Ice is very important for a range of industries such as healthcare, hospitality, food service and convenience stores. While it keeps medical equipment and drugs safe for human administration, it chills drinks and foods for future use.
Types of commercial ice include block ice, cube ice, tube ice, flaked ice, plate ice, and shaved ice. It can be manufactured for an industrial application using special equipment. There are large ice factories that make tones of ice for commercial use in a day. Here, let us discuss how ice is made and the commercial industries that mostly use it.
Commercial Manufacture of Ice
Before a company qualifies as an ice manufacturer, it has to invest in a lot of resources such as manufacturing equipment and machinery that will produce ice on a large-scale. Also, companies have to device channels of distributing their ice to customers. This means lease trucks and hiring drivers.
In the United States, ice manufacturing industries have to meet tough rules set by the Food and Drug Administration. The packaging of ice is also an important consideration as it needs to arrive at the customer’s establishment in its chilled state. To solve this headache, manufacturers have to use mobile refrigeration systems.
To make ice, industries use large free-standing icemaker machines. An ice tray is attached to several pipes that exchange heat just like an ordinary refrigerator. Refrigerant fluid is driven by a compressor through a narrow condenser tube. After condensation, ice is passed into a large evaporating tube where it expands.
When selecting commercial ice, companies must consider the procedures that were followed in its manufacture. For example, ice for foodservice has to adhere to the highest sanitation standards. The reputation of the manufacturer is often an important consideration. Other factors are costs, equipment used and the ice’s shelf life.
Use of Ice in Manufacturing, Industrial and Processing Industries
The United States is among the leading consumers of commercial ice. Further, companies in the processing, manufacturing, and industrial sectors cross the world have an insatiable demand for ice. Examples of these companies are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Reddy Ice, Nestle, Groupe Danone and Arctic Glazier among others.
Convenience Stores and Supermarkets are easily among top consumers of ice. They need it to keep fruits, vegetables, meats, canned foods, beverages, milk and other food products chilled. They usually keep it in large refrigerators and displays. These days, large supermarkets manufacture their ice for convenience.
Restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and other foodservice establishments should treat ice just as they treat food. Sadly, 47.8 million people in America suffer from food-related diseases annually. This is often attributed to unsafe handling of ice in convenience stores. Employees need to be trained on proper transportation, safe use, and sanitation.
As mentioned earlier, the healthcare industry would not be what it is if it were not for ice. Compressed and nugget ice is usually the best choice here, thanks to its quiet operation. Ice baths used for patient rehabilitation use compressed ice too because it does not melt as fast as flaked ice. Evidently, the ice industry helps many other industries to thrive.