"Although mangoes are mostly eaten fresh in the countries that produce them, there has been a huge increase in exports of Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) mangoes to non-producer countries," says Cleshawn Montague from OctoFrost. "These new markets demand high-quality IQF mangoes that have all their natural attributes: natural appearance, texture, and taste. The growing frozen mango market requires premium mangoes all year and the only way to achieve that is through IQF processing."
"It's no secret that mango producers have a tendency to discard about half of the season’s harvest. Reasons for this vary from unsatisfactory appearance, transportation, and storage. However, the best way to prevent losses at the critical peak harvest periods is to IQF freeze whatever is left of the less appealing and imperfect varieties that you can't sell as a fresh mango. If you apply this concept, you can provide a premium product all year, whether fresh or frozen. Remember; even a small reduction in waste can do great things for your bottom line."
There is a false assumption among consumers that frozen fruits are not as good for you than their fresh counterparts and that processed fruits include preservatives. This is why a fresh mango will remain the main competitor to the frozen mango. In reality, IQF mango is usually “fresher” than the fresh one found in supermarkets as those sold fresh are harvested when still green and are ripen on the way to the shelf. The fruit used for IQF is harvested when fully ripen and contains the maximum amount of nutrients. So how does one make sure the IQF mango is the best quality it can be?
Requirements for premium IQF mangoes
"The aspect of freezing IQF mangoes that appears to be the most challenging, is separating the product and having a final product that looks like its fresh counterpart when you defrost it," Cleshawn explains: "To achieve the best freezing result for premium IQF mangoes, it's crucial you use technologically advanced equipment that is also efficient during processing. OctoFrost developed an IQF technology that is one of the most innovative ways to process all kinds of IQF tropical fruits, especially soft and sticky products like mango."
According to the company OctoFrost; the following characteristics must be preserved when it comes to the IQF mango:
- Natural appearance and uniform color that’s characteristic of the type and variety
- Free from foreign flavors and odors
- Uniform shape and size of the IQF pieces
- Optimal texture once defrosted
- Perfectly separated pieces
Turnkey solutions for a complete IQF processing line
Most processors prefer to get a single supplier for all their IQF equipment. This is an important decision, as the final freezing result can be compromised if the equipment used before the freezing in the IQF processing line isn't up to par. "OctoFrost offers a complete IQF processing line and turnkey solutions which give processors the advantage of having the most efficient equipment and a single supplier for their whole line. The advantages of having a complete OctoFrost IQF processing line, that includes an IF Chiller, IQF tunnel freezer, and any other intermediate equipment required by the processor, can be summarized into three main advantages: An optimized connection between processing equipment, harmonized size for every single part of the equipment ensuring optimal energy efficiency and a premium end-product. Finally, you have one single source that is responsible for technical service and support." Cleshawn concluded.
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