extensively used in flight kitchens and caterng services.
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Construction: It can also be used in concrete cooling in construction projects, especially in concert or cement mixing plants.
  • Baking industry

Rinac’s Ice Machines Offer Versatality and Quality

Rinac offers both flake ice and tube ice making machines that provide flexibility and convenience to help you carry out your business operations effectively. These ice machines are equipped with modular designs for easy on-site maintenance. The components made of SUS304 stainless steel, pure aluminium alloy or PE (polyethylene) and have been specially crafted for higher energy efficiency.

Our ice machines are already being used by both big and small businesses in meat processing, fishery industry, vegetable preservation, supermarkets, concrete cooling, baking, as well as produce cooling. This enables us to utlisie our expertise and experience to offer you the custom solutions for your ice making needs!

To know more about the technical specifications and how we can support your business, get in touch with us today!

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