We all want to live healthier lifestyles. For a vast majority of us, incorporating frozen fruits and vegetables is an important part of increasing our health. Additionally, frozen fruits are gaining preference over canned or dried fruits in the bakery, confectionary and even dairy sector. In fact, the expected global revenue for frozen fruits was expected to reach $8 billion in 2016.
One of the most popular fruits is mango. Used for smoothie mixes, frozen salads and confectionaries, the demand for frozen mango is very high. Customers expect to have a well-separated, good looking mango when the open the package. This means careful preparation and handling must happen from freezing to thawing. When traditional freezing methods don’t cut it anymore, it’s time to consider IQF freezing.
The Perfect Frozen Mango
Mango Maturity and Ripeness
When picking mango to be frozen, it is important to select them at the right maturity and ripeness. There are a few ways you can tell. On the outside, the fewer brown spots on the peel the better. Also, when cutting the mango in half, the color should be evenly yellow. If you were to press your finger into the mango, it should be firm and the finger prints should not sink too deep into the fruit. Note that soft fruit near the core can form corals or lumps during freezing. When ripening mango, the slower the better. This helps to achieve a uniform color for the mango fruit.
The international brix level standard is between 11 and 14 for mango. Mango with an higher brix level, such as in Asia where it can be up to 22, may be an attractive product feature, but will also need careful handling.
Cutting and Dicing Equipment
It is usually recommended to hand peel and hand cut mango with very sharp knives. Dicing machines are another option but they can cause more irregular shapes on the mango’s edges. Small pieces will have to be sorted out after dicing otherwise they will stick on the mango cubes and create corals during freezing.
Pre-Cooling Before Freezing
Mango must be cooled immediately after dicing with cooling water as close to 0o C as possible. After cooling the mango is transported to the conveyor belt and its temperature will raise slightly before entering the freezer. For the best results, the temperature of the mango should be less than 5o C before entering the freezer. Mango should also be dewatered after cooling. For optimal freezing, surface water should not exceed 2%.
Even feeding Rate
The best infeed conveyor choice for freezing mango is an AFE Vibratory Shaker for dewatering and transportation. That being said, it is important that the position of the conveyor is correct so that the mango is aimed and oriented into the IQF Tunnel Freezer properly. Too high a drop will destroy the surface of the mango, so the equipment should be well distributed. An even feeing rate will prevent lumps from forming on the mango when it enters the freezer.
Freezing mango can be a tricky process. When choosing a freezer, look to AFE! High efficiency, easy maintenance and cleaning make our IQF Tunnel Freezers the ideal choice. Our equipment is fabricated with stainless steel and expert welding for exceptional sanitation and durability. Each piece far exceeds industry standards for health, cleanliness, and energy savings to give you the best results for your business.