An energy-efficient scalding method that prepares poultry for de-feathering, developed by Marel Stork Poultry Processing is one of the finalists for the ‘Food Valley Award’, a Dutch innovation award for the agrifood business.
The innovative scalding system for loosening poultry feathers prior to de-feathering, called ‘AeroScalder’ saves up to 75 percent in water and 50 percent in energy compared to traditional immersion scalding systems. The system uses moisturised hot air to loosen the feathers. This scalding medium is prepared in a separate conditioning chamber and then forcefully blown onto the feathered birds in the enclosed processing chamber. The product hangs from an overhead conveyor and automatically passes the nozzles blowing the scalding air. The air is drawn back into the conditioning chamber and re-conditioned for re-circulation, creating a closed and fully controlled process.
Aside from water and energy efficiency, the AeroScalder has other benefits too. It also ensures a perfectly scalded product with better end product quality and less risk of inadvertent contamination by immersion in already contaminated water. Also, the stability of the process ensures that every product is treated exactly the same. In addition, odour emissions are lower than in traditional systems. AeroScalder systems have been installed at poultry processing plants in several countries worldwide.
The Food Valley Award is an annual award, organised by Food Valley NL. Based in Wageningen, the Netherlands, Food Valley NL boosts innovation performance by fostering collaboration between businesses, knowledge institutions and government. The other two finalists of this year include biobased coffee capsules from the company Peeze and a technology for extracting pectin from coffee bean pulp, developed by the company Pectcof. Chairing the judges’ panel is Leo den Hartog, R&D director at Nutreco and professor by special appointment at Wageningen UR.
The winner of the Food Valley Award 2015 will be announced at the Food Valley Expo on Wageningen UR Campus on October 12-13, 2015.