Ready to Eat and IQF Foods – How Does Individual Quick-Freezing Work?

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The phrase “fresh, not frozen” is often used in advertising as a sign of top-quality food, but did you know that all frozen foods are not created equal? You’d be surprised at the preservation methods used to create the best, freshest meals.

Frozen vegetables Mexican mix

Ready to eat and IQF foods take frozen products to a higher top-quality level and are not the villains and cheap alternatives that frozen food is made out to be.

So, what does IQF mean, and how can an alternative to fresh food be better than its counterpart? So glad you asked!

Keep reading to understand the IQF process, the difference, and some of the incredible, surprising benefits you are missing out on!


What is IQF?

IQF stands for individual quick freezing. Both the process and the result are different than the product that the traditional freezing technique yields.

This process, often referred to as flash freezing, involves sub-zero temperatures and is a rapid process, preserving the current freshness’s integrity.

Frozen vegetables on cutting board, on napkin, on wooden table background

So, what is the superior result? Each piece of food is preserved separately rather than in bulk. This provides a multitude of priceless benefits, discussed below.

Think of your typical bag of frozen vegetables in one large chunk. Now think of each piece of food free to move with limited development of ice crystals, giving the customer full control and ease of use.

Common foods that utilize this technique are fruits, vegetables, fish, and chicken.

What Are the Benefits of IQF?

One of the most significant benefits of IQF fruits and vegetables is that they can and should be treated as fresh and belong in establishments that adopt the fresh, farm-to-table structure.

Because food is frozen extremely quickly, optimal freshness is preserved without disrupting nutritional value.

Believe it or not, there are the same nutritional benefits to IQF vegetables and IQF fruits because of the IQF process, so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality.

On that note, there are also no preservatives involved in the process. Now you can see more clearly why it is acceptable and encouraged for use as fresh ingredients.

Green peas in silver spoon with a sprig of rosemary on blue wooden background

No need to fret about portion control and wasting what you don’t need because the nature of IQF products is to take what you need, leave what you don’t!

Speaking of waste, everyone strives to reduce waste and save money, and that’s just what IQF provides. Stop worrying about the spoilage of fresh produce.

What about that tomato some may consider “ugly”? Don’t toss it; freeze it! Let’s take waste a step further.

Sustainability is growing in importance across the foodservice industry, especially amid the uncertainty during the pandemic. Using IQF foods is a lesser-known way you can lessen your impact and increase sustainability.

Ready to Eat and IQF Foods: Where Convenience Meets Healthy

Now you can see that providing fresh, quality meals and ingredients don’t have to mean an increased risk of spoilage and waste, nor does the use of frozen ingredients mean pure convenience and sacrificing quality.

Are you taking full advantage of ready-to-eat and IQF foods yet?

Sun Leaf Foods is here to help you get started on your money and waste-conscious, budget-friendly, quality journey. Contact us today to learn more and get started!

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