Flake Ice from Harvest to Plate: At Every Link in the Supply Chain

Cooling Food at Every Step of the Journey

To see an example of how flake ice is essential in cooling food, all one really needs to do is visit the seafood department of a grocery store to see flake ice for the supply chain. Chances are, their fresh fish will be displayed on flake ice. We have previously discussed the myriad number of ways that flake ice helps keep seafood fresh and cool in the marketplace by combining low temperatures and moisture for perfect preservation. However, the supermarket display shelf isn’t the only place where this product helps deliver the best quality seafood. Flake ice is used at every step of the seafood supply chain: from harvest, transportation, and processing to the dinner plate.

A Vital Part of the Harvest

The first link for flake ice for the supply chain is where seafood is harvested. The key to keeping freshly caught fish as well-preserved as possible is immediate cooling, and ice plays an essential role in that process. While there are a number of different types of ice to choose to preserve a fresh catch, flake ice has an abundance of advantages. It maintains the best surface contact keeps freshly caught fish from becoming bruised and injured, as it has no sharp edges. Howe Shipboard ice flakers can make ice using either fresh or seawater, with each having its own set of unique advantages. For superior taste and presentation down the line, the best harvests use flake ice.

Keeping a Catch Cool During Processing and Transportation

In order to retain the highest levels of quality and nutrition, seafood must be handled and preserved properly from the moment it is caught to its final sale. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States (FAO) has laid out numerous guidelines for the handling of raw seafood. One of the most essential elements in the process is to ensure a continuous flow in the handling of seafood, avoiding the accumulation of unchilled fish at any time. The use of flake ice for the supply chain is a time-honored and economical way of keeping seafood cool and safe, with highly productive machines that produce enough ice to ensure that all catches stay safe and fresh. The final result is seafood that remains saleable and delicious when prepared.

Wholesale and Retail Sales: the Final Step

After seafood has been caught, processed, and shipped, there is no more attractive or effective method of display than flake ice. In addition to keeping fish safe and cool, flake ice helps all types of seafood retain optimal levels of color, moisture, and general presentation qualities—essential for both wholesale and retail applications. Finally, the ultimate test of quality occurs on the dinner plate. Whether fresh fish is sold to a restaurant or a family, nothing beats the flavor of a moist, fresh, and well-preserved catch. Recent studies have shown that retail sales of fresh seafood are increasing; providing consumers with the best quality fish available is the best way to ensure this trend continues.

Howe Flake Ice is There at Every Step

Whether onboard a fishing vessel, in a processing plant, a transportation vehicle, or a sales outlet, flake ice from Howe Corporation’s machines can handle the workload. Our Rapid Freeze® flake ice machines can produce 1,000 to 40,000 lbs. of flake ice every day. The seafood industry has relied on our products for generations to help ensure that seafood stays fresh at every level of the supply chain. For more information about Howe and the high quality flake ice machines we produce, please contact us today.