Q: How does the liner work? Why?
A: Beck block liners are carefully designed to absorb a certain amount of water. When frozen, this liquid forms a complete oxygen barrier. The complete oxygen barrier protects your product from freezer burn and dehydration like no other material. This also allows for a solid and completely uniform block of fish without water or holes.
Q: What is so special about a block of fish? Why not some other product forms?
A: Blocks allow customers to cut and bread and/or portion to exact measurements. This is of utmost importance to fish burger retailers who want exact dimensions and perfect quality in every burger. This is the same for fish stick and fish finger producers. The fish is frozen within 45 minutes to ensure the highest quality product.
Q: How can you tell the inside of the liner from the outside?
A: The outside of the liner is usually a darker shade of brown than the inside. The outside has a smooth finish while the inside has a dimpled feel.
Q: How do I put a liner in a frame? Where do the flaps go and why?
A: The bottom of the liner slides into the freezer frame. The liner in the frame is filled with fish. Then the lid is folded over and the front flap tucked in between the outer layer of the liner and the frame. Corner flaps should never be on the inside of the liner as it sits in the frame. Beck liners are designed to automatically place themselves correctly in the liner.
Q: How important are the frames?
A: Beck aluminum frames are unsurpassed in their ability to produce a perfect block. Dimensional tolerance is 0.5 millimeter. The frames shape the block into the rectangle when placed into a block freezer. Beck frames are strong and withstand pressure from the plates and the fish.
Q: How much fish weight do we pack in a liner? Does it vary by species?
A: Yes, species vary in density. Pollock weight going into a liner is usually about 16.7 lbs.
Q: How much time between packing a liner and freezing is OK?
A: 45 minutes is the maximum.
Q: How do I distinguish between products? How can I write on a liner?
A: Beck offers custom printed liners. You can differentiate by color. We can print logo, product types and make check boxes. Grease pencils are used for marking on the blocks. A laser print system also works. It is difficult to write on the outside of a liner because the liner is coated with wax.
Q: Can I make blocks without an ejector?
A: Yes, but it is not recommended for mass production. For samples you can line the inside of the frame with food grade oil. This will allow the blocks to more easily release from the frames. Beck ejectors are a cost effective way to remove blocks from fames.
Q: What kind of freezer should I buy? What size?
A: There are various producers of new and used plate freezers. Contact your Beck representative for a producer near you. Plate freezer size depends on the amount of product you want to produce. Stations are the number of plates in a plate freezer. Plate dimensions relate to the number of frames you can put onto the usable plate surface.
Q: How do I get the frames out of the freezer without damaging them?
A: Hot gassing in the plate freezer is the best way. Some use a bar that has a plastic (food grade) end that is used to push the frames out. Some use a hooking bar if they need to pull the frames towards them.
Q: What can we do to take better care of our frames and bottoms?
A: When defrosting, do not hit the aluminum frames with a metal bar to release them from the plate freezers. Do not throw the frames at any time in the process.
Q: Are my frames any good or do I need new ones?
A: Beck has available frame checkers that will show you whether your frames are out of tolerance. Typically, frames bow out on the sides, requiring more products to produce a perfect block.
Q: How many liners can fit on a pallet?
A: Liners are packed with 3,000, 3,200, 3,400 or 4,000 pieces depending on customer needs.
Q: What is the storage temperature for storage of the liners?
A: We have the same restrictions on storage temperature as the stable temperature of the liners. It is very important that the temperature is kept below 35° C.
Q: My blocks end up with an uneven surface. Why?
A: Overfilling will lead to crowning block surface – check final weight of block after freezing. Blocks placed on freezing plate may get an uneven surface if waiting too long for other products. This is because the block will begin to freeze from the bottom up. When the pressure is finally applied, the freezer is unable to squeeze the material into corners and flatten the surface. Pressure applied too late in the plate freezer and insufficient pressure can also lead to an uneven surface.
Q: The liner burst at the edges. Why?
A: Typically, edges burst because the frame has the wrong dimension or is out of shape. Check frames for correct dimensions regularly and make sure to buy frames from a trusted source. Liners that have been soaked for too long can lead to bursted edges when pressure is applied.
Q: Why can't we align the top of the block and the liner? Why do we see icing on the block?
A: The frames might be of the wrong dimensions. If you overfill the block to make up for the difference, the liner may burst.