UK equipment manufacturer Starfrost has supplied a spiral freezing system for fresh mango to a tropical fruit processor in Thailand.

Based just south of Bangkok, Chantaburi Global Trade (CG) is one of Thailand’s leading worldwide exporters of freeze-dried exotic fruits. The company specialises in producing a range of vacuum freeze-dried tropical fruits including durian, rambutan, mangosteen, coconut, pineapple, papaya, mango and banana.

CG was recently looking to increase capacity on its mango production line as part of an expansion plan. After peeling and halving, fresh mangos were previously frozen using a static blast freezer. The frozen mangos were then placed in cold storage prior to further processing, freeze-drying and packaging.

CG was looking to replace the blast freezing process with a fully automated in-line freezing system. UK-based freezing and chilling specialist Starfrost was able to demonstrate its Helix Spiral freezer in action following a recent installation in Thailand. In conjunction with a Thai agent, Starfrost offered CG local servicing and support, as well as a highly competitive price.

Starfrost’s UK engineering team custom built a Helix Spiral freezer for CG with a processing capacity of 1,500 kg/hr. Designed to process halved fresh mango, the Helix features a 660mm (26 inches) wide conveyor belt with 24 tiers spiraling upward around a single rotating drum. Product is frozen from a temperature of plus 25 degrees Celsius to minus 18 degrees Celsius in around 45 minutes.

Chantaburi Global Trade’s Managing Director Wisut Noppun says: “Starfrost offered a competitively priced, high quality spiral freezer that combined energy efficient operation with low maintenance components and design. The system is also hygienic by design and will allow the defrosting and cleaning operation to be undertaken quickly to extend production times. We expect to improve operational and production efficiency with the new system.”

In the early stages of design, Starfrost undertook product testing in a freezing simulator at its UK manufacturing facility. A Helix Spiral system with horizontal airflow proved to be the most effective for mango and a plastic conveyor belt was chosen to reduce product adhesion.

The CG Helix Spiral freezer has an all stainless steel design with smooth stainless steel central drum for optimum hygiene and ease of cleaning. The size of the evaporator and fin spacing was also specifically designed to allow extended running times between defrosts.

The Helix Spiral freezer at CG is served by a 220kW refrigeration plant operating on pumped natural ammonia. This results in excellent operating efficiency, with zero environmental impact in terms of ozone depletion and global warming.

Starfrost’s Helix Spiral is designed with low maintenance, ease of hygiene and operational efficiency in mind. Its unique “Guided Flow” vertical or horizontal air circulation system ensures quick and even freezing without excessive air speeds that can damage delicate products.

The Helix Spiral is suitable for freezing and chilling food that requires medium to long retention times, such as ready meals, poultry, pizza, potato products, fish, desserts, bakery products and ice-cream. The system is available in site built and compact assembled format, with single drum, double drum and twin belt designs. Available with a range of belt sizes and tier heights, it can process from 500kg/hr, to capacities over 6,000kg/hr.

The Helix Spiral has a frost tolerant design and features Starfrost’s unique air circulation technology for fast and efficient freezing with long running times between defrosts. Starfrost’s standard all-stainless steel equipment design includes framework, fully welded floor, evaporator and enclosure panels for ultimate hygiene. The Helix Spiral features a computerised touch screen HMI PLC control panel and optional CIP (Clean in Place) automated sanitising system.

Established in 1984, Starfrost has remained a market leader in freezing and chilling technology for over 25 years, working with food manufacturers in more than 50 countries worldwide. Starfrost’s in-line systems are designed to add maximum value, boost production and minimise running costs. For sales information, phone the Starfrost sales team on 01502 562206, email sales@starfrost.com or visit www.starfrost.com