What are IQF Fruits?
If you’ve ever wondered how your favourite smoothie has the perfect consistency, texture, and flavour, the secret lies in IQF fruits.
IQF, or individually quick frozen fruits, have revolutionised the food industry with their exceptional quality, nutritional value, and convenience. IQF fruits are becoming increasingly popular in the food service industry for their ease of use and health benefits. But what exactly is IQF fruit? To answer this question, we’ll examine how IQF fruits differ from traditional frozen produce, their advantages, and some creative ways to incorporate them into recipes.
- IQF fruits are flash-frozen to preserve quality, flavour and nutritional value.
- They offer a cost-effective and sustainable solution with improved shelf life, reduced waste and high nutritional value preservation compared to fresh or traditionally frozen produce.
- IQF fruits are used in a wide range of applications across the food industry, such as smoothies, salads, sauces and bakery goods.
What are IQF Fruits?
IQF stands for "Individually Quick Frozen". This process is used to freeze fruits such as blueberries, cherries, and peaches individually, meaning that each piece of fruit is frozen separately from the others.
The standard sequence for processing IQF fruits starts with washing the fruit. If necessary, the fruit is then diced. Once prepared, the fruit is frozen quickly at a very low temperature, typically between -30°C to -40°C. This quick freezing helps keep each piece of fruit intact and preserves its quality and nutritional value. The process is quick enough to prevent large ice crystals from forming within the cells of the product, which would otherwise compromise its quality.
The IQF technique is ideal for small food products and ensures that each piece remains separate, facilitating further processing. After freezing, IQF fruits are quickly packed and stored. It's important to note that IQF fruits are made without any artificial colouring, preservatives, or aromas.
The fruits should be stored at –18°C or lower after the IQF process. They can then be thawed, sweetened, and heat-treated as needed for use in various food products.
Types of Fruits Suitable for IQF Processing
Various fruits that can adapt to IQF technology include:
- Apricots and many more.
IQF fruits can also be used to make a variety of products, such as smoothie mixes, health bars, and even ice creams.
Benefits of IQF Fruits
IQF fruits offer numerous advantages over their traditional counterparts:
Improved nutritional value: IQF fruits have the added benefit of preserving vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients compared to fresh produce. This means you get all the health benefits of fruit without sacrificing taste or quality.
Cost-effectiveness: IQF fruits are much cheaper than fresh produce and offer a cost-effective solution for businesses.
Shelf life: IQF fruits have an extended shelf life as compared to their fresh counterparts, making them a convenient option that can be stored for long periods of time.
Sustainability: IQF fruits offer a more sustainable option since they require less space and energy to process. This means that fewer resources are needed for transporting, storing, and handling them.
Versatility: IQF fruits can be used in a variety of applications such as smoothies, salads, sauces, bakery goods, or even desserts.
Applications of IQF Fruits
Due to their high-quality and fresh frozen properties, IQF fruits are expanding into various applications, ranging from smoothies and juices to food manufacturing. As a versatile and convenient option, IQF fruits have become the go-to choice for many food manufacturers and consumers, ensuring a consistent supply of fresh-tasting ingredients all year round.
Smoothies and Juices
IQF fruits are ideal for smoothies and juices, as they provide a fresh, nutritious, and convenient alternative to fresh fruit. The benefits of using IQF fruits include:
Pre-cut and ready-to-use nature, making them perfect for quick and healthy smoothies or juices
No need for washing, peeling, and cutting fresh fruit
Retain their nutritional value and flavour due to the individual freezing process
With IQF fruits, you can easily enjoy a delicious and nutritious smoothie or juice without the hassle of preparing fresh fruit.
Additionally, IQF fruits maintain their nutritional value when used in smoothies and juices, ensuring you can enjoy a tasty and nutritious beverage any time of the year.
IQF fruits are also widely used in food manufacturing, providing a cost-effective and convenient solution for businesses. Many companies opt to use IQF fruits over fresh produce or traditionally frozen produce due to their higher nutritional value, longer shelf life, and improved quality. This makes them ideal for a variety of applications such as sauces, salads, and bakery goods.
IQF fruits also offer a sustainable solution due to their reduced waste, improved space efficiency, and lower energy usage during the processing phase. This makes them an eco-friendly choice for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint while still providing customers with great-tasting products.
Growing Demand for IQF Fruits
Due to the high quality and nutritional value of IQF fruits, the demand for these frozen gems is on the rise. As more people become aware of their benefits, the market for IQF fruits is expected to continue growing in the coming years. With their improved shelf life, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability, IQF fruits are becoming increasingly popular among food industry professionals and consumers.
In the future, IQF fruits could become the go-to choice for food manufacturers and consumers due to their convenience and nutrition. As IQF technology continues to improve and evolve, more applications will be available for these frozen gems, ensuring that everyone can enjoy fresh-tasting produce all year round.
IQF fruits offer a multitude of advantages over fresh and traditionally frozen produce. They are cost-effective, have an extended shelf life, require less energy to process, and are highly nutritious. In addition, IQF fruits can be used in various applications such as smoothies, salads, sauces, bakery goods and desserts. The growing demand for these convenient and tasty treats is a testament to their success in the food industry.
At Uren, we're a leading supplier of IQF fruits and vegetables in the UK. We source the highest quality, most sustainable produce for our customers, ensuring that they get the best-tasting and most nutritious ingredients for their food products. Contact us today to find out how we can help you take advantage of IQF fruits and make your products stand out from the competition.