You might have heard about IQF or Instant Quick Frozen before, especially if you work in a restaurant or in the hospitality industry. IQF is not just a fancy abbreviation but also an extremely useful technique for food packaging.
Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) is a freezing technique in which each food piece is frozen separately. This technique also decreases the freezing time, which means the nutrition of the food is preserved. Frozen food tends to have greater quality, and this is because of IQF.
Evolution of IQF Technique
IQF started in the 1960s when the tray freezer came to the market, and it became an instant hit. However, there was a problem with the transportation of food. In the 1970s, the transportation belt was introduced; these belts were made of steel. The problems with these belts were the big mesh holes and cleaning them. To solve this problem, plastic belts were invented in the 1980s. Today, several of the latest innovations have revolutionised the IQF technique.
How does IQF Work?
A biologist developed the strategy behind IQF while he was fishing in Canada. He noticed the fish he found would instantly freeze when tossing them in the snow. And some of those fish would still be alive after they thawed.
This leads to the result that quickly frozen items form smaller ice crystals that do not damage the food item’s cells and tissues.
IQF works along the same principle, the food item is quickly frozen, forming tiny ice crystals. This is why the IQF frozen peas don’t form into a frozen block, but all separated instead.
Benefits of IQF
Freezing is the easiest and most effective way of storing food; IQF is one of the best techniques for freezing used by food manufacturers. There are several benefits of IQF; some of these are:
The most apparent benefit of IQF is the preservation of food. Freezing perishable food items like berries, peas, vegetables, and dairy products can increase their shelf life for up to six months.
Foods Remain Nutritious and Healthy
There are many myths around frozen food, but in reality, frozen food is just as nutritious. If using the correct technique for freezing and defrosting, frozen foods are as healthy as fresh produce.
Access Out-of-Season Foods
You don’t have to wait for the right season to have your favourite fruits and vegetables, with IQF. If you have some dishes on your menu with seasonal fruits or veggies, frozen food will allow you to serve it to your customers throughout the year.
What Foods are IQF?
Some IQF foods include fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and peaches; veggies like broccoli, corn, green beans, and peas; dairy like cheese curds; seafood like scallops and shrimp; or poultry like chicken breasts.
Frozen fruits and vegetables can be easily found in supermarkets near you, but finding high-quality and fresh IQF cheese curds is tricky. But don’t worry, Pure Dairy have you covered. If you are a restaurant owner, and cheese curds dishes are on your menu, you have to get in touch with Pure Dairy. They sell the freshest cheese curds in Australia, sourced from Wisconsin – the cheese curd hub.