Lars Priess, CEO
A customer at an U.S. restaurant today may find himself digging into a serving of sushi made of fish from Japan, bread with a spread of Camembert cheese from France, and a salad with a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables from the Caribbean. Frozen food technology makes such a dining experience possible.
With a rapidly growing world population, the need for effective and rapid freezing of food products is more pronounced than ever. However, traditional non-contact freezing methods for bulk products are very time- and energy-consuming. Hence, they are neither eco-friendly, nor do they provide good quality preservation of the frozen product. This is where plate freezing has proved revolutionary with its short freezing cycle. For instance, plate freezing reduces the freezing duration of poultry and meat from 18-36 hours down to 2-4 hours. More lightweight and cost-effective, plate freezing technology maintains the quality of food better and can reduce carbon footprint, as well. But despite its benefits, the use of plate freezing has been limited to bulk freezing.
"A strong commitment to excellence, continuous research and development, and a sustainable business strategy define the work of DSI, worldwide"
Maximizing the functionality of plate freezing to include both bulk and freezing of e.g. packaged ready meals is DSI Freezing Solutions. “Plate freezing, though a niche industry, can be customized to ensure a high utilization rate, less product waste, and higher profits,” states Lars Priess, the CEO of DSI. Headquartered in Dybvad, Denmark, DSI is the world leader within high-quality plate freezers and handling equipment landscape.
The year 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of DSI Freezing Solutions, which began in 1969 as Dybvad Stål Industri A/S, a manufacturer of steel components. With the development of the first plate freezer in 1979, the company began the production of plate freezers, exclusively. DSI manufactured the first V1 vertical plate freezer in 1980, the first H1 horizontal plate freezer in 1988, and today has more than 7000 installations worldwide. The company attained its new name, logo, and visual identity ‘DSI Freezing Solutions’ in 2018. “DSI is the only supplier of all-in-one plate freezing and handling frozen foods solutions in the world,” states Priess. The company develops, designs, and manufactures exclusive plate freezers and handling equipment utilized for the freezing of fresh fish, seafood, meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, animal food, liquids, and ready meals.
Ergonomically Designed DSI Products for Optimized Freezing
DSI manufactures a multitude of high-tech ergonomically designed products for optimized freezing that comprise vertical freezers, horizontal freezers, and handling equipment. These products come with freezing capability that is rapid as well as gentle, which prevents loss of food quality and quantity, preserves the vitamins and minerals, and results in less contraction of the food products. DSI’s faster freezing rate reduces enzyme activity in the frozen food products, which minimizes any physical, biochemical, and microbial changes that might affect the quality of the food product. “The faster you freeze most types of food, the better because you would have better quality food once you defrost it,” states Priess.
The company’s series of vertical plate freezers are based on state-of-the-art modern technology that delivers energy- and cost-savings without deteriorating the product quality. These freezers are especially suitable for freezing products without or with little pre-handling directly on site. It is often used for block freezing of fish, meat, and fruits along with sub proteins such as bi-products and pet food. The technology can however also be used for e.g. freezing of liquids and is not only suited for products with low- and high moisture content. When pouring the products down between the vertical plates, it allows direct contact between the product and the plates, thus speeding up the freezing process significantly.
DSI’s vertical plate freezer-series include four freezers, the Vertical freezer V3-7, V16, V20, and V30. Each freezer is specially designed to fit the requirement of the customers in terms of space on the production site as well as preferred food product batch weight or size. DSI also offers their plate freezing test center where potential customers can test freeze their products. This process enables DSI to customize the freezer according to the customers’ needs.
“The unique CorePoint technology is DSI’s patented system that measures the core temperature of the product blocks inside the plate freezers,” says Priess. The technology enables optimization of the freezing process wherein customers can track, control, and stop the freezing process at the accurate time. Beyond saving time and energy, the technology improves food safety and enables enhanced documentation of the freezing process for each product.
The DSI Horizontal series includes the double contact plate freezing, which is ideal for continuous tray or carton freezing and increased productivity. These freezers can withstand extreme conditions and environments, preventing downtime. The Horizontal series freezers are specially designed to freeze all types of fish, seafood, meat and poultry, vegetables, fruits, and ready meals in trays or cartons. The innovative and flexible horizontal freezer delivers enhanced efficiency and reduction of manual handling. These products are primarily designed for freezing food in cartons or trays.
High-quality DSI handling systems reduce manual labor and operational costs while speeding up production. For loading, unloading, and packaging of frozen blocks or trays, DSI offers highly technologically advanced handling equipment such as moving pump, pumping pipeline, automatic crane system, semi-automatic crane, automatic palletizer, stretch wrapping, conveyor system, and traceability system. DSI also customizes the handling systems to fully meet the customers’ needs. Customers can choose manual, semi- or fully automated equipment from DSI, or add modules to their existing facility, to obtain a one-in-all freezing and handling solution.
DSI Deployment across Industries
DSI’s plate freezers are being widely deployed in the poultry and meat industry. The company’s equipment is ideal for slaughterhouses, chicken processing plants, mechanically deboned meat (MDM), and bi-products. “We are in the middle of a major transformation of the company where we are trying to spread the good story of plate freezing and its application,” says Priess. Accordingly, the company’s priority is to provide reliable and efficient customized freezing solutions for beef, veal, pork, chicken or lamb that help the customer reduce operating costs, minimize product waste, increase profitability, and remain competitive in the market.
With the rising demand for healthy high-protein food, DSI provides freezing and handling equipment that can freeze large quantities of fish and seafood rapidly and consistently. The company has developed customized freezing solutions for processing plants, super trawlers, vessels, and fishing boats.
The end consumers of the food product are ensured enhancement of the appearance, aroma, and taste of the fish and seafood products.
Bulk frozen fruits and vegetables are an important food group in today’s time. Being seasonal and delicate, fruits and vegetables require additional care for the maintenance of their nutritional properties and taste. DSI’s plate freezing solutions guarantee high and uniform product quality, cost savings through improved yield, and an extended season. The company contributes to a completely conscious and healthy food lifestyle with the correct freezing of fruits and vegetables, premium juices, concentrates, purees, organic juices, and more. As expressed by Priess, “With the help of DSI, consumers can enjoy produce from any part of the world, all year round.”
In addition to solids, DSI freezes drinkable liquids or other fluids and facilitates their export across the world for their manufacturers and consumers. Catering to the growing market for fruit juices, soft drinks, dairy and milk products, the company’s liquid-tight freezing solutions can freeze, store and transport liquids and fluids including thicker fluids such as blood or syrup, worldwide while ensuring the products’ high quality. Leveraging block freezing technology and equipment, DSI ensures efficient high volume freezing, fully complying with the strictest global standards for hygienic applications.
With the growth of the pet food industry, DSI’s products offer large volume freezing, storage, and creation of maximum value and freezing of bi-products, wet or dry pet food for minks, dogs, cats, or other pets. The company addresses the increasing demand for premium pet food products with natural, raw, and organic food.
First-class appearance and high product integrity is what DSI maintains for convenience foods and pre-cooked meals. These ready-to-eat meals are fast becoming a part of the modern lifestyle where people have more money to spend and less time to cook. DSI utilizes packaging with no compression, and their freezers are space-efficient and highly automatic to offer the best way to freeze ready meals.
Catering to Changing Needs of Customers
“A strong commitment to excellence, continuous research and development, and a sustainable business strategy define the work of DSI, worldwide,” says Priess. Driving the work of DSI forward, the company employs a dedicated application teams with profound knowledge, industry and application expertise, and many years of practical experience from a long range of relevant areas. Backed by a dedicated workforce,DSI provides its customers with high-quality consulting, unique customer experiences, and tailor-made solutions. The company is expanding its global reach and has established three new companies in the U.S., Russia, and Korea. To provide fast and the best possible support to their clients, DSI maintains an inventory of spare parts and service capabilities in all three countries.
“We are trying to move closer to the customers, trying to understand them a lot better by shifting from a primarily geographical focus to now being focused more on customer applications or industries,” says Priess. Close customer collaboration and continuous communication are essential elements in DSI’s work. Understanding industry requirements, official standards, and norms, as well as leveraging new technological possibilities, make DSI competent to always live up to the changing needs of their customers.