IQF and Semi-IQF are terms used in the frozen seafood industry to describe different freezing methods. IQF stands for "Individually Quick Frozen," and Semi-IQF is short for "Semi Individually Quick Frozen." Here's a brief explanation of each method:
IQF (Individually Quick Frozen): In this freezing process, each piece of seafood is frozen individually and rapidly, usually within a few minutes. This method prevents the formation of large ice crystals, helping to maintain the texture, flavour, and overall quality of the seafood. The rapid freezing also minimises the risk of bacterial growth. IQF seafood items are easy to separate and portion out as needed since they don't stick together in a block. Common IQF seafood items include shrimp, fish fillets, and scallops.
Semi-IQF (Semi Individually Quick Frozen): The Semi-IQF method is a combination of the IQF and block freezing methods. Seafood items are partially frozen individually, and then they are packed and frozen together in a block or cluster. This method is often used for products like whole fish, prawns, and crab, where the goal is to keep them in a more natural shape during the freezing process. Semi-IQF seafood items may be slightly harder to separate and portion compared to IQF products, but they still offer better quality than traditional block freezing.
Both IQF and Semi-IQF methods aim to preserve the quality, taste, and texture of the seafood while extending its shelf life. The choice between these methods often depends on the specific type of seafood and the desired end-use.