Keeping Your Meat Fresh
Are you wondering why your meat and poultry have a brown tint and look dry? It’s because refrigeration causes the meat to lose color, appearance and most importantly, weight. By the time meat reaches the end retailer, it loses up to 3% of its weight due to moisture loss, which can have major implications on the profitability of the business. Our humidification systems maintain quality, enhance appearance, reduce dehydration and extend shelf life of your product. They are ideal for meat display cases, meat prep rooms and storage. A VackerGlobal customer has reported that our systems have extended the shelf life of their products by 1.5-2 days!
Meat itself is not a living organism but it is subject to endogenic enzymatic activity, or proteolysis, which causes muscle tissue to mature, become tender and develop a typical taste. This process is retarded by cold. Due to its chemical composition which is rich in proteins, lipids and water, meat is a particularly favorable substrate for the growth of microorganisms. The lipidic content also makes it very sensitive to oxidation. Again, micro-organism growth is a temperature-dependent process. To avoid it, it is absolutely essential to reduce the temperature of the meat, especially on the surface, immediately after dressing. Cooling must, therefore, be carried out in the slaughterhouse itself. This operation is known as primary chilling. Meat loses weight through surface evaporation. This process depends on differences in temperature and relative humidity between the meat and the environment. Maintaining an adequate rate of humidity in meat cold rooms is vital for the meat preservation to increase profit margins and reduce volume of waste. Cooled meat is described as “fresh” because when correctly chilled, it retains the features of fresh meat. Due to its high content of unfrozen water, cooled meat must be stored in the proper environment. Lack of humidity causes a loss in both weight and quality, with the end result being a loss of profit.
Shorter storage-life, weight reduction and markdowns for visually less appealing products are the expensive consequences for inadequate air humidification. Initial weight loss for beef or lamb after slaughter is approx. 1% over the first few hours. During 18 hours of chilling, weight loss can reach as high as 2.7%. Lack of humidification also causes browning, discoloration and a dry surface area. Depending on the type of meat, water content ranges from 49 – 75%, so it’s very important to maintain a high level of relative humidity in cold rooms, up to 95% in some cases.
VackerGlobal humidification systems decelerate dehydration by adjusting humidity air rate thereby preserving meat and effectively counteracting the weight loss. This increases profit margins and reduces the volume of waste. The correct humidity has a major effect on the storage of meats.
Benefits of air humidification in meat cold storage rooms
- Less cooling losses in meat storage
- Reduces the loss of profits because of weight reduction
- Better heat transfer of the animal carcass and shorter cooling cycles
- Lower energy costs due to faster cooling process
- Longer storage life and freshness of the meat
- Visually fresh meat for the customers
- Less write-off because of unsellable meat
Commercial markets and the many modern distribution depots run by supermarket chains benefit from effective humidification, as do chilled display cabinets and open counters, helping to ensure that produce quality is maintained right through the supply chain. Cold rooms are refrigerated which causes dehydration. VackerGlobal has engineered the best humidity systems in the market to maintain your product quality.
Most important, even beyond the excellent results, is the wonderful and responsible service and support system with our products.