The CoolSteam Blancher: A versatile and efficient solution for vegetable processing

CoolSteam Forced Convection Low-Temperature Steam Blancher
CoolSteam Forced Convection Low-Temperature Steam BlancherPhoto - Laitram Machinery

Food safety is an ongoing concern for the frozen vegetable industry, and regulations and customer requirements constantly evolve. Laitram Machinery boasts extensive global expertise in the vegetable, seafood, and nut industries, where ensuring product safety is paramount. Laitram's CoolSteam principles not only guarantee food safety and product quality but also factor in cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency.

Why CoolSteam is the best blancher

Laitram's advanced technology utilizes forced convection at low temperatures to precisely control temperatures well below the boiling point; many customers use temperatures around 80-85C in their processes. This CoolSteam method creates a steam air mixture that is uniformly applied to maintain yield and quality while ensuring the food product's safety. Laitram patented CoolSteam® technology incorporates a fan-generated airflow, providing thorough coverage from the side door to evenly distribute the mixture of air and steam, reducing the presence of cold spots and improving heat absorption. By using forced convection with a calculated chamber design, Laitram guarantees even cooking throughout the product bed, even with beds over 17cm, resulting in a uniformly blanched product.

Using a CoolSteam low-temperature steam blancher for vegetable blanching offers several advantages for vegetable processors:

Efficiency: The CoolSteam has a 10:1 Probduct to Steam Ratio, almost no water usage, with low operating costs and efficiency (steam valves only open when the system requires heat in the chamber). The blancher takes advantage of the latent heat of vaporization, which requires less energy input than boiling large volumes of water, resulting in energy cost savings; it also has a fast-stating time, ready in a few minutes to start processing any volume.

Food Safety: Using lower temperatures for a longer time is often called "gentle blanching," and CoolSteam is ideal for this. This method is more commonly used to preserve the texture and color of the vegetables while ensuring safety. It is very effective in achieving lethality (killing harmful microorganisms) and achieving more Killing Credits while aiming for the desired quality and characteristics in the blanched vegetables. The more prolonged exposure to heat at lower temperatures allows for thorough heating throughout the vegetable, effectively killing harmful microorganisms, deactivating enzymes without overly cooking or damaging the vegetable's appearance.

Uniformity (Enzyme deactivation such as peroxidase): CoolSteam Blanchers, thanks to forced convection and the belt flips (repositioning of the product), provide uniform blanching throughout the batch. A temperature consistency of 0.5C is maintained across the machine, ensuring consistency in the processed vegetables no matter the volume entering the system; the CoolSteam system will adapt and decide the suitable steam needed to avoid variations in blanching results.

The CoolSteam Blancher also offers a full Chilling system
The CoolSteam Blancher also offers a full Chilling systemPhoto - Laitram Machinery
Photo - Laitram Machinery

Quality preservation: The CoolSteam blancher does a great job with its Forced Convection low- temperature steam to effectively preserve the quality attributes of vegetables, including color, texture, flavor, and nutritional content. The CoolSteam blancher achieves the desired blanching effect without causing overcooking or undesirable changes in the vegetables; customers can blanch products in temperatures as low as 80C or less, getting excellent results in the quality and uniformity of the product.

Reduced nutrient loss: Lower temperatures help preserve the nutritional content of vegetables, as heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes are less prone to degradation. This results in vegetables with higher nutrient retention and improved overall nutritional quality.

Enhanced color retention: Reduced exposure to high temperatures helps retain vibrant vegetable colors. Maintenance of natural pigments enhances visual appeal and consumer satisfaction.

Texture preservation: Compared to boiling water blanching, steam blanching minimizes water penetration into the vegetables, reducing the risk of overcooking or making them overly soft. This allows for better control over the desired texture, ensuring vegetables retain their crispness, firmness, or desired tenderness.

The CoolSteam blancher can handle a wide range of vegetables, many different volumes, with varying shapes, sizes, and densities.
The CoolSteam blancher can handle a wide range of vegetables, many different volumes, with varying shapes, sizes, and densities.Photo - Laitram Machinery

Ease of process control: Operators can set a precise temperature and time and maintain specific blanching parameters, ensuring consistent and repeatable results. This control over the blanching Ease of cleaning and maintenance: Simplify cleaning procedures and minimize the risk of cross- contamination.

Versatility: The CoolSteam blancher can handle a wide range of vegetables, many different volumes, with varying shapes, sizes, and densities. Laitram has processors using its system from Leafy Greens such as basil, kale, and Spinach, Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Asparagus, and Zucchini, all the way to beans, quinoa, corn, and green beans.

"Laitram's blanching solution is highly uniform, efficient, and user-friendly, guaranteeing the best organoleptic and food safety outcomes for your product. Plus, you'll benefit from partnering with a leading company in food safety processes."

 Watch this video with recent Success Story with the CoolSteam Blacher in Maine, United States: Harvesting Good - CoolSteam Blancher Success Story - YouTube

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