The Benefits of Using a Plate Freezer for Freezing Fresh Produce and Meats

The Benefits of Using a Plate Freezer for Freezing Fresh Produce and Meats


November 8, 2022


Quick or fast freezing is a critical process in the food preservation and food processing industry. Rapid freezing not only helps preserve the quality, texture, and taste of the food item but also saves energy and costs.

There are multiple benefits of using a horizontal plate freezer in your food processing line as it is efficient and sustainable. Moreover, with ergonomic design, durability, and size variations, the plate freezers can surely help increase your freezing capacity and efficiency.

Let’s get started with plate freezers and their usage in freezing fresh produce and meats!

What Is a Plate Freezer?

Plate freezing is a tray or block freezing method that offers a small footprint but a large freezing capacity. This method is a well-established preservation technique that maintains nutritional value and quality, ensuring a long shelf life. Moreover, plate freezing works well for high-volume food products or whole and portioned food items and thus finds wide applications, especially in the seafood, fish and meat industries.

A plate freezer is used for this particular freezing method and consists of a series of parallel plates through which a refrigerant is circulated. These plates can be placed either horizontally or vertically. A hydraulic system can be used to open and close the space between the plates for loading and unloading as well as increase the contact area between the food and the plates during the freezing process respectively.

There are primarily two types of plate freezers.

  • Vertical plate freezers: These types of plate freezers are primarily used for freezing unpackaged deformable food products such as fish and meat. In vertical plate freezers, blocks are formed by gravity-feeding the product in between the plates. To remove the product after freezing, plate heating and block ejection systems are used.
    Vertical Plate Freezer
  • Horizontal plate freezers: These types of plate freezers are used for food products that are either packaged in rectangular cartons or rectangular shaped using trays or metal moulds. They are ideal for products in trays, cartons or frames and usually operate in a batch mode, using direct, double contact freezing which results in fast freezing. Depending on the requirement, horizontal plate freezers can not only freeze but also heat, cool and enable heat exchange.

Horizontal Plate Freezer

Advantages of Using Plate Freezers

Here are some of the benefits of using plate freezers in your food processing line.

  1. Energy efficiency and sustainability: It has been observed that whether you use plate freezing technology for seafood, poultry, meat, fruits, liquids, vegetables, or pet food, it helps in reducing operational costs as well as environmental footprint. In fact, the plate freezing method is up to 40% more energy efficient than other traditional freezing methods.
  2. Food freshness and quality: Quick, double-contact freezing helps preserve the freshness, quality, and flavour of the food products and results in high yield. It also reduces freezing time when compared to traditional air blast freezers.
  3. Performance: Especially in the seafood industry, where floor space is critical, horizontal plate freezers are a perfect solution. Rapid freezing also prevents discolouration as well as the risk of cellular or enzymatic breakdown of the food items.
  4. Durability: Plate freezers are usually made of durable stainless steel and hence have a long service life even in harsh ambient conditions. Plus, their ergonomic design enables easy cleaning and maintenance.

Industrial Applications of Plate Freezers

The plate freezing method is used in many industries as it allows for the rapid freezing of whole as well as portioned foods such as

  • Shrimp
  • Fish fillets in blocks
  • Heated and gutted fish
  • Chopped products

It can also be used to freeze the secondary product before further processing including meat, poultry, vegetables, fruit, pet food, or even ready meals.

Choosing a Plate Freezer

When choosing a plate freezer, make sure to focus on

  • Freezing capacity (depending on your need)
  • Optimum plate sizes with the required widths and lengths
  • Low power consumption and high energy efficiency
  • Shorter freezing times
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Food preservation at the lowest possible cost
  • Prevention of marks or dents on product packaging

Some manufacturers may also offer high-pressure execution, double doors or curtains, electronic controls, and other customised features.

Rinac’s Plate Freezing Solution—Freezoline

Rinac has utilised its deep industry expertise and customer experience to design energy-efficient Freezoline Plate Freezers. Ensuring uniform and rapid freezing, our horizontal contact plate freezer is very effective in block freezing and preserving portioned food products whilst providing easier handling during unloading and loading, transportation and storage. Our plate-freeing solutions offer high-quality freezing of whole fish, fish fillets, shrimps and prawns of all sizes, meat and meat products, poultry, vegetables, and other food products.

To know more about technical specifications and finding the right plate freezer for your business needs, get in touch with us today!

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