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Browse previously asked/answered questions below.

  • How can we add value to our frozen bulk products without huge capital investment?
    Julie Zielinski
    Food Technology Specialist

    Consider sauce coating technology that enrobes food pieces with sauces or herbs, then quick-freezes them individually to produce portionable, ready-to-heat products. This technology, originated in Europe a few years ago, has helped many European food manufacturers to successfully establish a valueadded range of products in the market.

    In the United States, the Air Products Freshline™ tumbler freezer brings this technology to your operation, enabling you to freeze layers of sauce around your products. With this single piece of equipment, you can develop and manufacture a range of high-value meals or meal components. As a leading supplier of this technology, Air Products can help you select the right equipment, develop new product innovations, optimize productivity and minimize costs.

    For more information on the Freshline tumbler, call 800-654-4567.
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  • How can I better understand my nitrogen usage?
    Chris Johnson
    Food Technology Specialist

    Measuring the quantity of liquid nitrogen (LIN used during food freezing and chilling is vital to remaining operationally competitive. Unlike other materials, LIN can be troublesome to measure continuously, so it’s important to implement a daily LIN use tracking program. This data provides a benchmark against which to measure your LIN use. The amount of LIN used continuously is less telling than the changes in use as time progresses. Did the new startup operating procedure make the freezing process more efficient? Did changing from an insulated pipe to a vacuum-jacketed pipe really save costs this year? Questions like these can be answered in pursuit of continuous improvement if LIN is tracked daily.

    How do you get started on tracking your LIN usage? Air Products’ Food Technology Specialists connect customers to the cost side of using LIN with daily tracking tools while providing the support and training to improve usage. Air Products’ Freshline® solutions reflect our continuing commitment to the food industry, providing a single point of reference for customers. For more information, call 800-654-4567.
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  • What should I consider when choosing a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) solution provider?
    Ryan Bowen
    Food Technology Specialist

    The right solution provider is a key to bringing your products to market faster. Air Products’ Freshline®; MAP solutions offer more than high-quality, food-grade gases—they provide an integrated approach that includes equipment, engineering, laboratory, on-site trials, and food-related technologies to help make MAP implementation easier for customers. Freshline MAP is designed around the interactions of your product with the optimized atmosphere, film and packaging equipment to help deliver the highest-quality product possible to you and your customers. And our dedicated technical team provides guidelines on shelf life based on over 20 years of experience to help your MAP system operate at maximum efficiency.

    Freshline MAP reflects Air Products’ continuing commitment to the food industry, providing a single point of reference for customers.

    For more information on Freshline MAP solutions, call 800-654-4567.
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  • How can I improve factory output of a mix of frozen products?
    Kirk Dietrich
    Food Industry Sales Consultant

    A 20 to 30 percent improvement may be hiding in production inefficiencies. Start by measuring downtime and the relative loading of your equipment components and its variation. Then examine product recycle and waste, as well as the time required to change products. By identifying and correcting problems such as capacity bottlenecks and other process variations, you can often realize substantial production increases.

    Air Products offers a free Efficiency Improvement Checklist that includes the above-listed variables and many more. It can help you evaluate and optimize your operation. It's also a great starting point for a no-cost consultation with our food processing experts. Call (800) 654-4567 ext. 92 today for your checklist . . . and begin pinpointing your prime areas for improvement
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  • How can I minimize costly, unscheduled equipment downtime?
    Earl Moore
    Service Manager

    Preventive maintenance programs can reduce the likelihood of downtime and enable you to respond more quickly to problems. Consider these simple steps when establishing and running your program.

    Adopt a plan. Detail the who, what, how and when for each aspect of maintenance—then obtain the commitment of management. It’s essential.

    Perform the work. Emergency repairs usually take priority over preventive maintenance. This can snowball as emergencies reduce time for preventive work, which then leads to more emergency repairs. Break this cycle by sticking to your plan.

    Collect data. Preventive maintenance programs are living documents. Use the data you collect to adjust the plan for changing information and conditions.

    Inventory the parts required for maintenance. Keep renewable parts on hand to complete the repetitive tasks as scheduled by your plan.

    For more information on establishing and executing preventive maintenance plans, call the experts at Air Products at 800-654-4567.
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  • How can I optimize liquid nitrogen consumption of my cryogenic tunnel freezing system?
    Orest Kochan
    Food Technology Specialist

    Optimizing freezer operation typically involves three variables—retention time, belt-loading, and production rate. Retention time must be adequate to freeze the product thoroughly, yet not so excessive as to overfreeze it, which leads to unnecessary consumption of refrigeration. Belt-loadings less than the required density will reduce the freezer output rate and increase liquid nitrogen/unit consumption. Similarly, excessive production rates can reduce the efficiency of a freezer. At increased rates, the freezer attempts to meet the additional heat load by increasing nitrogen flow rates. If excessive, this can reduce the freezer's ability to control temperature.

    By identifying and correcting potential problems such as improper retention time, belt-loading, and production rates, you can often realize significant savings in liquid nitrogen consumption.
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  • How can I retain the quality of my packaged food?
    Sarah Coulter, Ph.D.
    Food Technology Specialist

    Food products spoil differently, whether through microbial growth, discoloration, oxidation or even moisture loss. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a way to help preserve the quality of packaged food. By replacing the earth's breathable atmosphere in a package with a pure gas or a gas mixture, the shelf life of products can be significantly extended without losing quality. Typical MAP gases include nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen; the right mix of these gases depends on the food product and how it spoils. The achievable shelf life of products packaged with modified atmosphere gases depends on the type of food, the packaging material, the initial microbial load and the storage temperature

    In a marketplace in which consumers value quality, MAP can provide significant benefits to both the retailer and the consumer—resulting in a product that looks good, smells good and tastes good far longer.

    For a Freshline® guide to MAP from Air Products, call 800-654-4567.
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  • What should I look for in a supplier of cryogenic freezing systems?
    Rick Whited
    Food Technology Specialist

    Consider three criteria: equipment, cryogen supply and services. For equipment, work with a supplier who understands and has experience with your type of process. The vendor's access to a food lab for product testing can help ensure the right size and type of equipment. Request and scrutinize details about equipment safety, cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance. Regarding your cryogen supply, make sure the supplier has sufficient production capacity close to your facility. Finally, make sure your vendor has adequate resources for a variety of services: equipment optimization, maintenance, troubleshooting, spare parts and even safety programs. Although easy to operate, cryogenic freezing systems require high levels of expertise for initial calibration to specific products and processes—something that the low-cost vendor may not always provide. When possible, consider sourcing equipment and cryogen from the same company. In general, those companies seek long-term relationships and will provide ongoing support and service with the convenience of a single point of contact.
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