Flake ice is widely used in the food processing industry, supermarkets, fish industry, and laboratories, among others. They are used to cool food and other items because they don’t damage the food products. But have you ever wondered how flake ice is produced?
Flake ice is produced by a specialized machine called a flake ice-making machine. It can help make a lot of flake ice within hours.
But how does this machine work? This post explains what flake ice is, its uses, and how a flake ice machine produces ice.
What is flake ice?
Flake ice consists of thin sheets of ice. They are irregular in shape. What distinguishes it from other ice types though is its thickness. Flake ice has a maximum thickness of 1.8 to 2.2 mm. Flake ice is available in two forms—granular and scale ice. Both can be produced in a flake ice-making machine.
Their use in the food industry is widely documented. They are perfect for products that are required to be fresh like fish. That’s why sometimes, seawater is used to make flake ice instead of freshwater.
Flake ice is easy to store and distribute. They melt easily, that’s why they are used to preserve fish. Flake ice can also be crushed, making them like thin scales.
How does a flake ice-making machine work?
Flake ice machines are similar to other ice-making machines. The one distinguishing feature is the addition of an ice crusher. This is what makes the flakes of ice.
To make flake ice, the machine has to be connected to a water source. Water enters the machine where it is fed into a pump. The water then enters a splitter head, which sprays it onto the surface of the ice-making machine. Layer by layer, the ice is created like a curtain. This will make the ice into sheets.
The key here is the even spraying of the water through the water valve. After the water is sprayed, it is instantly cooled down and frozen. The water that does not freeze evaporates back and is returned to the reservoir.
After this, the evaporated water is again fed into the water valve where it is sprayed onto the surface of the machine. The process is repeated until the desired thickness is reached. Hot air is then released through a compressor, which creates a water film between the wall and ice. The water film lubricates the surface of the wall. This helps the ice flakes to fall freely.
The ice falls and accumulates onto the crusher. The crusher then grinds the ice to make them into flakes. That is why ice flakes are irregular in shape. They vary in size and shape.
The flakes of ice are collected into a bin and ejected into a basket where they are collected.
Flake ice is a wonderful invention that helps store our food without damaging them. That’s why they’re used in the food industry extensively. Now you know how they are produced by flake ice making machines.