Coffee is fed onto the steel belt in form of a uniform slurry which is then frozen by means of cold air blasted over the product at high velocity to guarantee rapid and uniform heat transfer.The combination of impingement technology and the excellent conductivity of the steel belt delivers:
- Reduced freezing times (up to 50%) vs. conventional methods
- Better product quality due to small ice crystals forming
- Little moisture loss from the product (from 0,6 to 1%) vs. other freezing techniques
- Reduced defreezing time for the air coils (due to less frost)
- Reduced plant dimensions
The coffee freezer also enables smooth, temperature-controlled freezing to maintain the colour and flavour of the coffee. The fact that the belt can be processed in an endless loop – in widths up to 2250 mm (88.58 in.) – means that production is both continuous and highly efficient.
The use of a steel belt means that the freezing system can be operated at low temperatures (down to –50ºC/–58ºF) while also accommodating the need for fluctuating temperatures to allow for freezing and defrosting cycles.
The smooth, joint-free surface of the steel belt ensures maximum hygiene and makes products slide smoothly and cleanly from the end of the belt.
Recent years have seen all the world’s major instant coffee producers install IPCO systems, reflecting the fact that freezing has proved the optimum process in terms of efficiency and product quality.