By and large, IQF is essentially a freezing and storage technology which allows for the freezing of an individual piece of product separate from the others. This bit of individualized freezing of the products is essentially what makes the quality of the finished products in an IQF freezing technology come out better and superior to what is achieved in a cold store freezing.
Essentially the key difference there is between these two approaches to freezing is in the size and volume of the products to be frozen in which case it so happens to be that cold freezing happens to be so ideal for freezing large volumes of bigger sized products like packed meat while IQF gets to be so suitable and appropriate for freezing smaller size products here looking at such products like vegetables, pasta, fruits, et cetera. Besides this, IQF technology is as well considered a better alternative to food storage and freezing looking at the fact that with it, there is less formation of ice on the product that is frozen. This is as a result of the fact that the frozen product is frozen fast as such leading to formation of lesser ice crystals as compared to what would be seen in a cold store freezing. With slow freezing, there is often a result of larger crystals forming and these larger crystals have an impact on the integrity of the cells and the membrane and essentially causing worse damage on the product at the end of the day. By and large, you should know that with cold store freezing, the deterioration on the stored food product will be one that will be irreversible and as such, even after thawing, this product’s texture will not be returned. This is not what you would have in IQF technology where we see minimal formation of ice crystals which means that there will be no damage on the cells and membrane of the product as such enabling the product keep its texture to the first defrost.
The other issue with cold storage freezing that makes it one to be wary of when it comes to food storage is in the sense of the fact that has been equally established as a fact that products from this method of storage often experience a lot of drip loss, texture loss and nutrient loss after their first defrost. Basically these are all often the result of the formation of the ice crystals as is often the case in a cold storage freezing which results in dehydration and this dehydration is what results in all these effects. With IQF freezing, the dehydration rate is reduced significantly as compared to cold storage freezing and this helps guarantee the quality of the finished product.
IQF technology as well helps maintain the color of the frozen product after first thawing and this is another key difference there is with it.