Manufacturers realized that huge industrial freezers were too large and too cold to store perishable items for short periods. In most cases, freezers would damage or destroy the food. The answer to the problem was a cold room.
Many people get confused regarding cold rooms and freezers. On the surface, they seem very much the same. Both are tightly sealed and have thick walls with heavy doors and latches. There are two basic differences between them – temperature and time.
A freezer is designed to preserve food for long periods of time. Frozen meats, vegetables, and other items are kept below their freezing temperature to be thawed at a later date to be cooked and prepared. In most cases, when an item is removed from a freezer, it has to be set aside to defrost.
Cold rooms maintain temperatures at or slightly above freezing. Items stored in a cold room are only to be there for a short time and will most likely be immediately used. In some instances, food that has been prepared in advanced for a banquet or restaurant is stored in a cold room before it is served.
With the rising emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits, cold rooms have become the ideal storage unit to preserve the natural flavor and taste of fresh foods. Since cold rooms do not have temperatures below freezing, they don’t damage food and help maintain its fresh appearance.
Cold rooms come in several sizes and designs. They vary from ones that can be instantly installed for temporary use to ones large enough to fit a truck or car. The type of cold room chosen by a company depends a great deal on its business and its needs.
Though much of the emphasis for cold rooms centers on foods, they do have an industrial use for the protection of sensitive drugs and chemicals that could be harmed by varying temperatures and conditions. The main thing to understand about cold rooms is that they are designed to maintain a preset temperature for an extended period of time.
For the food industry, cold rooms have the accessibility and design to be easily cleaned to meet the legal hygiene and sanitary requirements of the industry. They are a necessity for all restaurants, catering services, and fast food businesses. Mixtures and ingredients can be prepared in advance and conveniently stored for later use.