What precautions should we take when freezing flour confectionery products

The greatest benefits to be gained from freezing cakes and other flour confectionery products is a delay in the staling process, provided the products are adequately protected against moisture loss and microbial spoilage.

Before freezing all products should be cooled to ambient temperature (typically 20-25 °C, 70-77 °F) in order to maintain the efficiency of the freezing process. The most efficient and economical freezing temperature is —20 °C (—5 °F). However, cryogenic freezing systems using liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide have led to the use of much lower temperatures, —171 °C (—275 °F) for liquid nitrogen and —100 °C (—73 °F) for liquid carbon dioxide. Fans operating in such equipment aid heat transfer.

It is advisable to use a specially produced moisture-proof film that has increased flexibility and is resistant to cracking. Wrapping the products before freezing will help reduce evaporative losses but does increase the length of time taken for the product to become frozen.

Storage times for frozen products vary but can be many weeks at —20 °C (—5 °F). Remember that if products are stacked in frozen storage then the temperature of the product may vary according to its position in the stack and in some cases may be unacceptably high with subsequent defrosting.

The thawing time for frozen confectionery depends on the unit size and thawing conditions available. A 285 g (10 oz) sized plain slab cake can take up to 6 h standing at 21 °C (70 °F) before the internal temperature reaches 21 °C but such a cake would be edible within 4 h. If the same cake was thawed at 38 °C (100 °F) an internal temperature of 21 °C would be reached within 1.75 h. Dry eating products may occur if the thawing rate is too slow because of excessive moisture losses.

Condensation can occur during thawing and depends largely on the thawing temperature, which controls the time during which the surface temperature of the product remains below the dew point of the atmosphere in the packaging. The higher the thawing temperature, the more quickly is the condensation removed and the less likely it is to affect the product.

Continue reading here: We would like to improve the quality of our slab cake How important is batter temperature in this context

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