Praxair, Burr Ridge, Ill., opened the Praxair Food Technologies Laboratory, which was established to assist food manufacturers in optimizing their cryogenic freezing processes.

The staff supplies actionable data and recommendations based on test results run on full-size production equipment to determine the optimal cryogenic freezing process for a product or application. Assessment factors include product size and density, heat transfer, belt size and configuration, manufacturing footprint, cryogen use and more. Praxair’s food lab experts also analyze production needs and recommend cryogenic systems or process adjustments to meet production goals and improve yield.

Experts in the food lab:

  • Use thermal analysis and calorimetry testing to collect data on a product’s thermal characteristics.
  • Determine the optimal parameters for freezing and chilling equipment based on product applications and manufacturing space and processing parameters.
  • Evaluate finished product appearance, texture and taste in on-site test kitchen.
  • Recommend cryogenic systems and process adjustments to maximize profit and cryogen utilization.

“Every market category and individual product within that segment poses its own unique thermal fingerprint,” says Debbie Benjamin, lab manager, business development. “Add in the differences endemic to each manufacturing site and an individual client’s desired or available production space for freezing, and it becomes obvious very quickly that cookie-cutter solutions won’t do. Our holistic approach to the situation, which begins with thorough testing of customer products on full-size production equipment, helps us arrive at the best solution to meet all of these individual concerns.”