Surface treatment of vacuum-packed meat products doubles shelf life

Mari Ann Tørngren

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Thermal Shock

Surface treatment of vacuum-packed meat products doubles shelf life

DMRI has developed a method called ‘thermal shock’ that enables meat selling companies to extend shelf life of fresh or processed meat products, without compromising food safety.

By surface treating vacuum-packed products with hot water under pressure, shelf life is typically doubled by decreasing bacteria and spores on the product surface.

This is how it works:

Vacuum-packed meat

The method can be applied to a number of fresh or processed and vacuum-packed products; for instance fresh pork loins and necks or cooked and smoked loins or ham. The method is especially suitable for the foodservice segment - e.g. fresh meat before sous vide treatment or skin-packed retail cuts.

Thermal shock treatment

The treatment with hot water is performed under pressure and is quick, for instance 10-20 seconds, for selected pork og beef products. The method leaves a few millimetres of ‘boiled’ film on the surface and is therefore suitable for products that are further processed or products that are masked, for instance with a marinade.

Double shelf life

The thermal shock method has been documented in a laboratory, and a patent application has been submitted. The results show a remarkable extension of shelf life of vacuum-packed meat products. Typically the germs reduction is 1-2 log, which is often enough to double shelf life.

 

The video below shows a demonstration of the equipment.