The systems are part of a £4m investment by Coombe Fisheries in a new seafood packing, freezing and temperature-controlled storage facility in Barnstaple.
The purpose built 21,000ft² building has enabled the firm to streamline production processes and double its processing capacity.
Each Starfrost system on the new seafood production line is custom-designed to perform a specific freezing process. The line has a total freezing capacity of 1,000kg per hour of fresh seafood products including scallops, sardines, whelks in shell, squid, sprats and cuttlefish.
The production line features a StarContact CFH (Contact Film Hardener) with a thin polyethylene film conveyor belt. The contact freezer quickly hardens the surface of wet and delicate seafood products such as scallops. This process is said to eliminate damaging belt marks, improves product quality and increase yield.
The second Starfrost system is a Helix spiral freezer for deep product freezing prior to glazing. The Helix Spiral is designed with an air circulation system that is said to offer quick and even freezing without excessive air speeds that can damage delicate seafood products. Deep freezing allows high quality glaze pick up whilst maintaining good product temperatures.
The final freezing system is Starfrost’s Starlite HT (Hybrid Tunnel), a flexible, multi-belt IQF system for glaze hardening seafood products. The Coombe Fisheries model is a 7.5m in-line tunnel freezer, featuring three steel grid and 1400mm wide mesh belts. The Starlite HT is said to harden up to 40% glaze pick-up in controlled stages, improving the quality and value of seafood products such as scallops and cuttlefish.
According to Starfrost sales director Robert Long, the new production line is performing well and at full capacity.
“It has replaced an ageing blast freezing system that was unreliable and expensive to run. Our new freezing systems at Coombe Fisheries have reduced operating costs, eliminated product damage, increased throughput, maximised product quality and boosted yield,” he claims.