Meat Processing & Storage

Once you have decided to setup a meat processing industry, this FAQs is helpful for you

Meat

Poultry

Meat

1) How to  select room size for blasting according to quantity of meat per batch?
The  following factors needs to be considered at the time of designing the Room  size of the Blast Freezer in Meat application:
(a) Typically a 2 Ton Blast per  Batch is typically 15 x 12 x 10 ft depending on space available
(b) Typically a 5 Ton Blast per  batch is typically 20 x 18 x 10 ft depending on space available
(c) Puff Panel thickness to be  taken is 150 mm
(d) Flooring thickness to be  considered is 120 mm
(e) Width of the Doors should be  designed by taking into account the size of forklift and pallets and width of  corridors
(f) Ante Room is always  recommended for a Blast Room
2) How to  decide on room size for a freezer room?
The  following factors needs to be considered at the time of designing the room size of the Freezer Room in Meat application:
(a) Consideration taken is  6-8 kg/cubic feet for storage room design
(b) Puff panel thickness to be  taken is 120 mm
(c) Large anteroom maintained at intermediate temperature between the outdoor and storage is particularly preferred in hot and humid climates
(d) When designing corridors, a plan should be made to avoid heavy traffic
(e) Floor thickness to be considered is 100 mm
Ante Room is recommended for a Freezer Room
3) How to  calculate the heat load for storage room and blast freezer for meat ?
Parameters  required to calculate the heat load for Blast Room:
(a) Room dimension
(b) Outside Temperature
(c) Panel Thickness
(d) Product Type
(e) Incoming temperature of the Product
(f) Room temperature required
(g) Pull down Time
(h) Quantity of Product
Use our Blue Cold Heat Load  calculator - Blast Freezer Calculator to get the load with safety factor
4) What is  the ideal stacking arrangement in a Blast Freezer?
(a) The  stacking of product need to be done on Pallet
(b) The stacking of products on  each pallet must be planned and uniform to allow air to move at high velocity  through the “product zone.”
(c) Pallets should always include spacers between layers of boxes so that air flows across the top and bottom of each box.
5) How to  select the right refrigeration system for the blast freezer?
For Outdoor Unit (Freon)
(a) It is recommended to go for  2 stage compressor
(b) The condenser selection should  be on the higher side, since there is pull down in the room
(c) For the best designed  &  less vibration unit - go for  Blue Cold Unit.
(d) The components in the outdoor  units should be certified & highly reliable as this is a critical  application

For Indoor Unit (Freon &  Ammonia)
(a) There should a proper balance  of Surface Area, Tube Volume & Air Flow in the Indoor Unit
(b) Fins Spacing- Ideal fin  spacing should be between 8 mm to 10 mm
(c) The unit should fit inside the  room
(d) Various types of defrosting  are available - you may choose as per your requirement - air, water, hotgas  & Electric
6) How to  select the right Refrigeration System for the Freezer Room
For  Outdoor Unit (Freon)    
(a) It is recommended to go for  single stage compressor
(b) The condenser selection should  ideally selected according to ambient conditions
(c) For the best designed &  less vibration unit - go for Blue Cold Unit
(d) The components in the outdoor  units should be certified & highly reliable as this is a critical  application

For Indoor Unit (Freon &  Ammonia)    
(a) There should a proper balance  of Surface Area, Tube Volume & Air Flow in the Indoor Unit
(b) Fins Spacing- Ideal fin  spacing should be 6 mm or 7 mm
(c) The unit should fit inside the room
(d) Various types of defrosting  are available - you may choose as per your requirement - air, water, hot gas  & Electric
7) What role  does temperature & time play in the life of the product?
The integrated effect of time & temperature on frozen food  affect their COLOR, FLAVOR, TEXTURE commonly refereed to as "QUALITY" of the meat.
Hence, timing &  temperature play an important role in the quality of the product.
8) What role does Blast Freezer play on the quality of the product?
(a) Extended Shelf Life-Unlike normal  refrigeration, blast freezing can significantly extend the shelf life of your  food
(b) Blast freezing maintains  the fresh quality of your ingredients
(c) There are always some items that suffer from product deterioration, freezer burn, shelf life reduction, and as a result it is required to be discarded due to poor processes. Blast freezers helps in prevention from these problems as it locks the moisture inside the product itself and increase the shell life of products.
9) Confused in choosing of Freon Vs Ammonia in a Meat Plant
(a) A small scale  manufacturer of meat of production of up to 2-4 tons per day would prefer a  Freon Unit over an Ammonia Unit
(b) A medium scale manufacturer of meat of  production of up to 5-10 tons per day may choose Freon Unit or Ammonia Unit
(c) A large scale manufacturer of meat should  always prefer an ammonia unit over a freon unit
10) How  selection of right machinery help in saving Electricity?
(a) For a blast freezer (Freon or Ammonia) an efficient Indoor unit design (square pitch) helps  in saving electricity - due to lesser pressure drops & higher tube volume in the indoor unit it attains maximum efficiency & therefore helps in  saving Electricity
(b) For a Freon Outdoor Unit, use of  efficient compressors like Bitzer helps in saving power
(c) Efficient selection of condenser also helps in saving power in a meat plant
11) List the storage life of meats for different temperature?
a) Beef - If stored at -18 °C, it and remain up 12 months and if stored at -29 °C, it and remain up 18 months
b) Lamb - If stored at -18 °C, it and remain up 12 months and if stored at -29 °C, it and remain up 18 months
c) Veal - If stored at -18 °C, it and remain up 10 months and if stored at -29 °C, it and remain up 16 months
d) Pork - If stored at -18 °C, it and remain up 8 months and if stored at -29 °C, it and remain up 10 months
12) List the chilling temperature and humidity of carcasses and variety meats?
a) Beef (side):
Average weight - 102 Kg; Average specific heat - 0.79 KJ; Average body temperature - 39 °C; Chill room temperature - 0 °C to 1 °C; Chill to internal temperature - 7 °C; Chill room period - 20 hours; Holding room temperature - 0 °C to 1 °C; Holding room RH - 85% to 90%

b) Variety meats:
Average specific heat - 0.79 KJ; Average body temperature - 38 °C; Chill room temperature - (-)20 °C; Chill to internal temperature - 0 °C to 1 °C; Chill room period - 4 hours; Holding room temperature - 0 °C to 1 °C; Holding room RH - 85% to 85%
13) What are the practices for freezing of meat?
a) Meat intended to be frozen should be held at 0 °C to 1 °C  long time
b) All meats may be frozen in 1 day after chilling if tenderness is not an issue
c) Meat for freezing should be cut into the desired pieces and well trimmed with excess fat removed
d) Packaging should be done perfectly to prevent moisture loss or freezer burn
e) Product must be packaged tightly to prevent surface ice crystal formation during frozen storage
f) Higher freezing temperature not affect the texture, but shorten the storage life
14) How to palletize the meat products?
a) When boxed meat is palletized prior to chilling and/or freezing, place the cartons on clean pallets in a pattern which provide a minimum of 5 cm of air space around the sides
b) Pallet size of 122 X 101 cm is recommended
c) The blast freezer should be tested to ensure that proper heat transfer will occur
d) No more than 6 layers should be placed on a pallet
e) Do not cover palletized cartons to be frozen with sheet poly film or stretch wrap
f) Only 13.6 kg cartons per be placed on each pallet or 27.2 kg cartons per pallet is recommended
15) What are the factors for influencing freezing rate?
a) Product composition
b) Moisture content
c) Ingredients
d) Initial and final temperature
e) Shape
f) Density
g) Kind of surfaces
h) Heat conductivity
16) What is the value of freezing speed of meat?
a) Freezing speed 5 cm/hr permits the moisture in meat to freeze with fine crystalline form
b) Rapid freezing also reduces drying losses during freezing and frozen storage
c) Meat freezing slowly will form large ice crystals that damage the cellular structure and causes change in texture
17) How the drip loss is important for meat?
a) Drip losses are directly related to thaw rate. Fast thawing will cause smaller amount of moisture loss than slow thawing
b) For less drip loss, fast-frozen meat should be thawed quickly and slow-frozen meat should be thawed slowly.  

Poultry

1) What are the storage conditions of poultry products?
a) In chilled room having temperature of 0 °C to 4.4 °C with RH up to 95% to 100%, products can be stored 5 to 7 days depending upon packing and sanitation
b) In deep-chilled room having temperature of -1 °C to -2 °C with RH as high as possible, products can be stored up to 3 to 4 weeks
c) In freezer room having temperature of -18 °C to -20 °C with RH as high as possible, products can be stored up to 12 months
2) List the factors influencing the storage life of poultry products?
a) Pre-storage handling
b) Packaging
c) Storage conditions
d) Feed used
e) Cleanliness of processing conditions
f) Scalding temperatures
g) De-feathering operations
h) Chilling procedures
3) How to store ostrich and Emu meat?
a) It must be vacuum packaged for either frozen or chilled distribution
b) Shelf life of packaged meat as 6 days at 0 °C-2 °C and 6 months at -18 °C
c) In refrigerated warehouse, these meats should always be handled as frozen products
4) What are the packaging practices for poultry products?
a) For chilled and deep-chilled poultry, main requirement is a moisture barrier to prevent dehydration
b) For chilled poultry, use absorbent pad to remove free fluid from the package
c) Deep– chilled poultry, free water is kept frozen
d) In frozen poultry, package should adhere tightly to minimize ice crystal formation
5) List the important points to be considered in chilled and deep-chilled poultry?
a) For poultry to be marketed as a fresh or non-frozen, the ambient temperature of storage should be above -3.3 °C at all times
b) Maintain the holding temperature above -1 °C to control weight loss and appearance
c) Tray packed poultry parts covered by tight stretch-type plastic film
d) Processors should use combination of gas-tight bags and Co2 atmosphere to package big size poultry parts and meats
6) What are the practices for freezing of poultry meat?
a) The rate of freezing of poultry affects color and drip loss during thawing. A faster freezing rate gives lighter colored product and one less subject to drip loss
b) Fat skin gives a good appearance irrespective of freezing method
c) Thin skin poultry, the color can be varied from white to dark red as the freezing rate is varied from fast to slow
7) List the shelf life of frozen poultry meat?
a) Turkeys - 12 to 15 months
b) Chicken broilers (whole) - 16 months
c) Ducks and geese - 12 to 15 months
d) Ostrich and emu - 6 months
8) What are the freezing damages in poultry product?
a) Any poultry product which has its name qualified to “injected” will have higher than normal moisture content. Generally, it is ranges from 2% to 20%, but probably averages 12%
b) Slow freezing which causes large ice crystals to form can cause substantial damage to the cooked poultry muscle structure
c) If the poultry meat higher water content will cause, separation of the muscle fibers
d) Improper packaging can cause stale flavors and rancidity occur
9) List the methods of freezing of poultry meat?
a) Blast freezing with high velocity air at -29 °C to -40 °C
b) Immersion freezing through super chilled brine or other liquid
c) Continuous blast freezing on a moving belt, such as liquid N2, liquid CO2 or mechanical/NH3
d) Holding freezer with air circulation and temperatures of -18 °C to -29 °C