2The effect of refrigeration on foods is two folds : A decrease in temperature results in a slowing down of chemical, microbiological and biochemical processes.At temperature below 0oC water freezes out of solution as ice, which is equivalent in terms of water availability to dehydration or a reduction in aw
3Effect of freezing on tissues Foods do not have sharp freezing points, but freeze over a range of temperature depending on the water content and cell composition.Rapid freezing, and storage without wide fluctuations in temperature, lead to small intracellular ice crystals and maintenance tissues with minimum damage to cell membranes.
4Effect on freezing on microorganisms The growth of microorganisms in foods at temperatures below about –12oC has been confirmed. Thus storage of frozen foods at about –18oC and below prevents microbiological spoilage.Although microbial numbers are usually reduced during freezing and frozen storage (except for spores), frozen foods are not sterile and can spoil as rapidly as the unfrozen product if temperature are sufficiently high and storage times at these temperatures are excessive.
5Methods of freezing Freezing techniques include : the use of cold air blasts or other low temperature gases coming in contact with the food, e.g. blasts, tunnel, fluidized bed, spiral, belt freezers.Indirect contact freezing, e.g. plate freezers, where packaged foods or liquids are brought into contact with metal surfaces (plate, cylinders) cooled by circulating refrigerant (multi-plate freezers).Direct immersion of the food into a liquid refrigerant, or spraying liquid refrigerant over the food (e.g. liquid nitrogen, and freon, sugar or salt solutions).
6The freezing method chosen for each product will depend on : product quality and freezing rate desiredType and shape of product, package, etc.Flexibility required in freezing operations.Costs of freezing for alternative techniques.
7Freezing of fruits and vegetables Providing storage temperatures do not exceed the minimum for microbial growth for extended periods of time, frozen food quality deteriorates principally as a result of physical, chemical, and biochemical changes.
8Treatment prior to freezing aimed at reducing deteriorative change during freezing and frozen storage include :Blanching of some fruits and most vegetables to inactivate peroxidase, catalase and brown enzymes, reduce cellular oxygen, reduce microbial numbers and improve colourAddition of or dipping into ascorbic acid or sulphur dioxide solutions to retain colour and reduce browning
9packing of fruits in dry sugar or sugar syrups to increase freezing rate and reduce browning, by reducing access of oxygen to the fruit.Changing the pH of some fruits to decrease browning reactions.
10Enzymic change are particularly important causes of quality changes in fruits, and these enzymes must be inactivated or inhibited if satisfactory quality is to be retained.During freezing and frozen storage the concentration of cellular constituents including enzymes and their substrate increase, hence rates of enzymic activity in frozen tissues can be appreciable, despite the low temperatures
11Quality retention in frozen foods The principal factors that effect the rentention of quality in frozen foods are :the quality of the raw material used (variety, maturity, suitability for freezing and frozen storage).The treatment given prior to freezing (blanching, SO2, ascorbic acid).The freezing method and freezing rate.The storage temperature, and temperature fluctuations.The storage timeThe humidity of the storage environment, especially food is unpackagedThe nature of packaging materials.
12Quality deterioration occurs principally as a result of : Changes in colour (loss of natural colour constituents, e.g. chlorophil pigments, development of off colour)Changes in tecture (loss of cloud destruction of gels, protein denaturation, toughening)Changes in flavour (loss of natural flavour, development of off-flavour, rancidity)Changes in nutrients, such as ascorbic acid in fruits and vegetables, unsaturated lipids, essential amino acids.