Cheese curds are the pieces of curdled milk created during the cheese-making process. They have the same firmness and density as cheese but have a springy texture. Cheese curds are also called ‘squeaky cheese’ as fresh cheese curds squeak against the teeth when bitten.
The squeak of cheese curds only lasts for 24 hours. However, various techniques are used to retain freshness and squeak. One of them is an IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) technique.
IQF or Individually Quick Frozen is a revolutionary freezing technique in food processing that makes ice crystals inside the fruits, vegetables, meat or dairy products like cheese and cheese curds. With this technique, the nutritional value and freshness can be well kept intact.
IQF technique is used to keep the cheese curds fresh when they are being transported from manufacturers to buyers. Without this technique, the cheese curd lovers who do not live close to the cheese manufacturers would not be able to enjoy the squeaky cheese curds.
IQF also means faster freezing time. By limiting the freezing time of the cheese curds, taste, texture and nutritional value are all better preserved. This helps cheese curds to maintain their original shape, squeaky texture and mild salty flavour without having to add nasty additives and preservatives.
Also, the nutritional value is not altered; so, you can enjoy the goodness of cheese curds as they are.
Benefits of Individually Quick Frozen Technique
One of the main pros of using the IQF method to preserve cheese curds is that the freezing process only takes a few minutes. However, the exact freezing time depends on the food item that is being frozen.
The less the freezing time means there will be no formation of large ice crystals in the cheese curds, which can ruin their shape. IQF helps cheese curds smell and taste the same even after defrosting.
Another advantage of this technology is its ability to separate units of the cheese curds during the freezing process, which produces higher quality product than block freezing.
This allows the end-user to control portion sizes better and reduce wastage. This advantage is also vital for food sustainability as the whole bag of cheese curds does not need to be defrosted.
How Does Individually Quick Frozen Technique Work
There is an array of IQF technologies, but the main idea is to get the cheese curds into the freezer with the help of a processing line belt. Inside the freezer, the product travels through the freezing zone and comes out on the other side.
Many manufacturers sell cheese curds in Australia, but not all of them use this technique to process cheese curds. When it comes to fresh cheese in Australia, my number one choice is Pure Dairy.
They source cheese curds from Wisconsin, world-famous for cheese curds. They are Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) which means you can have cheese curds from the home of the cheese curd, that tastes fresh and still squeaks.
Pure Dairy sells its IQF cheese curds through wholesale distributors around Australia. Call their head office, and they will get back to you with further details.