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High quality frozen onions: Mission impossible?
Despite the difficulties, finding out a way to solve the issue is more important than ever, with frozen ready to eat products in high demand as busy consumers feel they don't have the time to handle and prepare products like onions.
Currently, the largest producers of onion and onion products are China, India, the United States, and Egypt.
Carmen Popescu from Octofrost said that processors could actually increase the amount of frozen onion they produce per hour, from 3,5 ton per hour to 4 – 4,5 ton for example if they follow the correct steps.
"In order to achieve good quality frozen onion, the pre-treatment and freezing equipment are the most important elements. After peeling and dicing, it is recommended to cool the onion to +10C. For a good separation and spreading during the freezing process, onion processors are recommended to use a shaker in the infeed arrangement," said Carmen.
"Our IQF tunnel freezer has perforated bedplates and adjustable fan speeds, which, together with the design of the freezer, achieves the optimal aerodynamics. The design makes it possible to crust freeze the onion without lump formation or overblow into the coil area. The product really behaves as a liquid, which is why you can without a doubt say that the freezer creates true fluidization inside the freezing zone."
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