IQF stands for individually quick-frozen, this is a type of freezing technique where each piece of food is separated during the freezing process, preventing the formation of clumps, creating a more appealing final product. However, there are many other benefits, which might be less known.
In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about the exact health and nutritional benefits contained within IQF products. After all, as frozen food becomes increasingly popular, it’s important to know how it affects your body! Let’s dive into it.
1. High quality
When you buy IQF frozen goods, you’re getting the best product you can. Unlike mass-stored and -frozen goods, here each piece gets the attention and treatment it deserves. Extra care is taken to preserve the shape and integrity of each berry, pea, or even string of cheese.
Even better, frozen food methods will often alter the shape, texture, flavor, or color of the frozen goods. With IQF-produced food, this is avoided. Here’s how: when food freezes, even if it is dry on the outside, it will keep moisture, in the form of water, inside it and over the surface. As we well know, when water turns to ice, it does so by changing its structure into microscopic ice crystals. These crystals, then, if they’re too big, will damage the membranes of cells and cause the insides of the cells to spill out. This causes the alteration seen with certain frozen foods.
With IQF foods, the story is much different. As the IQF process is one of flash-freezing, the process itself does not allow large ice crystals to form. The crystals that do end up forming aren’t big enough to severely damage cellular walls, and, therefore, results in creating a frozen good that still is practically as good as fresh for an exceptionally long time.
2. Nutritional benefits
Despite some myths about it, frozen food, when correctly produced, stays as beneficial to an individual’s health as its fresh counterpart. Some products, such as certain berries, become more appetizing and enjoyable after freezing. The best part: all the vitamins and minerals from the unfrozen product are largely preserved. Additionally, frozen foods typically come without any other light-preservation methods, such as excess salt, as the freezing process is sufficient to store them for an indefinite time.
Not only are IQF frozen foods healthy on their own, but they can aid in healthy living and eating. Farmer’s markets are the perfect place to get your daily doses of fresh vitamins, however, they often come with a steep price tag and require you to travel to specific destinations. Additionally, the fresh fruits and vegetables will quickly turn bad, unless quickly consumed. Notice how frozen foods have none of these downsides? The reason this is beneficial, beyond the obvious, is that it can be an aid to those looking to make their diets healthier. With IQF products it’s now easier than ever to eat healthily, whenever you find the time and desire, as you’re free to only unfreeze as much as you’ll need, and store away the rest for later.
Another great benefit is that, unlike their less frozen counterparts, they’re always going to be in season. From exotic fruit to your run-of-the-mill seasonal vegetable, you’ll be able to find it at your local grocery store, without much trouble.
3. Prevents waste
As a society, we simply waste too many resources, food included. While transportation and distribution remain challenges we’ve yet to solve, one solution lies in simply only buying as much as we need. With IQF solutions, this is becoming easier than ever. Portion your frozen food in whatever way you’d like. Unlike older freezing methods, IQF goods are already separated for you, so all you’ve got to do is take as much as you need.
Easier measurements, longer shelf life, and better preservation are all advantages that come with choosing IQF frozen products. Frozen foods are perfect for sustainability too, as you’re supporting the food service industry directly. No more spoiling before you get a chance to enjoy your meal.
4. Excellent food-safety
As we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, part of the challenges people must face daily have to do with food safety and handling. Fortunately, all IQF food production companies take it to heart, as regulations are strict and efficient. Even better, companies like Octofrost are ahead of the curve when it comes to food safety in food manufacturing equipment, with unique patented bedplate technology, which makes it easy to replace the individual plates during production. By incorporating hygiene and food-safety techniques and methods into the daily practices of the business, in a way that doesn’t affect productivity, it’s possible to guarantee an excellent standard of health.
5. The industry-leading approach
If you’re in the catering industry or like to bulk-buy, there’s no better choice than IQF food. As a restaurant cook, you’ll need several distinct types of fruits, vegetables, and meat products. While fresh is always preferred, it’s hardly economically worth it, most of the time. That’s why most leading companies opt for the benefits of IQF. By purchasing IQF products en masse, it’s possible to get a particularly good deal, on products you can thaw on the fly, as much as you need of, and use them as you would their fresh counterparts.
The difference? Convenience, lack of spoilage, and an easier workflow and scheduling system.
6. Why choose IQF
These are just some of the main benefits IQF can add to your life. It’s not novel, but it is innovative and unique – creating premium quality goods at affordable rates and supplying a more sustainable alternative to buying fresh. With practically-fresh quality, IQF goods can sometimes even rival or outcompete so-called “fresh” produce that has been transported over a large period and laid in wait at a stall until you’ve found it.
Comparatively, IQF preserves most of the nutritional value, as it is collected and quickly frozen, so you’re getting a level of quality that’s almost as good as plucking the fruit or veggie yourself.