UK firm defends traditional freezing equipment
Neil Winney, managing director of the company, called the detrimental comparisons "outdated myths".
In an article posted on Starfrost's website, he said modern mechanical freezer systems can rival their cryogenic counterparts in terms of compact design, flexibility and freezing speed. They could also offer lower carbon emissions and greater flexibility, he said.
"Cryogenic exponents will often champion their cause by pronouncing a number of outdated myths in relation to today's mechanical freezing systems," said Winney.
"Whilst the principles of mechanical freezing have not changed since its invention over 100 years ago, components, materials and operating system technology have constantly advanced."
In particular, he challenged assertions that more traditional freezing methods were slower than cryogenic freezing techniques.
"Modern day hi-tech mechanical IQF (Individual Quick Freezing) tunnels, especially high speed air impingement systems, are quite capable of extremely quick freezing of small, flat, unpackaged food products such as burgers, seafood and fish.
"Previously, only a cryogenic system would have been considered for very short freeze times."
Cryogenic systems were also often considered to have a smaller footprint and be easier to install than their more traditional counterparts.
However, he said modern mechanical systems could now effectively compete with cryogenic freezers with spiral or tunnel designs built in compact modular format on mobile frames.
These mechanical systems cost much less to run and could deliver return on investment within 18 months, he said.
Although cryogenic freezers had low running costs in terms of energy consumption, the cost of the liquid gas necessary to operate them was high and variable, he added. And he said manufacturers needed to consider the carbon emissions inherent in the liquid gas production.
In addition, mechanical freezers could use natural, eco-friendly gases such as ammonia and electricity costs for running them could be fixed with energy providers, said Winney.
"Thanks to the latest industrial heat pump technology, waste heat from mechanical refrigeration systems can now be recovered, boosted and recycled. Food manufacturers can therefore save energy, reduce payback and enjoy massive long term financial benefits."