A modification of the regular air –blast freezer IQF is the fluidized bed freezer IQF freezing system. In these systems, the high speed air is directed vertically upward through the mesh conveyer carrying product through the system. This type of freezing process results in rapid freezing of product shapes and sizes that can be fluidized.
Preservation of a food by freezing at temperatures below 0°C results in a significant reduction in growth rate for micro organisms and in the corresponding deterioration of the product due to microbial activity. In addition, the formation of ice crystals within the product changes the availability of water to participate in oxidative and enzymatic reactions.
Although freezing results in a high quality product for consumption, the quality is influenced by the freezing process and the frozen storage conditions. Optimum freezing process depends on the product characteristics.
The freezing process can be achieved by either indirect or direct contact systems. Most often it will depend on the product characteristics,
Fluidized bed freezer system operate with direct contact between refrigerant and the product and are used to freeze particulate foods such as peas, cut corn, diced carrots, and strawberries.
The term fluidized refers to condition in which solid particles tends to act somewhat like fluid that is a condition where the solid articles are mobile and in semi-suspended condition. To maintain such condition air is passed forcefully upward through the mass.
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