Following recent upgrades at the Linde Food Technology Center in Cleveland, Ohio, engineers from Linde LLC can now perform higher-volume and longer test runs to validate performance of new cryogenic processes for crusting, cooling or fully freezing foods.
Foods that may require special testing include: sauces, pastas, baked and prepared items, marinated meat and poultry products, coated or glazed foods, deli meats and other foods that need slicing, as well as ready meals and trayed products with multiple ingredients that freeze at different rates.
Recent advancements in cryogenic freezers can greatly increase plant productivity and enhance process quality, while engineering can optimize processes to minimize operating costs. Foods can be trialed at the technology center on state-of-the-art Linde freezers to: keep items separate on the conveyor belt as they are individually quick frozen; use an initial blast of liquid nitrogen to crust foods before a controlled freeze in a tunnel; and use liquid nitrogen for rapidly crusting or freezing sauce pellets.
The Linde Technology Center can also run mini-batch freezer trials and demonstrations for spiral freezers and nitrogen immersion freezers—the fastest way to freeze products.
The Linde Group operates more than half a dozen Technology Centers around the world. Laboratory testing can be especially important for proving new food concepts, and when considering cryogenic technology at a plant for the first time. Higher-volume and more extensive testing can provide more reliable results and help fine-tune operating parameters to speed process implementation at the plant.
It is often not possible to fully duplicate a customer process at the Food Technology Center, so the Linde food team also performs demonstration trials and validation tests at the customer plant site.
Linde LLC supports the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the advancement of food safety. Linde has a Food Safety Management System in place for all bulk carbon dioxide (CO2) plants and air separation facilities supplying the food and beverage industry in North America. In June 2012, Linde became the first supplier to certify all of its CO2 plants to a benchmarked GFSI scheme, FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification).