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Ice crystal formation in frozen food - FT0108

The main purpose of freezing food is to slow down the growth of microorganisms. Very little attention has been paid to the preservation of the texture of frozen products and many of the freezing procedures result in physical deterioration.The technology of freezing foods has not kept pace with developments in the understanding of the fundamentals of freezing, crystallisation and thawing. A better appreciation of these factors is likely to lead to considerable improvements in the quality of freeze preserved foods.
The physical and chemical processes which take place in foodstuffs during freezing, storage and subsequent thawing are not clearly understood. Ice crystals can form in the extracellular spaces or within the cells themselves depending upon the typr of food product and the rate at which initial freezing takes place. A certain proportion of the water contained in foodstuffs remains unfrozen, termed 'bound water', which can affect the quality of the frozen product during storage by a process of migration into the existing ice crystals. The time is now appropriate to initiate a major research programme into the problem of ice crystal formation in food stuffs during freezing and storage and to the subsequent effects of thawing rates on the food quality and texture.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1990

To: 1993

Cost: £443,940
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - York
Fields of Study
Resource Efficient and Resilient Food Chain