As part of an EU funded project, FRISBEE (Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety, consumer Benefit, Environmental impact and Energy optimization along cold chain in Europe), supercooling and superchilling tests have demonstrated the potential to enable safe, high quality and long term storage of food without detrimental food quality effects for the consumer. In addition, reduced heat loads and higher storage temperatures result in energy and environmental benefits.
Supercooling (sometimes called undercooling), is the process of lowering the temperature below its freezing point but without freezing. Superchilling allows a low ice fraction by partial freezing so that only a small proportion of the water content is in the form of ice.
These technologies have shown their ability for maintaining quality and freshness in a variety of foodstuff, in particular fish and meat, but also vegetables. They offer a more efficient method of preservation compared to deep freezing, as it is both faster to achieve and requires less energy. One of the main advantages of superchilling is that, because ice is not required to transport the foodstuff, the space taken by the ice can be replaced by food, decreasing the number of required journeys. Shelf-life improvement of up to 100 % compared with traditionally chilled products has been estimated, which results in a significant waste reduction.
More information: IIFIR