Market leading food manufacturer Bakkavor has invested in a custom designed chilling system for pizza production from British equipment specialist Starfrost. UK-based Starfrost supplies bespoke freezing and chilling systems for the worldwide food processing industry. The firm works alongside food manufacturers to develop the best IQF (Individual Quick Freeze) solution, ensuring maximum throughput, high efficiency and low energy costs. Bakkavor manufactures chilled own label food products and fresh prepared food for major supermarkets and foodservice operators in the UK. The company has recently invested in new equipment and facilities, principally its pizza operations and salad businesses, to meet changing customer demands. Starfrost has supplied a bespoke spiral chilling system for pizza bases at Bakkavor’s processing facility in Harrow, Middlesex which features Starfrost’s innovative Frost Removal System (FRS) for extended run times. Starfrost’s engineering team custom designed, built, installed and commissioned a Helix Spiral Chiller with a processing capacity of 6,400 pizza bases per hour (1,900 kg/hr). The Helix Spiral features a 32inch wide stainless steel conveyor belt around a single rotating drum, with 32.5 spiraling tiers. The bespoke Helix Spiral Chiller is designed to process 12-inch pizza bases, at a rate of over 100 per minute. The freshly baked product enters the in-line chiller at a temperature of +95 degrees Celsius. Each individual pizza base is then chilled down to +3 degrees Celsius. The FRS uses dry compressed air to remove frost from the chiller’s evaporator fins during operation, which enables run times to be dramatically extended between defrosts. Starfrost Sales Director Robert Long says: “The innovative design of our Frost Removal System was key to securing the Bakkavor contract. The system enables Bakkavor to achieve significantly extended running times by maintaining evaporator efficiency, without the need to install complex and expensive sequentially defrosting evaporators.” He adds: “Our Helix Spiral Chiller is custom designed for maximum performance and reliability. The addition of our optional Frost Removal System reduces refrigeration costs and ensures increased productivity and profit for the operator.” Bakkavor is currently leading the field in the fresh prepared foods sector by outperforming the rest of the UK market. Starfrost’s Helix Spiral is suitable for freezing and chilling food that requires medium to long retention times, such as ready meals, poultry, pizza, potato products, fish, desserts, bakery products and ice-cream. The system is available in site built and compact assembled format, with single drum, double drum and twin belt designs. Available with a range of belt sizes and tier heights, it can process from 500kg/hr, to capacities over 6,000kg/hr. The Helix Spiral Freezer/Chiller is designed with low maintenance, ease of hygiene and operational efficiency in mind. Its unique vertical or horizontal air circulation system ensures quick and even chilling or freezing without excessive air speeds that can damage delicate products, while still achieving long running times between defrosts. Starfrost’s Helix Spiral is a complete custom built solution, with system design and components selected to offer maximum performance and flexibility. Starfrost’s standard all-stainless steel equipment design includes framework, fully welded floor, evaporator and enclosure panels for ultimate hygiene. The Helix Spiral features a user-friendly touch screen HMI PLC control panel and optional CIP (Clean in Place) automated sanitising system.