Ice requirements for cooling of fish

Fish can be cooled with various methods. Most common is to use ice, liquid ice or liquid cooling (water or sea-water).

The most important variables when considering ice requirements are the initial temperature and quantity of fish, environmental temperature and estimated storage time.

Higher initial temperature of fish means that it takes longer time to cool it down to 0°C. The closer the temperature is to    0°C the slower the cooling rate. 

The equation shown below can be used to roughly estimate the ice requirements to cool fish down to 0°C:

0.0114 · kg fish · °C initial temperature of fish (before cooling) = kg ice

Since the equation provides a rough estimation on the total quantity of ice needed for cooling, it applies both to the use of ice alone and for liquid/slurry ice mixtures as well. For example if the ice percentage of the liquid ice is 33%, one just needs to divide the ice requirements obtained from the equation above with 0.33 to obtain the total quantity of liquid/slurry ice needed to cool the fish down to 0°C. This means that three times more of slurry ice with 33% ice is needed compared to using ice alone.

If the intention is to keep fish for a certain time, ice requirements need to be estimated depending on environmental temperature. 

The equation below can be used to roughly estimate the ice needed daily to maintain 0°C in the fish during storage:

0.015 · kg fish · °C environment temperature = kg ice

where it is given that environment temperature is higher than 0°C.As has been discussed above the equations give just a rough estimate on the need of ice and cooling rate. Many other factors play a part here like insulation of containers (tubs, boxes etc.), how well the ice is distributed around the fish and size of ice particles. The smaller the ice particles, the more rapid cooling is obtained due to better contact to the fish surface. Further, the higher the proportion of ice vs. fish the more rapid the cooling.  


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