Cryo freezing - the most efficient way to freeze food stuff

Linde’s Nordic Food Center in Helsingborg gives customers the opportunity to test their products on site, see results directly and develop their processes together with Linde. “We are developing a new food and thus have to develop every single part of the process from scratch and we’ve really received help from Linde," says Frida Persson, CTO at newly-founded company Mycorena.

Linde's Nordic Food Center in Helsingborg in in full activity as food producers from all over northern Europe come here to test their products.

“Cryogenic freezing is the most efficient way to freeze food. It’s faster, you don’t lose as much liquid in the product compared to normal freezing and it can prevent structural changes, which means that the end consumer gets the absolute best,” says Paul Brantby, Product Manager at Linde Gas.

CRYOLINE® freezers with liquid nitrogen have many advantages: not only are they able to maintain lower temperatures than mechanical freezers, cost less in maintenance and result in less water disappearing from the product, they also take up less space and can be adapted directly to the customer's needs. Frida Persson, CTO at Mycorena, has seen this up close in the test lab in Helsingborg.

“We were advised to contact Linde by another supplier who said that they are good at freezing food. We are extremely pleased that we got to come there on site to do tests with our products and see how it works in reality. They have also been to visit us and have studied our process, seen our needs and then came up with solutions,” says Frida Persson.

Mycorena is working on a new vegan protein source - a micro-mushroom-based food - and they needed to find a partner who could help them with a smart freezing technique.

“We are developing a completely new type of food so there is no one who can directly say that ‘you should use this equipment’ or ‘this will behave in this way if you choose this solution’. We have to develop every single process from the ground up and we needed help from a knowledgeable supplier with scaling up in the best way.”

The fact that Mycorena went for Linde's solution was also down being able to validate early.

“If we were to choose another alternative from another supplier that was not as involved, there would be a great risk that it may not work in the factory. We wanted an active supplier who wanted to be involved in the development stage. It also feels safe to have good contact with the supplier, who is always an expert in their equipment and is aware of what is happening in the industry in the long term.”

Being able to meet customers' needs is important to Linde.

"The food industry is developing new products all the time and we are developing new products in parallel with what the market requires," says Paul Brantby.

Many customers come to the freezer lab when they are developing their products.

“There we become part of the puzzle to develop solutions for cooling or freezing their products. Since we have the production of our equipment under our own roof, we can be very fast and efficient. In the case of Mycorena, our freezers work perfectly and efficiently to cool down a batter that is then shaped into a vegan product.”

Linde collaborates with Nitator Stainless Steel AB on the manufacture of CRYOLINE® freezers. This provides several benefits according to Paul Brantby.

“We have all production at Nitator. Sometimes it happens that the equipment we have proposed is not optimal and then we can easily turn to the workshop and see if we have any other equipment that fits better, or if we need to make an adjustment of the proposed equipment, then we can do it on site where all manufacturing takes place.”

Linde not only sells their CRYOLINE® freezers but also has an international "Freezer Pool" where they can rent out the machines to their customers.

“We have a strong competitive advantage there as well. The industry is changing rapidly and it is common for many large companies to contract companies in the food industry for their products. If you can rent equipment, it is a great advantage instead of having to buy it. These are very capital-intensive products,” says Paul Brantby.

Fact box:

If food is to maintain its quality during freezing, fast and professional freezing methods are required. The technology of cryogenic cooling and freezing is based on the extreme cold of cryogenic gases, –196 degrees for liquid nitrogen, and the transfer of the cold in the liquefied gas when it comes into contact with food.

Linde's range includes many types of cryogenic freezers, solutions for supplying liquid nitrogen and various accessories. The freezers support up to 30 different recipes and this makes it possible to freeze many different product types in the same freezer.

The smallest CRYOLINE® freezers are five meters long and can be expanded to 8, 11 or 14 meters on site at the customer. Linde's range also includes spiral and batch freezers as well as some special freezers for e.g., freezing of seed pellets.