Marinating poultry after portion weighing delivers a much cleaner, quicker and flexible work routine

Chicken meat is marinated in small, accurate portions before being filled in trays at a major European poultry processor following the adoption of a Cabinplant marinating process which is available from Sealpac in the UK. The new production lines are more flexible and require an absolute minimum of cleaning which allows the customer to fulfil retailer demands for small batches of product more easily. And even when changing marinades.

Traditionally, the marinating process is extensive and dirty. The drum is filled with 500-1000 kg of minute-steaks or other types of meat and 100 litres of marinade is added. The meat is tumbled for about 15 minutes and then transported as bulk to the weighing and packing line. Afterwards, the production equipment such as the tumbler, elevator, weigher, tools for the weigher, and the marinade dispenser require time-consuming cleaning, a process that is no longer necessary with the new system.

The poultry processor decided to install the Cabinplant solution for marinating the meat as it wanted a more flexible set-up. The solution means that the chicken meat can be marinated in small, accurate portions and filled into trays while reducing the time-consuming cleaning and changeover procedures when switching to other product variants to be marinated and portioned.  

The company is delighted with the system as manual handling has been eliminated and all the meat is processed without getting stuck in the equipment to deliver a more efficient process.

In operation, the marinade is added to the fresh meat in a special mixing-tool just before the meat is dropped in the tray. Thus, only the tool and the dispenser need to be cleaned, allowing a more frequent shift of variants, says Henning Ingemann Hansen, director of product development at Cabinplant.

The changeover time is down to 10-15 minutes (from 45 minutes) and the cleaning time is reduced by up to 80% as less equipment needs to be cleaned. In addition, the meat is treated far more gently because it will no longer be marinated in a large drum.

This Cabinplant marinating process has now been installed on several lines in two of the customer’s largest plants with each line typically producing 40-50 portions per minute. The systems are integrated in the packing line, just after the weighing process, with each containing several of the marinating cassettes to keep pace with the speed of the processing line. In operation, the marinade dispenser can be set up to give a variable quantity of marinade to cope with the small variations in the weight of the meat portions.

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