Everything You Need to Know About Industrial Poultry Processing and Packaging Knives
By admin
Reading time 10 minutes
19 July 2021
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Poultry processing knives are a needed and necessary part of the production and packaging process. The industry depends on high-quality knives to keep production lines moving, customers happy and consumers supplied with poultry products. Without quality components such as knives, the whole production and packaging process will slow or even stop completely.

A Seamless Production Process

Processing poultry products will involve a series of demanding stages so knives and machines must be up to the task.

After chickens have been plucked, knives will be relied upon more and more as the product moves through the production line. The combination of efficient machinery and the use of technology to automate the process is essential. In some operations depending on demand, machines can process in excess of 30,000 chickens each hour. This is high volume, fast-paced work that requires seamless machinery and quality blades. Any malfunctioning equipment or defective blades can cause huge problems.

Unwanted parts of the poultry are removed using carefully designed blades and the product is moved on to the next stage in the process which involves washing and chilling the poultry to prevent the growth of bacteria. This process will also involve grading and weighing the poultry before it is distributed to the relevant section for further processing. Once the product reaches the processing area, the poultry will be deboned and portioned depending on the specific order requirements.

Poultry may be left as a whole or it may be portioned off into halves. Therefore, poultry processing knives must be sharp, resistant to corrosion and suitable for prolonged and repeated use, as well as being able to withstand the rigours of a busy production line. Knives play an important role in cutting poultry into sections to produce products such as thighs, breasts, wings and drumsticks.

Depending on the production line and the products that are required, there are specialist knives available for each of these areas to achieve the best results. Blades are available in different sizes to suit, or they can be custom made to fit the exact operation, machine specification and product category.

The cutting and portioning part of the process often runs itself with a high level of automation, it is, therefore, crucial that the knives used are of the required standard. Any downtime or malfunctions of blades can have a significant impact on production resulting in costly downtime. Sharp knives will keep everything running as it should.

Packaging

When the poultry has been cut into the relevant portions, it is then distributed along the production line for packaging. This section will also need quality blades. Poultry packaging comes in many different forms depending on the type of product and its size. Most poultry products are packaged in some form of plastic wrapping or tray.

Poultry products that are sent to grocery stores and butchers, those which are not sent directly to the consumer are often vacuum packed. The vacuum sealing process will remove all of the air from the poultry product prolonging its shelf life and freshness in the process. Machine knives will take care of this process too. Overwrap knives will make sure that poultry products are suitable to be placed on display in grocery stores.

Other types of plastic packaging includes plastic bags, typically used for frozen poultry which is sold direct to the consumer. Products include chicken breasts, wings and thighs. To enable greater efficiencies in the packaging process, heat sealing bands will be used as well as bagger knives and sealing jaw sets. This will maintain both the freshness and the quality of the product.

Machine Blades for Poultry Processing

Circular machine blades will facilitate the cutting process. They feature corrosion-resistant properties and are made from food-grade stainless steel. You can also purchase them in custom shapes such as scraper blades, wing section blades and leg cutters to name a few. Certain types of blades can cause stickiness in production, particularly when processing large volumes of poultry products. This type of blade will reduce this issue, maximising uptime and reducing slowdowns and bottlenecks.

Standard Circular Blades used in processing can be purchased to meet a variety of bevels and diameters. They are also available with or without notches, scallops or slots. The blade begins its life as a high-grade stainless steel which is heat-treated to maximise resistance to corrosion while prolonging the cutting life of the blade. Blades are then machined to achieve the right tolerance, ensuring they are carefully checked to monitor consistency and quality. Blades can also be resharpened to offer a longer lifespan.

Meat Circular Blades

Waste reduction is an important consideration for food production and packaging plants. These types of blades are designed to positively impact productivity while reducing waste. When production lines manage to improve the quality of the cuts, this reduces waste with significant yield improvements. The blades will cut through even the most challenging of poultry items without ripping and the blades can withstand repeated use and high-pressure production environments.

Weighing, Grading and Distribution

Blades are required to enable the weight and quality of poultry products, and this can be automatically determined throughout the process. The knives in this process are important because it improves logistics of the plant, allowing products to move through production lines quicker, products can be traced properly, and yield of the production line can be improved.

Production blades can be used for deboning, portioning and slicing, meat harvesting, marinating and tumbling and further processing.

Blades should offer a complete solution for production and packaging from the preparation of meat through to portioning and coating through to cooking and packaging using the most suitable packaging methods.

The quality of the blade really does affect the overall production line efficiency so choosing the right blades is important. We stock a huge selection of poultry processing and packaging blades for your machines, whether you are looking for an off the shelf solution or something more bespoke, our team will be able to help you find the right blade which meets your requirements and reflects our quality standards to meet all of your manufacturing lines.

If you’re looking for high quality, industrial knives and blades for your manufacturing operation and you wish to work with a dedicated supplier who can meet your exact requirements, contact our team today.

Find out more about custom industrial machine knives and how they can benefit your business on the MRMK news and insights hub… 

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