What is blast chilling?
Blast chilling is a method of cooling food quickly to a low temperature so it is safe from bacterial growth. Bacteria multiples most rapidly between 50°F and 150°F. By reducing the temperature of cooked food to 38°F or below within 90 minutes, food is made safe for storage and later consumption.
Because blast chilling helps ensure the safety and quality of food, it is a method frequently used by chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, fast food producers, bakeries, confectioners, and ice cream makers.
Why does food need to be chilled so quickly?
Only when food is chilled very quickly is its quality, flavor, taste and texture optimally maintained. Normal chillers cool foods slowly. This allows large ice crystals (macro-crystals) to be formed in the process, damaging the food's cells, so when it is thawed, its consistency and quality have been compromised. Blast chilling utilizes very low temperatures so only small ice crystals (micro-crystals) are formed, and they are not damaging to the food's structure.