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Chilling technology - Articles and news items

Pork quality and carcass chilling

Issue 2 2013  •  26 April 2013  •  Lars Kristensen, Section Manager, Danish Meat Research Institute

Chilling of hot carcasses is an important process in the meat production chain, and the rate of chilling especially has a major impact on meat quality, chill loss, shelf-life and microbial safety. The carcass temperature just before chilling is normally in the range of 39 – 40°C, and the goal is to reach approximately 5°C 20 to 24 hours after slaughter when the carcasses usually are cut and boned. Air is generally used to remove heat from the surface of the carcasses, and the rate of chilling is controlled by both air speed and air temperature, the latter going from below -20°C in quick chilling tunnels to above 0°C in conventional, slow, batch chilling systems. In spray chilling systems, the evaporation of water sprayed onto the surface of the carcasses helps to remove heat from the carcass. This article will focus on the effect of pig carcass chilling on meat quality.

Packaged chillers with ammonia as a refrigerant: the natural choice

Issue 4 2012  •  6 September 2012  •  René van Gerwen, Global Lead Engineer Refrigeration & HVAC, Unilever Engineering Services

Industrial chillers for the supply of chilled water, cold glycol or brine, are frequently used over a long time, and have become even more attractive for several applications to replace direct refrigeration systems. Greenhouse gas footprint and lifecycle costs of ownership of industrial chillers can be significantly reduced by using ammonia as a refrigerant, instead of the traditionally used HFCs. Ammonia does not contribute to ozone depletion nor global warming and ammonia chillers are generally more energy efficient than equivalent HFC chillers. Packaged chillers, using ammonia as a refrigerant, are currently available from several suppliers.

On the basis of supplier information, com – parisons have been made between a typical packaged ammonia chiller and an equivalent HFC chiller, confirming that packaged ammonia chillers are an attractive and feasible alternative for conventional HFC chillers, particularly in industrial applications. As the chiller community is unfamiliar with ammonia as a refrigerant, more standardisation in safety regulations, equipment and housing details, simplified operation and maintenance procedures and lower equipment costs may further help in accelerating the wider use of the natural refrigerant ammonia in this new application area.


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