The Power of Frozen – Why IQF Cheese Should Be On The Menu

What is IQF?

IQF, or Individually Quick Frozen, are a group of products that have been frozen to protect their properties and extend shelf life. What makes IQF products significant though is that one, they have been frozen individually, thus ensuring individual pieces don’t stick together making them easier to work with, and two, the quick-freezing process preserves the quality.

For the origins of IQF we need to look back at the pioneer of the frozen food industry in general, a certain Clarence Birdseye. The American inventor and entrepreneur, who founded the Birds Eye company that we all know today, discovered that fast-freezing fish resulted in a far superior product, that when defrosted, tasted just like fresh fish.

The process has been evolved over the decades and now provides a flexible, convenient, and reliable solution for the food industry.

Benefits of IQF

Utilising IQF products provide a wide range of benefits for users throughout the supply chain.

Shelf-life management

The IQF process dramatically increases the shelf life of products. This is especially valuable on products that typically have short shelf lives, such as soft cheese like mozzarella and burrata. Another example is Brie – with normal shelf life of 80 days from production, IQF brie slices can extend this to over 1 year, whilst retaining the creaminess of fresh brie.

Freshness & product consistency

The IQF process locks in the freshness of the product and ensures that all products are the same level of freshness, ensuring customers get a consistently high standard product to consume.

Portion control

IQF products are already cut in to portioned sizes and weights. This removes complexity, as well as weighing and mixing processes – perfect for foodservice and food manufacturing environments.

Minimise waste

IQF products helps to minimise waste. Users only need to defrost what is required, reducing leftovers which will be potentially wasted. IQF products are also often available in formats that defrost quickly, for example individual brie slices will defrost quickly compared to a whole wheel. Furthermore, many IQF products can be cooked directly from frozen such as Halloumi Fries which are ready to serve in as little as two and a half minutes.

Operational efficiency and stock management

Business owners are always looking to cut costs where possible. IQF products are perfect more maximising the bottom-line return. IQF is perfect for bulk buying to save costs, without the fear of wastage. Workflow is easier for ordering teams, IQF products can be purchased well in advance of depleting existing stock meaning you’ll never be caught short with a vital ingredient out of stock.

But surely it’s lower quality?

Sometimes frozen foods get tarnished with a reputation of being of lesser quality than fresh produce.

However, the quick-freezing process that IQF utilises maintains product quality. As discovered by Clarence Birdseye, the slow freezing time of traditional techniques allowed for large ice crystals to form in foods. In turn, these large crystals would damage cells within the food at a molecular level and when defrosted would mean the products characteristics have changed.

The IQF process ensures that foods pass quickly through the temperature range in which these large ice crystals form, preventing any damage from large ice crystals. This ensures products keep their shape, colour, smell, and taste after defrosting, to a far greater extent.

What foods can be IQF?

The most obvious foods that come to mind when thinking of frozen foods are fruit and vegetables, which use the IQF process to ensure they can be easily portioned out by consumers. IQF products stretch much further than this though, from meat and poultry, to shellfish, and of course cheese.

Our IQF Range & Formats

The Futura IQF range covers a variety of products, available in different functional formats, sizes, and weights.

IQF Burrata

Burrata meaning ‘buttered’ in Italian, is a mozzarella ball filled with an oozing centre of stracciatella.

Perfect for topping salads and pizza. Available in various sizes.

IQF Feta

Authentic traditional Greek Feta Cheese with a crumbly texture and tangy flavour.

Great for topping salads or using in dips. Available in cubes.

IQF Halloumi

Traditional Cypriot cheese, perfect for frying, grilling, and the BBQ.

Fantastic in paninis, burgers, and salads. Available in cubes & diced.

IQF Halloumi Fries

Pre-cut, available as breaded & uncoated, and ready in only 2 ½ minutes.

Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping in.

IQF Mozzarella & IQF Buffalo Mozzarella

A creamy Italian classic, with a fresh, milky taste that melts perfectly.

Great for pizza, pastas, and salads. Available in cherrys & slices of various sizes.

IQF Brie

A creamy Italian classic, with a fresh, milky taste that melts perfectly.

Great for pizza, pastas, and salads. Available in slices of various sizes.

IQF Goats Cheese

A creamy Italian classic, with a fresh, milky taste that melts perfectly.

Great for pizza, pastas, and salads. Available in slices of various sizes.

IQF Paneer

A creamy Italian classic, with a fresh, milky taste that melts perfectly.

Great for pizza, pastas, and salads. Available in cubes various sizes.

For more information on our range of IQF products then please get in touch.

Get in touch

If you don’t see the product that you are looking for it is possible that we could develop or source a product specifically for you. Want to find out more about how we make it easy to find dairy solutions?


Futura Foods UK Ltd.
The Priory, Long Street, Dursley,
Gloucestershire GL11 4HR