Frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh and have a longer shelf life, which is why consumers love them. As a distributor, how can you be sure your supply is still in great shape for them?
There’s a new method on the market that’s changing the frozen produce game. It’s called IQF which stands for “individually quick frozen”.
When working with IQF fruits, how long can you store them? Are warehousing methods different than other frozen produce?
Let’s look at the advantages of IQF fruit for both consumers and retailers. Our guide will answer all of your questions and help keep your supply chain in shape.
As we mentioned before, IQF stands for “individually quick frozen“. This method is also called “flash freezing”.
Instead of being frozen in a group together, fruits are frozen individually. That way they won’t congeal into a big frozen block inside your freezer.
Quick freezing produces smaller ice crystals that don’t damage the produce cells This is a huge breakthrough in preserving flavor and texture in frozen fruits.
Another benefit to IQF fruits is that they lose less water content than traditional cold storage techniques. This produces a vibrant, more flavorful product that’s ready to be eaten sooner than regular frozen foods.
There’s no more waiting for your favorite fruit to be in season, either. IQF fruit is always waiting for you in your freezer even in the off season.
Proper storage of IQF fruit is much like traditional cold storage. It should be kept at zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
If you store produce for retail sales, you have to adhere to FDA regulations to ensure your food is safe for consumption. When your IQF produce is being transported, you have to ensure that it maintains a consistent temperature as well.
It’s important to know your product. You can only store each fruit as long as the most vulnerable ingredient will last.
Different fruits thaw or spoil at different times. If you’re storing bags of mixed fruit, check to see how long each one holds up in the freezer.
When storing IQF fruits, the general rule of thumb is that the product will stay fresh in the freezer for eight to twelve months.
IQF distributors can opt for space-saving storage, meaning that you can have more products in a smaller space. That not only saves room but saves energy and helps you move more products.
As you can see, there aren’t too many downsides to IQF fruits. It’s a stand-out product for both retailers and consumers.
Storing IQF fruit is a lot like storing traditional frozen produce. The big difference is that the technique produces a more flavorful product that’s truer to it’s original form and that you can often store more items due to smarter packaging solutions.
Curious as to how you can add all of the benefits of quick-frozen fruits to your supply chain? Contact us today and we’d be happy to answer all of your questions!