Food and Beverage Business
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GEA’s Marination System Improves Brine Distribution for Enhanced Ham Sliceability

GEA's Marination System Improves Brine Distribution for Enhanced Ham Sliceability brine distribution, GEA, Ham, Improved, marination system, sliceability Food and Beverage Business

GEA has developed a system for tenderising meat that optimises the distribution of brine and provides ham with better sliceability – not to mention a reduction in slicing losses. By using the GEA MultiCarve tenderising process between the injection and tumbling stages, food manufacturers are reproducing succulent ham products that offer consistently high-quality characteristics like mouthfeel, taste, and texture with pork and poultry cuts. The GEA MultiCarve is proving to be invaluable for pork and poultry cold cut manufacturers as consumers are looking for ham that is tasty, tender and in convenient and cohesive slices.

According to GEA, following injection, the meat that is to be used for ham is put through a set of bladed rollers, improving protein extraction, exposing greater surface area, and releasing any tension within the meat, resulting in a more succulent texture and a well-bonded product later on.

The releasing of tension works wonders for the meat. Being an animal product, cuts of pork do vary in terms of their fat to meat ratio, the grain of the meat in each piece, the tenderness, and so on. By putting the meat through the MultiCarve stage before further processing, it can contribute to reduce tension, so the ham can be formed more smoothly later on. The MultiCarve can be equipped with a selection of different rotating knife rollers, which can be adjusted as required either to gently follow the contours of the meat or, alternatively, more vigorous rolling can be used for tougher cuts such as shoulder ham. Putting the meat through this process also has the added benefit of reducing the time needed for curing, ramping up productivity.

Using GEA’s MultiCarve as an integral part of their ham processing, food manufacturers are preparing quality products that retain the right balance of moisture, succulence, and tenderness, ready for tumbling, forming, cooking, and slicing and packing. Pork remains the world’s most widely eaten type of meat, with pork-based products accounting for 36% of all meat consumed (source: USDA). Since pigs are efficient to rear and well-managed the world over, pig products are forecast to retain their hold on the market for the foreseeable future, with their popularity increasing year on year.

Creating products that look appealing, taste good, have the right texture and mouthfeel, and the ability to slice well has never been more important makes ham important in this market, given its popularity as a convenient option for sandwiches and salads. GEA’s Willem Poos, product group owner for marination, added: “When ham and poultry slicing logs are difficult to slice, there is more waste on the slicing line. The MultiCarve is addressing this issue, by treating and preparing the meat to provide products that deliver the results time and time again.”

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