Equipment manufacturer Starfrost has supplied a Glacier freezing system to a thriving bakery business near Wrexham, North Wales.

Starfrost’s Glacier combines the latest spiral freezer technology and a unique low volume ammonia refrigeration plant in one complete package. The system has enabled The Village Bakery to launch a highly successful product line of frozen unbaked scones for one of the UK’s premium retail chains.

Established in 1934, The Village Bakery is a family-run firm based on a shared passion for quality baking. The company produces a wide range of crusty and sliced bread, morning goods and savouries at its state-of-the-art baking facility near Wrexham.

The Village Bakery supplies fresh and frozen products to supermarkets and premium retailers across the UK. The company also has a fleet of delivery vehicles covering retail and catering businesses in North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

The Village Bakery was looking to supply one of the UK’s leading retailers with a range of frozen ready to bake scones for in-store bakeries and coffee shops. A fully automated, energy efficient in-line freezing system was required for the brand new product line. It was vital that the freezer would run for extended production periods and enable The Village Bakery to achieve consistently high product quality.

The contract was awarded to UK-based equipment manufacturer Starfrost for its Glacier total freezing and chilling system. In conjunction with parent company Star Refrigeration, Starfrost was able to offer a turnkey solution, combining both an in-line spiral freezer and its associated low volume natural refrigerant plant.

The Glacier for The Village Bakery features a spiral freezer with a 32-inch wide tight mesh stainless steel product belt and 18 tiers around a single rotating drum. The system is capable of freezing 1,800kg/hr of unbaked scones and features a computerised HMI PLC programmable control system.

The Glacier spiral is designed to run for extended production periods at the Village Bakery and features a four way valve reverse cycle system for rapid defrost. Within a production stoppage time of only 40 minutes the system automatically defrosts the freezer, clears excess moisture from the evaporator coil and brings the temperature back down ready for production to resume.

Located externally within a weatherproof housing, The Village Bakery’s Glacier refrigeration package has a 180kW capacity and operates with very low volume natural refrigerant ammonia. This results in excellent operating efficiency, with zero environmental impact in terms of ozone depletion and global warming.

Starfrost’s combined Glacier system offers a number of benefits over a separate spiral freezer and refrigeration plant installation. The evaporator design and construction ensures the greatest possible heat transfer, reducing the refrigerant load. This results in a 15-20% energy saving compared to a conventional spiral freezer and refrigeration plant.

As a spiral system, Glacier is suitable for freezing or chilling food items such as pizza, ready meals, poultry, meat and fish, as well as pastry products and desserts. Each Glacier package is designed, manufactured and installed to meet individual cooling requirements, with dual-purpose freeze/chill operation available.

Starfrost’s Glacier spiral system has a simple but robust design to maximise uptime and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. The spiral unit has an all stainless steel structure, fully welded stainless steel floor system and a fully accessible product zone for ease of cleaning. An optional fully automated CIP (Clean in Place) system utilises high pressure, low volume water and chemical dosing for effective system cleaning.

Glacier features a range of spiral systems and associated refrigeration packages, with cooling capacities from 75kW to 450kW. Available with a range of belt sizes and tier heights, Glacier can be designed to process from 500kg/hr, to over 6,000kg/hr. The low maintenance refrigeration plant is factory assembled and only requires simple connection on site, whilst the spiral is delivered in modules for ease of assembly.

As part of Star Refrigeration, Starfrost also has the unique ability to offer total in-line freezing and chilling solutions from a single source market leader that are truly ground-breaking. Together the two companies have developed ‘green’ systems focused on energy saving and significantly reducing lifecycle costs for food manufacturers. For sales information, phone the Starfrost sales team on 01502 562206, email sales@starfrost.com or visit www.starfrost.com