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August 13, 2018

Why is refrigeration so important in the food processing chain?

We have talked before about how making sure the temperature of food is controlled well is essential to ensuring the shelf life of the product is as long as possible. But what do food manufacturers gain from this, and how can pvc roll help?

The commercial shelf life of food is determined by the successful prevention or limitation of bacterial growth which can be achieved in a number of ways. Some food production firms add preservatives to food, some reduce water activity in the vicinity and some reduce the storage temperature. These days consumers really prefer fresh food with a long shelf life, which is a bit confusing, as many people also think that products with a long shelf life have preservatives in them, and they don’t want this. The general thought about food products with a long shelf life is that they are not inherently fresh and so are of a poorer quality.

This is where refrigeration comes in. Using refrigeration during the food processing chain does not affect the quality of the food at all, and so is a perfect way to extend the shelf life of a food product while still maintaining customer acceptability. Keeping produce at a lower temperature not only keeps all the nutritional elements of the food intact but can also prevent the growth of bacterial pathogens as well and minimise the risk of growth of spoilage microbes. Chilling most foods will also help them to maintain their colour, flavour and texture for longer as well as having beneficial effects on both quality as well.

We tend to take food for granted don’t we? However, the growing population in the world in general coupled with a decreasing food supply mean that it is actually a vital commodity. This means that food manufacturers are having to look at a variety of ways to store food in order to be able to carry on supporting the growing population. Again, cold store rooms and fridges play an essential role in this as an easy yet efficient way to extend the shelf life of most items. Think back twenty years to the variety of frozen foods that were available then compared to what we have access to now - they are uncomparable. There are new innovations in refrigeration being explored all the time as well, so further improvements in the ranges of food are still possible as well.

We have to say though, that cold storage mainly affects food quality rather than food safety, as there is not much chance of bacteria, mould or yeast to grow if the temperature is below minus 12. The main benefit of frozen food is that it gives consumers access to products all year round that are usually only seasonal, and also products such as ice cream that can only be created in a cold environment. Freezing seasonal products also reduces the cost and environmental impact of such items.

WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme recently published some research which stated that being able to extend the shelf life of food by just one day could save shoppers in the UK around £600 million and businesses around £100 million - around a 5% reduction in avoidable waste.

But what does PVC roll have to do with this? Well at Strip Curtains Direct we offer polar grade kits which are suitable for temperatures from plus 25 degrees to minus 40 degrees. These energy-saving strips are hung over doorways to help cold air escaping and warm air entering, and so help to maintain the temperature level of the cold store area. They are also ideal for pest control, noise control and air pollution - all of which can affect the quality of the food items.

If you want to find out more about any of our products or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. You can call us on 0333 999 7171 or send an email to