A flexible in-line freezing system from Starfrost has boosted business at a major seafood production facility in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire.

Seacatch provides a wealth of production services to the seafood industry including product freezing, poaching, grading, glazing, bandsawing, packing and labeling. The firm currently handles around 100 metric tonnes of seafood products per week for leading fish suppliers and many blue chip clients.

Seacatch recently upgraded from a manual blast freezing process by investing in a fully automated in-line system for protective glaze hardening and full freezing of wet fish fillets. Starfrost’s Starlite HT (Hybrid Tunnel) freezer has enabled Seacatch to increase product quality and throughput, boosting related business by around 40%.

Freezing and chilling equipment specialist Starfrost purpose designed a versatile multi-belt freezing system for Seacatch. The Starlite HT features three 1.4m wide product belts within a 6.5m enclosed freezing tunnel. The conveyor belts are manufactured from close mesh stainless steel to provide excellent product support and reduce marking.

Seacatch’s Starlite HT is designed for rapid full freezing of wet fish fillets and glaze hardening to protect and add value to seafood products. The system has a maximum product capacity of 300kg per hour for freezing and 1,000kg per hour for glazing.

Each of the three product belts on the Seacatch system can be operated independently at different speeds or configured to work together on a cascade principle. This gives Seacatch the flexibility to process a variety of different products by making simple adjustments to belt configuration and speed.

Seacatch Director Simon Chapman says: “The Starlite HT freezing tunnel has been a real benefit to our company. It has allowed us to increase capacity through our factory and offer an even higher quality product to our customers. The system’s flexibility, ease of use and very competitive price were key factors in our decision to work with Starfrost.”

The all stainless steel clean-by-design HT allows easy access to the machine’s interior for cleaning and maintenance. In addition a quick defrost and cleaning system is built in to the evaporator and conveyor belt to ensure fast turnaround in between production periods to maximise payback.

Starfrost’s Starlite HT (Hybrid Tunnel) is a highly versatile, multi-belt system. It combines the look of a fluidised bed tunnel with the airflow characteristics of a spiral freezer.

The Starlite HT is ideal for upgrading from static blast freezing to continuous in-line IQF processing, or for diversifying or expanding production. It can be adapted to glaze, harden, chill, freeze or thaw a wide range of food products including seafood, meat, poultry, bakery, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

The Starlite HT offers fast and efficient cooling by using sufficient air volume to rapidly IQF without the need for excessive velocities. Air speed is designed to allow controlled chilling or freezing of light and delicate products. The low maintenance system has a fully accessible stainless steel design for ultimate hygienic operation.

Starfrost’s Starlite HT is designed to offer a cost effective alternative to conventional cryogenic tunnel freezers. The mechanical freezing system offers significantly reduced operating costs compared to a nitrogen tunnel.

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 [email protected] or visit www.starfrost.com

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