By and large, IQF is essentially a freezing and storage technology which allows for the freezing of an individual piece of product separate 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.
Essentially the key difference there is between these two approaches to freezing is in the size and volume of the products to be frozen in which case it so happens to be that cold freezing happens to be so ideal for freezing large volumes of bigger sized products like packed meat while IQF gets to be so suitable and appropriate for freezing smaller size products here looking at such products like vegetables, pasta, fruits, et cetera. 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. The damage caused by cold store freezing is often irreversible and this simply means that the texture of the stored food product will not return even after you have thawed the product. Basically, this happens to be so different from what we have in IQF technology as it involves and sees the least formation of ice crystals in the product which means less damage on the product’s cells and membrane as such allowing the product to keep or return its texture until that first thawing.
The other issue with cold storage freezing that makes it one to be wary of when it comes to food storage is in the sense of the fact that has been equally established as a fact that products from this method of storage often experience a lot of drip loss, texture loss and nutrient loss after their first defrost. The formation of ice results as well in dehydration which results in all these effects. But with IQF technology, the dehydration rate is significantly reduced as compared to what would otherwise be in a cold freezing storage and this basically serves to make sure that the quality of the final product is not as compromised at the end of the day.
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.