The practice of cryoconcentration—reducing by freezing—eliminates the flavor and consistency changes that come with reducing by heat, yielding sauces that are fresher and more authentic. To understand the flavor and consistency changes that occur with reducing by heat, think of the difference between fresh fruit and jam.
The technology also allows chefs to be more sustainable, since they can take ingredients that would typically be considered waste—artichoke leaves, carrot skins, orange peels—and transform them into a useful component of a dish. “Today when we remove leaves from the artichoke or peel the carrot, those materials go in the trash,” says Gerard Bertholon, Chief Strategy Officer at Cuisine Solutions, a global leader in sous vide. “Now we’re able to cook those items sous vide and reduce them through the cryoconcentration method. We get the full-flavor juice, it’s very low in calories, and since the ingredients normally go in the trash, it’s almost free. You can use almost 100% of the fruit or vegetable with this technique.”
Another benefit of cryoconcentration? Chefs can blend the juices from individual ingredients to create a beautifully layered, full-flavor sauce, almost like a wine varietal made up of multiple grapes. Cryoconcentration has allowed chefs to reinvent sauces without butter and cream, making them lighter, healthier, and more flavorful.