When it comes to freezing technology, IQF is basically that freezing technology which allows for the freezing of an individual piece of product separately 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.
Generally speaking of the key differences, the main difference there is to separate these two kinds and approaches to freezing lies in the size and volume of the products that are frozen here seeing the fact that cold store freezing happens to be suitable for large volumes of bigger size products like chicken and packed meat while IQF freezing suits best smaller size products like vegetables, fruits, pasta and the like. Additionally, IQF technology is seen to be better looking at the fact that it results in less formation of ice on the product. This is due to the fact that with IQF technology, the product is frozen faster and this basically means that there will be lesser formation of ice crystals unlike what would be the result in a cold store freezing. One thing with slow freezing as is in cold store freezing is the fact that this results in the formation of larger ice crystals which has an impact on the cells and the membrane which at the end of the day affects the product negatively. Such damage is often irreversible and this means that the texture of the product will not be returning even after thawing. This is so much unlike IQF where there is no or minimal formation of ice crystals as such allowing the product to return its texture or maintain it, until that first thawing.
Added to the above mentioned, it has as well been established that products from cold store freezing as well see a lot of drip loss, texture and nutrients as well are lost following their first defrost. These effects are all the result of the formation of the ice crystals as is often the case in cold storage freezing. 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.
The other marked difference there is between these two approaches to freezing and storage is in the fact that this is a method that doesn’t result in the change of the color of the product after first defrost unlike the result we see in cold storage freezing.