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Air Liquide in Greece Food and Beverages

Food and Beverages

Air Liquide Hellas supplies the Food and Beverage industry with products and equipment that totally covers the needs of their production process. From the field up to the consumer! Air Liquide ISO: 22000 (HACCP) certified for its products used in the Food & Beverage industry.

Temperature Control

Temperature control is necessary to ensure appropriate consistency for processing, and above all to preserve micro-biological quality which would be degraded by an increase in temperature.

When temperature increases need to be limited during processes as mixing, cutting, forming,... a very efficient method is to inject liquid CO2 or liquid N2, or to use Dry Ice.

Bottom Injection

Direct injection into product mass of liquid CO2 or liquid nitrogen leads to precise temperature regulation due to injection systems specifically designed to obtain optimal chilling homogeneity. Dry Ice can also be mixed in pellet or ministick form.

For meat and poultry, specifically designed CO2 or N2 bottom injection systems are implemented on different types of mixers. Bottom injection facilitates efficient cryogenic fluid use.

Use of CO2 snow or Dry Ice

  • In the bakery industry, Dry Ice pellets are used to chill dough during kneading, with good yield and ease of use.
  • In beverage manufacture, CO2 snow is directly injected into the press machines for pressing apples and grapes.

Where it is necessary to avoid temperature elevation during a continuous process, CARBOSPRAY LTM enables continuous injection of CO2 snow directly onto a product.

Temperature Control
Temperature Control

Cooling and Freezing

The cooling and the deep freezing are applications used more and more in the food’s production. They can be applied in a whole lot of different products, such as meat, seafood, pastry, vegetables, fruits, ready made meals etc.

Air Liquide has a substantive expertise in the use of cryogenic gas and liquids and can suggest reliable solutions and offer high quality services concerning cooling and/or deep freezing with the use of liquid nitrogen (LIN) or liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2) in food industries.

Cryogenic cooling, deep freezing, crusting and generally temperature controlling during the production, storage and transport of food has advantages when compared with mechanical methods.

Advantages:

  1. Greater speed (cooling and deep freezing within seconds or minutes)
  2. Uniformity
  3. Less investment cost
  4. Less space required
  5. Very low maintenance cost
  6. Full automation, greater flexibility better production planning
  7. Environmental friendly

Equipment:

  • Tunnel ZIP FREEZETM and HIMALAYATM
  • Freezing chamber SILVERSASTM
  • CRYOMIXTM and CRUST FLOWTM V systems

Air Liquide has developed a whole line of products for the use of gases for the quick deep freezing of food, easily installed, used and cleaned, demanding low installation and annual maintenance cost compared to the mechanical methods.

Crust Freezing

Crust freezing is applied either to boost mechanical freezers, preserve shapes, prevent water losses or obtain an efficient slicing.

This process consists in hardening the products surface to:

  • Increase the product rigidity before an efficient slicing
  • Avoid the products loss of shape during their handling or conveying
  • Limit the water losses during mechanical freezing
  • Increase the portion weighting accuracy
  • Increase the production rate of your existing Freezing/Chilling line

Individual Quick Freezing (IQF)

An application, perfectly suited to new eating habits.

As food and eating habits evolve, more and more IQF products are reaching the market.

These include ethnic foods such as rice, frozen ready-meals, shredded cheese, fruits, vegetables, meat balls, bacon bits, and much more. These products need appropriate cryogenic technologies, either in continuous mode, such as CRUST FLOW V™, or in batches, such as tumbler ZIP ROLL™.

Applications IQF Freezing can be used to complement other processes, such as:

Freezing prior to coating (e.g. in Cryomix equipment)
Freezing to preserve products before production of complex products (e.g. fruits before insertion in Yoghurt)
Location upstream from a freezer to increase its production capacity
Preparation of a smooth and clean surface before complete freezing
Freezing of liquid or semi-liquid products in equipment as CURST FLOW VTM - It can also be used for IQF sub-cooling of products prior to icing.

 

Chilling
Chilling

Chilling

In the food industry rapid cooling of products is carried out for two principal reasons: increased productivity and maintenance of hygiene and quality standards. We distinguish between chilling n the course of a production process - and chilling of dishes for later use.

Chilling in the course of a production process Some foodstuffs (eg. bread products, sauces, cooked dishes...) must be cooled quickly during their manufacture, generally following cooking or pasteurization.

In this instance the food manufacturer will wish to:

  • Reduce natural chilling time to facilitate continuous production,
  • Guarantee the bacteriological quality of products by minimising the time the food spends in the danger or prohibited zones (where development of micro-organisms is at a maximum), ensuring conformance with prevailing food regulations and improved storage times for products.
Chilling of dishes for later use

Where meals are produced away from their point of consumption, the challenge for the customer is to find the most economical means to deliver well preserved products.

Two choices are available:

A. The hot connection: Products must remain above +65°C (above the microbiological danger zone) and be consumed within the hour (to preserve product quality).

B. The cold connection: It is necessary to cool products quickly to at least below +10°C (the lower limit of the danger zone) and maintain them at a favorable temperature. The quality of this cooling process makes it possible to defer consumption for up to 5 days, and requires only one reheating.

Fast chilling of the cold chain allows:

Improved preservation and adherence to legal standards
Rationalization of production as fast chilling facilitates large manufacturing batches (economy of scale, rationalization of production...)

 

Features of the Air Liquide cryogenic cold cabinets SILVERSAS™, tunnels ZIP FREEZE™ and HIMALAYA™ as well as CARBOSPRAY L™ equipments, allow quick cooling of foodstuffs in discontinuous or continuous operations.

Air Liquide cryogenic cold (LCO2 or LIN) allows :

limited processing time
rapid lowering of core temperature
easy cleaning
moderate capital cost
maintenance of organoleptic and visual qualities of products
compact unit (not of compressor)
flexibility of operation

 

Advantages for customers:

  • Chilling in the course of the production process
  • Increases in productivity further facilitating fast cooling
  • Usefulness of cryogenic cold in discontinuous or continuous operations
  • A range of equipment to customer requirements
  • Later use
  • Having a complete cold chain
  • Quality of cryogenic cold compared to mechanical cold
  • Range of equipments adapted to customer requirements

Protective Atmosphere

The main concern of the Food and Beverage industry is to ensure the quality of the final product, defined by its looks and taste as well as by its state. Quality is the decisive factor for the industry’s development since it adds value to its products.

Air Liquide has introduced the ALIGALTM line, consisting of special gases and mixtures, used exclusively for the Food and Beverage industry’s production line. ALIGALTM creates the protective atmophere guaranting the products long life.

Advantages:

  • The products are fresh for an extended time period.
  • Limited use of conservatives
  • Longer life for your products
  • Simple use (semi-cooked meals, small potions)
  • Attractive packaging

Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)

We propose solutions in the food industry, matching with the new life styles: take away, easy to prepare and to eat, extended preservation time, freshness and appearance. MAP combines all these advantages.

Natural evolution of food products

As soon as it comes into contact with air, food can suffer from physical, enzymatic, microbiological, and biochemical deterioration. Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is a process for packaging foodstuff together with a gas or a gas mixture having protective. MAP gases are used to replace the air inside the packaging and eliminate or reduce any product deterioration. Among the ALIGALTM solutions we have developed a special range of products for Modified Atmosphere Packaging.

Technical corner

MAP focuses on solid and pasty foodstuffs. For liquids, we have developed inerting applications.

This preservation technique:

  • maintains the visible and perceptible quality of the product (appearance, colour, texture and taste) as well as its invisible quality (protection against micro-organisms)
  • lengthens the product’s shelf life
  • matches the preference for "natural" products and reduced preservatives

MAP helps to eliminate or reduce potential product deterioration.

Successful outcomes through a mix of elements

This preservation technique covers many types of products:

  • fresh products such as meat, delicatessen products, pizza, bakery and pastry products, grated cheese, prepared vegetables, and cooked dishes
  • dried products such as peanuts, milk powder, coffee, and potato flakes
  • To use MAP, you must own or acquire a packaging machine and special film to protect the product. By optimizing the parameters, MAP can provide a highly successful solution.

 

Air Liquide and MAP gases

MAP is now used worldwide, but has varying levels of penetration due to different consumer habits. It is a highly natural technique, and in many countries it is the preferred packaging solution. Thanks to our extensive partnership with food producers worldwide, we have the experience to address a broad range of long-standing and more recent food concerns. Beyond a wide range of food grade gas mixtures, ALIGALTM for MAP encompasses a full range of equipment and services like:

  • Microbiological filtration on our customers sites
  • On site gas mixing for fine tuned packaging atmospheres
  • Audit installations and customer trainings
Winery
Winery

Winery

Wine should be protected from the atmosphere during its processing and storage for the production of high quality wine. Air Liquide provides solutions aiming at the production of high quality wine from the moment of the collecting of the grapes to the wine’s consumer.

  • ALIGALΤΜ liquids and gases as well as gas mixtures for the inertization of wine storage tanks and bottles, for wine transfer inside the winery, for the cooling of the grapes, for the microoxidation of wine, for the mixing and homogenation of wine etc.
  • On-site production of dry ice (CARBOFLASHΤΜ) for grapes protection from air oxidation.
  • BOREALΤΜ through the use of liquid carbon dioxide for uniform and quick cooling of the grapes, under inert atmosphere without mechanical stress and energy cost.

PRESTOP

Air Liquide has planned and developed the pioneer PRESTOPΤΜ system responding to the need for simplicity, safety during use as well as higher quality standards for the gaseous drinks in restaurants.

PRESTOPΤΜ has a valve with an attached pressure regulator and safety cap, which is destroyed during refilling. In this simple and safe way, there is traceability of the gas cylinders and gas quality preservation.  

PRESTOPΤΜ cylinders have:

  • Handy catch and safety cap.
  • Pressure regulator
  • Flexible hose
  • Additional ON-OFF switch
  • Pressure indicator

Fishfarm Water Oxygenation

Wild fish or fishfarming? Consumption of fish from fish farms is growing rapidly, thus fish farming is an expanding business. Fish farming includes hatching, rearing of fry or rearing of fish in specific basins.

Oxygen, feed and water are three key parameters in aquaculture. In particular, the availability of O2 in water has a direct effect on fish farm performance. Trends towards high fish densities mean adequate concentrations of dissolved O2 are necessary to offset natural decreases of oxygen in water. Hence, the control of O2 is one of the keys to success in any modern day aquaculture business.

Technique

Whereas one litre of air contains 300 mg of oxygen, one litre of fresh water contains only one thirtieth of this amount.

This concentration varies according to:

  • The water source: sea water fresh water, stagnant water, underground water, river water, etc...
  • The temperature: a rise in temperature lowers the concentration of dissolved oxygen at saturation.
  • The presence of organisms (algae or plants) producing or consuming oxygen

The water enrichment with O2 may be performed either with air or with pure O2.

Compared with oxygenation using air the benefits of using oxygen are :

  • Better O2 transfer into water
  • Lower energy costs and hence reduced likelihood of power failure.
  • More efficient use of feed (better feed conversion ratio)
  • Improved growth and increased resistance to pathogenic organisms
  • Oxygenation in basins and during transportation. Oxygenation can have two different applications: oxygenation of basins (hatching, fry and fish rearing) and oxygenation of water in bins used for the transport of live fish.

Our Offer

Air Liquide’s offer is global. Our network of technical food specialists, working in partnership with SEDIA and SINERGIA, two companies dedicated to fish farming needs (feeding machines, oxygen regulation devices) evaluate O2 needs, size and install oxygenation equipment and O2 supply. Dedicated to high tech sites, our performance offer, the O2 regulation service OXYTOP, regulates O2 quantity injected in basins to the fish needs.

Olive Oil
Olive Oil

Olive Oil Production

Air Liquide supplies the products and the technology for the preservation of different kind of oil’s quality. The use of inert gases such as N2 and Ar is effectively combined with Air Liquide’s innovative technology.

Air Liquide through its completed offer ALIGALTM OIL covers all the applications during all stages of the oil production line,  from picking the olives to olive oil consumption

Advantages:

Increase in the polyfenoles concentration, from 30% to 80%
Increase in the tokofenoles concentration, from 20% to 30%
Decrease of the yperoxide index, from -10% to
Protection from oxydation
Protection from acitidy increase

 

CO2 use in cheese production

Due to its characteristic to act like an oxide dissolved in liquids, CO2 can be used for adjustment of the pH of them milk destinated for the production of cheese.

This procedure takes place before the cheesemaking tank, ensuring ideal pH indexes for the procedure afterwards.

The use of CO2 in the cheese making procedure, has advantages compared with the other techniques, using cultivations for the pH adjustment or other conventional oxide (milk or citrus).

Coating

Coated products, along with ice cream, are two rapidly growing markets within the frozen products sector.

To help food processors offer new value added products, Air Liquide has entered into partnership with French company "ARMOR INOX" to develop a global and efficient solution.

CRYOMIX™ is a batch process for simultaneously mixing, coating and quick freezing products, in order to ensure the IQF quality of the coated products. This process may be used to produce a variety of IQF coated products, including: fried vegetables; ratatouille; coated vegetable mixtures with or without pieces of meat, poultry or fish; paella and chili con carne. In a sweeter; line, fruits or pieces of cake can be coated with sauce or chocolate.

Let's present a quick overview of the thermal phenomenon during the coating process. Coating is a surface heat transfer phenomenon where the global surface of the product has to be considered, and is a transitory phenomenon. To get an understanding of this, observe what is going on when you immerse a frozen product in a liquid for a very short time. The product is considered to be "wet"; the quantity of "wetting" liquid depends on product parameters (surface, shape, temperature) and on liquid parameters (viscosity and temperature, composition, superficial tension ...).

The liquid/solid thermal exchange has a very high heat transfer coefficient (4,200 KJ/h.m².°C). After a period of time, determined by the parameters above, a temperature equilibrium is reached. This requires an equal enthalpy variation between the "cold" product and the "hot" liquid. To maintain quality and a maximum temperature of -18°C , the product needs to be cooled very rapidly. In an industrial context, products are not coated one by one. To avoid binding between products, they need to be moved constantly and to be given a large amount of refrigeration in a very short period of time. This is the origin of the coating in tumblers using liquid nitrogen.

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