Uniform injection using special needles
GEA (Düsseldorf, Germany) has developed a new brine injection system, the MultiJector 2 mm, for precise processing of ham and poultry on 700 mm wide production lines. Special two-millimetre thick OptiFlex needles create a dense injection pattern, enabling exceptional injection accuracy, product quality and consistency, according to the company.
The new system can be seamlessly integrated with the GEA SuperChill brine cooler and the GEA MultiShaker, which removes excess brine, closes puncture marks and activates proteins. This leads to low standard deviations during production.
The new 2 mm OptiFlex injector needles in the MultiJector are, according to the manufacturer, up to 68 percent stronger than conventional needles made from stainless steel, are mobile and regenerate their shape. This means that needles no longer bend or break during the production process. They ensure uniform quality and maximum productivity according to the manufacturer. Areas that are excessively or inadequately cured are thus avoided, which achieves a more uniform flavour and more even colour.
The needles are housed in cartridges that create a uniform puncture pattern and also enable several needles to be changed together in a block. This simplifies cleaning, shortens change-over times, improves flexibility and lowers maintenance costs.
“Time in Meat” is a parameter at GEA that describes the efficiency of the injection. The calculation is based on the combination of piston height and injection cycle time and can be optimised for every type of product. Thanks to the “Time in Meat” technology, the needles remain longer in the product during the injection, which leads to better uptake and more uniform distribution of brine.
The wipe plate of the MultiJector can be adjusted so that the pressure on the meat can be varied from gentle contact to a more robust pressure to support the distribution of the brine in the particular products.
The MultiJector has a conveyor belt cleaning system with a lifting device mounted on a trolley. This allows the belt to be removed, cleaned and returned by just one person with no need to remove downstream equipment. The machine also has a hygienic frame construction. All surfaces are easily accessible and pooling of liquid is avoided thanks to their horizontal inclination. Tubes, cylinders and pneumatic systems are diverted from the food zone. The underside of the drive zone is free of components and enables efficient maintenance.