Equipment supports growth in poultry meats sector

Chicken has long been a staple on the British menu. With demand for both poultry meat and eggs increasing significantly at retail level during lockdown[1], growth in this sector looks set to continue.

Machinery supplied for this market helps to highlight the versatility of poultry-based products, from nuggets and Kievs to coated and breaded options. Interfood offers a wide range of equipment from Alco, including the new PRO series of machines.

The Alco ASP flattener is designed to produce uniform product thickness to ensure not only shorter cooking times but also a more consistent product quality through calibrated portions and a larger surface area. Products pass through three pairs of rollers which can be adjusted to generate the desired thickness, achieving consistency in the subsequent cooking process.

For products which require continuous slicing from the side, Interfood offers the Alco ACB cordon-bleu slicer. In addition to cordon-bleu products for which it provides the all-important accuracy of a mid-cut which is not too deep, the ACB can generate Kiev cutlets, butterfly cuts and grill pockets. Variations in blade settings allow the product to be split into two halves, with minimal weight deviations between the upper and lower portions. Flexibility is ensured through the capacity to set different heights and depths of cut depending on individual requirements.

With chicken often coated, Alco also manufactures full coating lines which, combined with Interfood’s industry knowledge, experience and full support packages, can provide a highly effective option for a wide range of products. Bespoke lines can be created, comprising flouring, wet coating, breading and drum breading machines. The PRO series offers increased volume with scalable results. Each machine features stainless steel motors, a Siemens PLC touch control panel and a hygienic design based around large, smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces. Belt speeds up to 29 meters per min are achievable, with air-knife technology and a high-power option. Replacement parts such as sensors and hoses have been standardised to ensure ease of maintenance across the whole PRO series.

All the equipment interface panels (HMI’s) show pictorial references for setting adjustments so there is never a language barrier.

Steve Naylor is Manager of Interfood’s Cooking & Cooling/Pasteurisation Division. He comments – “The Alco range of machines is used to produce a wide range of different foods but poultry products are certainly a prime market. At Interfood we look at the specific requirements of a given application, with the option of stand-alone machines right through to complete bespoke production lines. We have supplied a number of convenience lines based around Alco’s technology, comprising forming, coating, frying, cooking and cooling. The flexibility of configuration is certainly a significant advantage with Alco’s extensive range.

We invite our customers to the Alco test facility in Bad Iburg, Germany where we can demonstrate the equipment with the customer’s specific products.”

[1] National Farmers Union (NFU)