One of the key challenges in the food industry is the effective control bacterial activity. One of the most effective measures in preventing bacteria is blast freezing. When the temperature is lowered below freezing point, the growth of microorganisms decreases rapidly. This is due not only to the lowering of the product temperature but also to the reduction in free liquid water activity which essentially deprives microorganisms of the water they need to metabolise.
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Blast freezing also maintains the natural quality of food. When food is frozen, the water inside it crystallises. If freezing takes place at a relatively warm temperature, the ice crystals which form will be large. In a blast freezer, the extremely cold temperature promotes very rapid freezing, which creates small ice crystals. The smaller the crystals, the less damage to the food as large crystals can rupture cells. Once the food has been frozen, it can be moved to a more conventional freezer, for storage, as long as the freezer stays cold enough, to keep the food frozen.