CO2 ice flaker to be used at new Boston supermarket

Howe Corp. showcased its icemaker machine, which produces ice flakes in supermarkets. It has been installed in the seafood department of a new 10058m2 Roche Bros. store opening in Boston at the end of April. The machine (2000-RLE-CO2), which makes 907 kilograms of ice flakes daily, is connected to the store’s carbon dioxide liquid-overfeed refrigeration system, which pumps liquid CO2 to refrigerated and frozen-food applications throughout the store.

Howe also manufacturers a CO2 liquid-overfeed ice flaker that makes 1814 kilograms of ice daily, as well as machines that work with transcritical and subcritical CO2 systems and make between 454 and 1814 kilograms of ice flakes daily.

We’re seeing more use of CO2,” said Andrew Ortman, vice president, sales & marketing, for Howe. “Sobeys in Canada uses our machine (with CO2) and we’re seeing more from them, as well as from Whole Foods.” Currently, about 90% of Howe’s icemakers are connected to HFC refrigeration systems, and 10% to CO2 systems.

“Now that more information is out there about natural refrigerants, people are more comfortable with it and trying it,” he added. “But some customers say, ‘No, we’ll wait and see a little more what the others do.”

Howe’s icemakers that work with CO2 are slightly more expensive than those that operate with HFCs because the CO2 units have more electronics. On the other hand, the CO2 models are less expensive to install because of smaller line sizes. Considering first cost and installation, the cost difference between the two system types is “close to a wash,” said Ortman. 

New rolling wave IQF machine

Linde displayed its new Cryowave IQF (individual quick freezing) tunnel freezer, which uses a rolling wave action in concert with liquid carbon dioxide or nitrogen to cryogenically freeze individual shrimp, scallops, meatballs and other foods. It is designed to replace a traditional flighted freezers. 

The flighted freezer is difficult to control,” said Mark DiMaggio, Linde’s head of food & beverage industry. “With our new (Cryowave) freezer, you get more heat transfer, higher production and lower cost to operate.” In CO2 operations, the new system eliminates CO2 “snow” carryover and is easier to clean.

Pocino Foods, City of Industry, California, uses the Cryowave freezer with CO2 to quick-freeze its meatballs, pizza crumble and sliced and diced meat. “It was time to replace the flighted freezer,” said Jerry Pocino, vice president, in a case study prepared by Linde. “It didn’t have enough capacity, CO2 snow carryover was an issue, and we wanted a freezer that was easier to clean and more sanitary.”

Praxair also showed its CO2 and nitrogen cryogenic flash freezers, which go down to -100°C for CO2 and -198°C for nitrogen.

NH3-CO2 systems gaining traction

Mayekawa’s freezer division was at the Seafood Expo as part of its effort to enter the North American market. (Its refrigeration division is already well established in North America.) The freezer division markets process freezers that quick-freeze seafood products. 

While most of Mayekawa’s end users employ ammonia in quick-freeze applications, closed ammonia-CO2 systems are being more widely used.

Processors want to eliminate ammonia in the processing area and use CO2 there,” said Bud Martinson, Mayekawa’s sales manager, freezer division. “The ammonia can then be isolated in the refrigeration room.” The dual-refrigerant system also can go to lower temperatures.


Mayekawa Partner Page
Seafood Expo North America
Seafood Expo / Seafood Processing North America 2015
Howe Corporation Partner Page

Author jamesranson