Meat Packing Journal, Mar-Apr 2019, iss 2, vol 6

Page 1

Meat global


March~April 2019 Volume 6, issue 2 ISSN 2054-4685





p a c k i n g



J o u r n a l

final issue | meat packing journal becomes meat talk podcast

powerful odor Profits come through the nose

us midwest floods will hit industry and consumers

how breedr will help you get maximum cow worth

it's the big one. over 63,000 expect at this year's iffa

The Belgian meat suppliers are amongst the front runners when it comes to professional skill. They offer you customised service, cut to your specifications and with maximum yield. In addition, the fresh meat is delivered to you really fast – as you can expect from a reliable partner.

The Belgian meat suppliers. A reliable choice.



le ad e r

Our future is meat talk


n the changing world of business-to-business

any other part of our offering. So it is only fitting that we

media, the team at Meat Packing Journal is

pay it the same due and resource it properly to give the

taking the bold step of ushering in a new means

team the time to cover the industry with the same depth

of sharing content, encouraging discussion and

and integrity you have come to expect from MPJ.

educating our audience. We are leaving print and we are fully embacing the spoken word. For the past two years, we have been

building the Meat Talk podcast as a sister

So, this will be the last issue of MPJ we send to the printers. And it is with a heavy heart I write this. The team here have enjoyed a career in print media and it has been good to many of us. But we firmly believe the future is

offering to the bimonthly Meat Packing Journal. From

digital. And no other medium allows the same depth of

next month, Meat Talk will no longer be the little sibling,

story telling and person connection with our audience like

but will become our flagship product and our primary

a podcast.

engagement with the industry. Rhian Owen is joining the Meat Talk team, working

If you are not already a convert to podcasts (think of it as radio on demand), take out your phone and get

with Velo Mitrovich to bring your more stories from the

yourself a simple podcasting app (I personnally love

processing floor.

PodcastAddict) or if you are on an iPone go to your ready

We are also launching a weekly news round up, as a

installed podcast app. Then search for Meat Talk. In

10 minute podcast to keep you all up to speed with the

no time you will be enjoying the mellow rythm of Velo

latest changes in the industry.

Mitrovich as he blends childhood stories of San Dieago

Since launching the podcast in 2017 we have found our audience (slowly at first and then in great numbers) moving from MPJ to Meat Talk. When looking at the best way to serve our audience in the digital age we consider a lot of routes, from building

with cutting edge developments in meat and poultry processing. And invite our team to your site, let us take a tour of your processing line and share you pearls of wisdom. In the meantime, enjoy this final issue of MPJ. Velo

our web content, launching newsletters, running webinars

has taken some of the recent episodes of Meat Talk and

and more. But you, our readers, have voted with your feet

turned them into an article to wet your appetite.

and the Meat Talk podcast has seen more attention than

Jon Young, Publisher

March~April 2019


co ntac t s

Choose Choose the the Best! Best!


Choose the Best!

Food Food Technology Technology Thielemann Thielemann

Food Technology Thielemann twine

String tying machines and String String tying tying machines machines and andtwine twine

Velo Mitrovich Editor +44 (0)1442 780 591

Ryan Horwood Head of sales +44 (0)1442 780 593

Josh Henderson Sales executive +44 (0)1442 780 594

Jon Young Publisher

Reby Media 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP1 1PA, UK 66food foodgrade grade colors colors six food grade


Suitable Suitablefor forall alltying tying machines machines Suitable for all

tying machines The content of Meat Packing Journal is subject to copyright. However, if you would like to obtain copies of an article for marketing purposes high-quality reprints can be supplied to your specification. Please contact the advertising team for full details of this service. Meat Packing Journal is printed at Stephens & George, Merthyr Tydfil, UK.

Pop-up Pop-up Timer PoP-uPTimer timer Never Never ruin ruin the thefood foodfood or orthe theor occasion occasion again again Never ruin the the occasion


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without the express prior written consent of the publisher. Meat Packing Journal ISSN 2054-4677 is published bimonthly by Reby Media, 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1PA. Subscription records are maintained at Reby Media, 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1PA. Meat Packing Journal and its Editorial Board accept no responsibility for the accuracy of statements or opinion given within the Journal that is not the expressly designated opinion of the Journal or its Editorial Board. Those opinions expressed in areas other than editorial comment may not be taken as being the opinion of the Journal or its staff, and the aforementioned accept no responsibility or liability for actions that arise therefrom.

Food FoodTechnology TechnologyThielemann ThielemannGmbH GmbH&&Co. Co.KG KG FOOD TECHNOLOGY THIELEMANN GMBH & CO. KG +49 6229 6229933 933 78 7811 11 AM HEIDENBERG 11+49 - 69239 NECKARSTEINACH - GERMANY



March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

co nte nt s

contents 29

62 14



COVER: it's through the nose 14 - We all have one sense that triggers more emotions and memories than all others combined. Yet when designing our slice meat or poultry pack, why do we forget this important first impression?

record seizure of illegal pork 7 - US custom agents seize 1 million pounds of Chinese pork with fears of ASF

Biblical storm and floods 8 - Beef prices could rise in the USA after Nebraska ranchers take a $1 bn beating

striking gold 20 - We'll tell you where the next meat stike will surprisingly be and where not to pan

High pressure 29 - High pressure youth memories and HPP opportunities to grab

all good on the chicken front

chlorination street

9 - World production of everyone's favorite protein is on track for a great year

36 - What's behind the British obsession with the thought of US chlorine-treated chicken

egypt kicks up production 10 - There could be a new poultry producer in town as Egypt gets serious

iffa 2019 45 - The world's biggest meat/equipment show is back, celebrating 70 years

do you ever just grocery shop?

precision reared livestock

12 - Marketing columnist Elliot Begoun talks about the real key to success

60 -Poultry, salmon, and pig farmers all breed their livestock for the market. Why not beef?

MEAT TALK If you're new to podcasts, here is a taste of what Meat Talk is all about

turkish producer goes map 62 - Sultan Et's CEO explains why he went MAP and why Turkey is ready for gas expansion

March~April 2019


n e ws

USDA seizes 453 MT of illegal Chinese pork


S Custom agents in New Jersey have foiled a scheme to illegally import 453 metric tons (1-million

pounds) of dried pork products from China. This is the largest seizure ever conducted by the US Customs & Border Protection Agency. During a press conference, a custom official said agents and trained sniffer dogs found more than 50 hidden shipping containers of dried pork products and this raid was an effort to prevent the spread of African Swine fever (ASF) into North America. ASF is a highly contagious disease with no known treatment or vaccine, and is spreading rapidly this year in China, Vietnam, subSahara Africa, and parts of Europe such as Romania and Belgium. A USDA spokesperson says the agency does not plan to test the seized product for ASF. Although most media have jumped on the issue that the prevention of African Swine Flu into the USA was the main issue and have illustrated the story with pictures of fresh pig carcasses, Anthony Bucci, a spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection, says that the

So far, this year ASF has quickly spread to nearly 10

shipments primarily contained “cured/dried” pork

Chinese provinces. China has reported 115 outbreaks

products, like ramen powder. None of the seized product

and has culled around 1 million pigs – this is out of a total

was fresh and for the disease to have survived the

production of around 700 million pigs.

processing process and to make it into an American pig, it’s close to winning-the-lottery-odds. That said, due to highly contagious manner of the pig

A problem, however, with China is that the country has a tendency to lie about agricultural figures if there is any negative light surrounding them, creating a situation

disease, and the fact is has never been detected in US

where it is hard to get a handle as the severity of a

livestock, most believe it is better to error on the side of


caution. Indeed, some scientists say that tightening border food

Indeed, about 15-years ago it was discovered that China’s fisheries’ catch figures were the work of fiction.

inspections and other measures do not go far enough

Each year China was reporting more catch, leading the

and call on the US government to make “immediate

FAO to believe that fishing stocks were healthy. In reality,

and radical” changes, including banning imports of soy

much less fish was being caught and figures from this

products from infected countries, reports The Guardian.

period have as asterisk next to them, signifying your

The arrival of the deadly swine virus could cost $16.5

guess is as good as the next person's.

billion in losses in the first year alone, according to

With pigs, National Hog Farmer reported that China’s

research published in the Public Library of Science.

hog figures showed a 17 percent decrease this year when

“If we continue to do business as usual then [the US]

compared to last year. Is this, however, because of ASF or

will probably get ASF in a year. If we change some of

did farmers slaughter more pigs out of fear of the virus?

our practices, which we are trying to do, then there’s a

Could it even be because of the US/Chinese trade war

chance we can keep it out,” said Dr Scott Dee, biosecurity

and fewer US pigs entering the Chinese market leading to

specialist and chief scientist at one of the America’s

more local slaughter?

largest veterinary practices, Pipestone Applied Research. ASF can spread between animals through

Along with China, according to Reuters, in midFebruary cases of African swine fever were confirmed on

contaminated feed or in Europe, through contact with

three farms in Vietnam. The virus has since spread to a

wild boars, which has led to massive border fences built

total of 19 provinces with 239 confirmed outbreaks, and

in places such as Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. It can

the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

also spread from farm to farm via clothing, shoes, and

(UNFAO) has advised the country to declare a national



March~April 2019


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farm losses estimated at $1 bn after midwest floods


Left and right, before and after NASA shots. Middle: an airport now better suited for boats

US Midwest states this March, bringing about damaging

record snow or rainfall amounts, it came at an extremely

winds, snow, hail, tornados, rain, and then floods.

bad time. In autumn, the region was inundated with

once-in-a-lifetime weather phenomenon dubbed the “Bomb-cyclone” set all-time low pressure readings

– the same as an Atlantic hurricane – over portions of the

Livestock farmers, especially in Nebraska, have been

heavy rainfall, especially in Nebraska, which saturated

hit hard, losing newborn calves to the extreme weather.

the ground. Then, the central US region was hit by

Railroad lines and roads that would bring in feed have

major snowfalls this last winter and near-record low

been washed away, leaving National Guard helicopters as

temperatures, which froze the ground, leaving it like

the only way to bring hay and animal feed to marooned


farms. While Nebraska is famed for its corn production –

When the cyclone and following storms hit, the rainfall

the crucial ingredient in US cattle feed – the State has 6.4

and melted snow runoff could not be absorbed into the

million head of cattle, making it the second-largest cattle

soil. Most rivers that run through the area reflect the flat

producer in the USA.

landscape, with a tendency to be shallow and wide,

Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department

which can lead to flooding in the best of years.

of Agriculture, said the disaster could cost the state’s

During this winter, many of these rivers experienced

livestock sector $400 million, with others putting it at

freezing – a fairly normal occurrence. However, when the

$500 million. Farm groups said it could take years to

cyclone and following storms hit, the additional water and

recover. Scientists are beginning to fear for the amount

rise in temperature suddenly broke up the river ice, which

of topsoil lost in Nebraska and Iowa. Jane Fleming Kleeb,

then flowed downstream and created ice dams which led

Chair of the state’s Democratic party, tweeted that the

to even more flooding.

historic losses faced by Nebraska families “will impact food on your table.” Working in the loss of corn, other grains, and livestock

The strongest, most intense flood waters have come from the failure of the 90-year-old Spencer Dam. After the “bomb cyclone” poured rain across the state, the failure

losses which began with autumn’s bad weather hit,

of the dam ignited a flash flood that emptied into the

Nebraska farmers have suffered over $1 billion in losses,

Missouri River, and linked up with snowmelt from South

with additional economic losses expected. There are

Dakota and Iowa.

79,000 miles of waterways in the state—and more rain is forecasted to be on the way during March and April. Along with livestock loses, around 2,100 homes

According to reports, huge pieces of ice – some the size of small cars – rode the flood waters and plowed through farmhouses and barns, leaving farmers with the

have been destroyed, 16 state highway bridges are

option of either fleeing and leaving livestock behind, or

unpassable, and 200 miles of state roads damaged.

staying and dying.

Although the Bomb-cyclone itself did not bring


March~April 2019

The New York Times says that the record floods are

Meat Packing Journal

n e ws

now inflicting a devastating toll on farmers and ranchers

As MPJ goes to print, parts of Nebraska, Iowa,

at a moment when they can least afford it, raising fears

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota still face “historic

that this natural disaster will become a breaking point

to catastrophic flooding,” according to the National

for farms weighed down by falling incomes, rising

Weather Service, with North Dakota being hit with late

bankruptcies and the fallout from President Trump’s trade

snowstorms which will delay the planting of grains.

war policies. “When you’re losing money to start with, how do you

Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential

take on extra losses?” asked Clint Pischel, 23, of Niobrara,

for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according

Neb., whose lowland fields were flooded by the ice-

to NOAA’s US Spring Outlook issued today. The majority

filled Niobrara River after a dam failed. He spent a day

of the country is favored to experience above-average

gathering 30 dead baby calves from his family’s ranch,

precipitation this spring, increasing the flood risk.

finding their bodies under huge chunks of ice. “There’s no harder business to be in,” Pischel told The New York Times. Cattle farmers said that many of their cows were giving

“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” says Ed Clark, director of

birth, just as the blizzards and floodwaters hit. Some

NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

farmers are cutting their loses and selling, which is driving

“This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented

down the price of a 1,ooo pound cow from pre-storm

flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for

prices of around $1,000 to $600.

flooding in their communities.”

Although less immediate, another problem with the

The flood risk outlook is based on a number of factors,

flooding is the water took out gas stations, farm shops

including current conditions of snowpack, drought, soil

filled with pesticides and fertilizers, fuel barrels, and

moisture, frost depth, streamflow and precipitation. Local

sludge from sewage holding ponds. This toxic brew will

heavy rainfall, especially associated with thunderstorms,

keep flowing to the Mississippi River and then down into

can occur throughout the spring and lead to flooding

the Gulf of Mexico.

even in areas where overall risk is considered low.

Chicken looking strong for 2019

gradually improve further throughout 2019, with rising


global poultry demand – especially from China – as the

rade conditions are gradually improving for global

main positive driver. China is expected to face a protein

poultry thanks to rising global demand – especially

shortage this year, with poultry as the major substitute.

from China – which is expected to face a protein shortage

This is due to African swine fever (ASF), which could lead

this year, according to Rabobank

to a 10 percent to 20 percent reduction in Chinese pork

In recent quarters, the global poultry market has gone through one of the most volatile periods in many years, due to a combination of factors, including trade and

production. This would be bullish for both local poultry production and for global trade. But volatility will remain in 2019, driven by changing

disease restrictions, along with the impact of the US-

global trade access. A potential US-Chinese trade

Chinese trade war. Production was at an exceptionally

agreement that re-opens US chicken exports might shake

high level in many markets, including the US, the EU,

up trade. Trade will also be impacted by the ongoing

and Thailand. Meanwhile, demand dropped because of

EU-Brazil and Saudi-Brazil trade restrictions, which are

a general market slowdown and constraints on access

impacting breast meat and whole bird prices. Other

to international markets following trade restrictions. This

issues – such as rumors about safeguards being imposed

resulted in a period of falling poultry prices between Q2

by Mexico on US chicken, or by South Africa on Brazilian

and Q4 2018.

chicken – are also wild cards for the outlook.

“However," according to Nan-Dirk Mulder, senior animal

Ukraine and Russia are strengthening their positions in

protein analyst, "the outlook is changing, Rabobank is

a changing global trade landscape, with the new opening

gradually becoming more optimistic that the market has

of China for Russian poultry exports a major new factor.

reached a turning point, with global price levels starting to

As mentioned in MPJ and Meat Talk country reports,

trend up – especially since global trade conditions have

Poland is in a prime position to take advantage of

started to improve and have reached a record-high level

increased demand from China. With at least five new

in Q4 2019. Together with more supply discipline, this has

plants being planned in Poland and already operating at

led to improved market conditions."

surplus production, its low-cost/high-quality poultry will

The global poultry industry will see trade conditions

appeal to Chinese consumers.

March~April 2019


n e ws

First GMO animal heading your way


quaBounty’s GMO salmon, dubbed Frankenfish by

this way. By 2016, the number of respondents who find

the media, could be heading to a US supermarket

GMOs dangerous shot up to 79 percent – and remember

shelf as early as next year, thanks to the FDA giving it the

these respondents are in the USA which uses more GMO

okay. To date, it's the only genetically modified animal the

crops than any other country.

FDA has approved for human consumption, but could pave the way for more.

Anastasia Bodnar, policy director of Biology Fortified, believes though the results of the survey many not be

The salmon has already been for sale in Canada.

accurate. For example, in a 2013 study from Rutgers

AquaBounty's genetically modified fish — Atlantic

University, researchers asked: “What information would

salmon with a growth hormone gene from the Pacific

you like to see on food labels that is not already there?”

Chinook variety and a gene from the ocean pout species

Only seven percent raised the issue of GMO labeling.

which encourages it to eat year around instead of shutting

However, when people are specifically asked about

down over winter — will grow to adult size in one to 1.5

GMOs, the number of people who want them labeled

years as opposed to three.

increases sharply.

The company is growing the fish in a land-based

An overwhelming number of people also want

freshwater tank system near Albany, Indiana. The

mandatory labels on food containing DNA, when asked

company is also growing genetically modified salmon at

specifically about DNA in food. A course, with all living

its facility on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and is setting

things on Earth containing DNA, this question showed

up operations in Brazil, Argentina, Israel and China. The

that prompting people about specific food characteristics

company’s isolated land-based farm in Panama has been

clearly leads to results that are skewed higher than if

the subject of investigative reporters.

questions are asked without a prompt, according to

"USDA's new guidelines don't require adequate mandatory labeling, don't require calling the fish

Bodnar. No harmful effects have ever been proven to have

'genetically engineered,' and don't help consumers know

come from GM products and on balance the global

what kind of fish they are buying," George Kimbrell, legal

benefits of GM crops outweigh the risks, according to a

director at the Center for Food Safety, said in a release

peer-reviewed 2014 analysis into the impact of GM crops,

from CFS, Friends of the Earth, Quinault Indian Nation and

published in the science journal PLOS One.

Feed Seven Generations. This group also said retailers won't sell the salmon

According to the Genetic Literacy Project, there have been numerous long-term studies on GMO seeds and

because it is risky. The CFS release linked to a 2017 list

products. Many of these studies cover periods of two or

of retailers with policies not to sell genetically modified

more years, with some covering multiple generations

seafood. These include Albertsons, Aldi, Giant Eagle, Hy-

of animals. Indeed, animals feed GMO feed have been

Vee, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Meijer, Safeway, Target, Trader

monitored for more than 20 years.

Joe's, Walmart, and Whole Foods. For much of the general public, GM crops and animals

Globally, food-producing animals consume 70-90 percent of genetically engineered crop biomass, mostly

are a direct threat to the health of themselves and their

corn and soybean. In the USA alone, animal agriculture

families and the number of those believe this is growing.

produces over 9 billion food-producing animals annually,

In 2000, according to survey data from the National

and more than 95 percent of these animals consume

Science Foundation, around 20% of the US population felt

feed containing GM ingredients.

Egypt to expand poultry industry

In January, Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation signed four new poultry investment contracts which will build five new projects, worth around


orn production will be increasing for at least the next

$85 million. These projects will produce on a yearly basis

two years in Egypt as part of the country’s poultry

62 million broilers and 300 million eggs, generating

expansion plants. According to the USDA Gains Reports, this increase in

around 2,000 new jobs. The Ministry says that it has received another 18

corn/feed production will lower the price of feed prices in

poultry project requests, worth around $1 billion in new

Egypt from $414.50 per metric ton to $391 MT, which will

investments. If all are built, they will produce around 300

help chicken production.

million broilers and 1.1 billion eggs.


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

y b e R

Meat Talk

The leading podcast for the meat and poultry industry

What do US chicken processors, British vegans, Greek butchers, Canadian cricket farmers, Russian agriculture investors, and global steak lovers have in common? They all listen to Meat Talk.

Meat Talk was created as the first podcast for the international meat and poultry industry. Its initial audience reach, however, has expanded much further as listeners discover the journey narrator Velo Mitrovich takes them on. In listening to Meat Talk, you’ll learn if a chick

can really be happy, why Amazon’s buyout of Whole Foods is great news for craft jerky makers, should you be eating bugs, bringing home the bacon, and why truck drivers are in short supply throughout the world – and hear a solution for the truck-dependent meat industry. “If you thought meat couldn’t be entertaining, think again,” says Velo. “I invite you to spend some time with me.” Meat Talk is available on Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, or wherever great podcast live.

Listen at:


Do you ever just grocery shop? O

ne of the oddities of doing what I do for a living is

quick glance at the yellow tag and determine the best

that I no longer just grocery shop. Instead, I feel

value. You’ve got this down to a science, it’s habitual and

compelled to treat every trip to the store as market research. I wander the aisles looking at the products,

you’ve become highly efficient. Occasionally, you trip over a display in the middle of an

merchandising, pricing, brands, and packaging. I am highly

aisle or notice something on an endcap, but for the most

aware when something new appears on the shelf and

part, it is a head down exercise. 20-minutes later you are in

equally so when something disappears. I look at endcaps

line at the check out counter. Only then do you notice that

and find it fascinating to see what is on sale and at what

Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and toss one in

price point. I look at close competitors and see how they

your cart on impulse.

are battling for a share of stomach.

Why this illustration you ask? Because what I just

I am guessing if you are reading this, that you do the

described is the typical shopper you are trying to court. It is

same. Maybe you focus on one category, but it’s research

this person that somehow you need to interrupt from their

nonetheless and like me, you are failing to see the

habitual trip getting them to discover your product, buy it,

shopping experience through the lens of the consumer.

try it, and buy it again. Sounds crazy right? What are the

I want to take you on a “normal” trip to the grocery store. Close your eyes for a moment. Wait, scrub that because if you do you can’t continue reading. Instead, visualize what I am about to describe. It’s Sunday afternoon with your shopping list in tow, you

odds? Yet, this is exactly what you need to do in order to launch your product successfully in retail grocery. You may be feeling pretty good about the number of doors you’re in or shelves you’re on. But, I ask you what are you going to do to create shopper interruption, to get

enter the sliding doors of your neighborhood store. You are

discovered and drive trial? Unless you can answer with

kind of a germaphobe, so you use one of the wipes on the

confidence, I’d suggest you be very cautious how quickly

cart before you start zig-zagging your way through it. One

you grow your distribution. You must recognize that retail

more glance at your list and you’re off.

grocery is not built for discovery. Rather, it’s built around

Based on the number of items and busyness of the

the fact that as humans we’re both ritualistic and habitual

parking lot, you figure you can get all your shopping done

creatures and if you don’t have a plan to overcome that,

in 20-minutes. You go to the right and enter the produce

your risk failure.

section where hundreds of fresh fruits and veggies await.

Elliot Begoun is the Principal of The Intertwine Group, a

Working your way towards the back, you hit the service deli

practice focused on helping emerging food and beverage

to pick up some sliced turkey and cheese then continue to

brands grow. He works with clients to design and execute

work your way up and down the aisles.

customized route-to-market and go-to-market strategies

You rarely pause for long, you know the place on the

that build velocity, gain distribution, and win share of

shelf where each item will be found. Unless there is a

stomach. His articles appear in publications such as

specific brand that is called for on your list, you make a

the Huffington Post, Meat Packing Journal, and FoodDive.


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal



The way to the cash register is through the nose If you want your product to stand out on a crowded shelf, you need to have it engage the customer in as many physical senses as you can. While no producer of smoked turkey slices would think of putting an unappetizing looking product behind a clear plastic film, little thought is given to the aroma of the pack when it’s opened. If first impressions are the most important, are we missing out in something here? Velo Mitrovich reports.


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal


by velo mitrovich


and Gold Blend products “Do we spray coffee aroma on the powder to make it


smell and taste like fresh coffee? Yes. Does every instant

ou open-up a jar of instant coffee, break

coffee manufacturer do this? If they have a half decent

the lid seal with a spoon and you’re

product – yes,” he says, adding that the coffee aroma

greeted with the smell of fresh coffee. Why,

comes from part of the processing process and is 100

because the big companies like Nestles,

percent natural.

Kraft, and others realize that the first few

Smell is the only sense that affects the memory

seconds that you spend with their product can be the

and emotion part of the brain. If we feel good when we

most important ones.

buy a product, then we are likely to continue buying it,

However, you open-up a pack of sliced turkey ham

be it coffee or ham. Memories recalled by odors were

and nine times out of 10, it’s far from being a pleasant

significantly more emotional and evocative than those

odor – even if its sell by day is still weeks away. Do you

recalled by same cue presented visually or auditorily,

keep it or throw it away?

according to Rachel Herz, of the Department of

Your customer opens a MAP pack of value-added cooked chicken, gives it a sniff and thinks: “I’m never

Psychology at Brown University. We have all experienced this, the

buying this again.” Not because of an off-putting smell

memory-triggers that certain

but because there is zero aroma. She thinks she might

smells bring. Sight,

as well be serving her family breaded-cardboard. There is nothing hitting the nose that matches the fine appearance of your product We all talk about the importance of flavor, appearance, and texture of meat products but not aroma, especially when it comes to processed meat/poultry products. Are we missing out on something that other industries are clued in on, and if so, can it lead to increase sales? A former Nestle coffee production engineer, who wants to remain anonymous, says that he worked at a factory which produced around 12,000 metric tons annually of Nescafe Original

March~April 2019




touch, hearing – even taste – do not affect the brain the

materials used. A rock can be described as rough,

same way. Indeed, it is believed that smell is the last

smooth, jagged, etc. Go to a sound studio and you can

sense to go when a person is dying.

see a human voice broken down to frequencies. But a

If you’re a 55+ year-old American and you smell a bag

smell? What smells like parmesan cheese to one person

that’s held popcorn, it often brings back the memory

smells like vomit to another. You can trademark a color;

of going trick-or-treating with school age friends in the

you can’t trademark a flavor or smell because each

days when neighbors would give out apples, homemade

person may taste or smell a different thing.

cookies and popcorn balls, instead of triple-sealed packs

There are two ways in which we detect smells, the first

of candy. You’d go home with your pillowcase full of

is through the air we breathe as it goes through the front

treats, put you head in, and smell the aroma. Other scents

of the nose (orthonasal olfaction), and the second through

that draw a strong response include camp fires and

the back of our nose from our mouth, when chewing food

freshly-mowed grass.

(retronasal olfaction).

For my wife, a roast chicken can invoke memories of

When smelling a grilled steak, odor molecules from

Friday night Sabbath dinners with grandparents, long

it are drawn to the top of the nose, or olfactory cleft, as

gone. While some people wrinkle their nose at the smell

we breathe in. They then dissolve in a layer of mucus

of fish, the smell reminds me of my father coming home

membrane known as the olfactory epithelium. This

from work at the fish market.

‘drawing in’ of air is aided by the turbinates; bony cushions

We all have these trigger smells which can bring back

inside the nose which not only help direct the airflow but

pleasurable – or even horrible – memories of our lives,

also warm, humidify and filter the air as it passes over

such as some soldiers who fought in the Middle East

them. Sniffing improves this process by increasing the

getting sudden post-traumatic stress disorder flashbacks

flow of air.

from the smell of burning fuel.

Once the odor molecules have dissolved in the mucus,

Why is this? Let’s first lets exam the nose.

they spread through it (or are carried by special proteins)

Despite what you’ve been told all your life, the human

and attach to hair-like structures called cilia that are

nose is right up there with most in the animal kingdom.

attached to receptor cells. The odor molecules then bind

While it’s been long believed that the human olfactory

with the receptor cells themselves which then generate a

system can detect only around 10,000 smells, according

signal, or impulse.

to the latest research published in Science, 1 trillion smells is more accurate. "[Our study] replaces that previous number of 10,000

These signals are passed along tiny nerve fibers called axons, which pass through tiny perforations in the cribriform plate, a layer of bone in the base of the skull.

with a much more realistic and [much] higher number

Bundles of many thousands of these axons together

and shows the human sense of smell does have a good

make up the olfactory nerve, much like the individual

capacity to discriminate," says lead researcher Dr Andreas

copper strands in an electrical cable. They converge on

Keller of Rockefeller University.

the edges of the olfactory bulb, a structure on the frontal

However, unlike the auditory system which can be measured in frequency, the olfactory system is harder to detect and assess. The fact that most odors are

lobe of the brain (there is one on each side of the brain, one for each nostril). The olfactory bulb is responsible for processing the

composed of many different chemicals causes even

signals it receives from the receptors, and passing this

more difficulties.

information on to other parts of the brain, including the

Olfactory experiences are very difficult to describe, even to people who have no olfactory problems. Smell is a very rarefied, esoteric experience. Thanks to our ancient ancestors standing up and moving our nose away

thalamus, limbic system and the orbitofrontal neocortex. How the limbic system then processes the information it receives, is what leads to memory-triggers. According to scientists, the limbic system comprises

from the ground, the dominance of vision in humans has

a set of structures within the brain that play a major role

greatly relegated our sense of smell. Even if smell ever

in controlling mood, memory, behavior and emotion. It is

had a vocabulary, this is now long lost, according to the

often regarded as being the old, or primitive, part of the

charity The Fifth Sense which aids those with smell and

brain, because these same structures were present within

taste disorders.

the brains of the very first mammals.

It says that the best we can do to describe a smell is to

All this information is fed directly into two brain areas

say that it is “like” or probably “a bit like” another smell. It is

that are believed to be strongly involved with emotion

at least as difficult to imagine trying to describe the color

and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus. The rest

red to someone who has been blind since birth.

of the body’s senses – sight, sound, and touch – do not

You look out the window at a neighbor’s house and

pass through these brain areas. According to researchers,

you can describe its shape, color, and even the building

this could be why smell – more than any other sense – is


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal


so successful at triggering emotions and memories. You just don’t smell that steak that is on the grill in front of you right now, you smell the memory of countless other steaks. In addition to being the sense most closely linked to memory, smell is also highly emotive. The world’s massive perfume industry is built around this connection,


hotels, apartment buildings, hospitals, and gyms have gotten into the "scent marketing" game. To see how far this has gone in industries ranging from shopping malls to casinos to funeral parlors, a visit to ScentAir’s website is in order, in which it breaks down suggested scents for these and many more industries. The company says that it is the world’s largest and

with perfumers developing fragrances that seek to

most experienced scent provider, operating in 105

convey a vast array of emotions and feelings; from desire

countries. "When your customers smell something, the

to power, vitality, to relaxation.

information goes directly to the 'I'm so glad I'm here' side

On a more personal level, smell is extremely important

[of the brain], where emotions take place," the website

when it comes to attraction between two people.

states. According to ScentAir, manufactured scents can

Research has shown that our body odor, produced by the

subliminally transmit such specific feelings as relaxation,

genes which make up our immune system, can help us

exhilaration, sensuality, happiness, and personal

subconsciously choose our partners. Kissing is thought by


some scientists to have developed from sniffing; that first

One of its biggest growths has been in apartments

kiss being essentially a primal behavior during which we

and condominiums in New York City and elsewhere. The

smell and taste our partner to decide if they are a match.

North Carolina-based company now provides fragrances

Taken to the extreme are the shopping malls in the

for 67 residential buildings in the New York area. While

States that overwhelm shoppers with scents to try to

some properties, like 21 West End, choose fragrances

entice them to do more shopping. An article in The Wall

from an existing catalog, others want something original.

Street Journal noted that the fragrances that businesses

Find the perfect scent and a resident — or, more

diffuse through heating and air-conditioning vents have

important, a prospective one — could walk through the

become key elements of those businesses' brands. Even

door, inhale and feel at home. How many of us bake

March~April 2019




bread or cookies when our house is on the market?

along with using specific essential oils could lead to an even longer shelf life.

Bringing home the aroma

Triggering emotions and memories by using smell in this way helps to support a growing sensory marketing


and branding trend within the food industry, says Neil

o, how can you turn this information into

Hansford, industrial cryogenic and food expert at Air

something that goes into the bank?

Products in the UK.

Let’s start off with how not to do it.

What if you could somehow digitally transmit the smell

of your ham, sausages, or jerky to your web customers? This was an idea that James Griffin of E-Candy had

“The packaged food market is growing, along with MAP. Using natural solutions to tailor and enhance the customer experience in this space offers manufacturers real opportunities; you could say it’s a win-win for all

in mind back in 2000 when he started working with

concerned,” he tells MPJ. “The amount of enquires we’re

Digiscents, a San Francisco Bay-area company that was

getting from meat, savory, and bakery producers is huge.”

trying to develop a digital language for recording and

Hansford stresses to MPJ that the purpose of Freshline

recreating smells, using a devise which would hook up

Aroma is not to mask a smell or to hide anything in a

next to your PC (a strange device also known as a home


computer which everyone had back in the days before Smart Phones). The device, called an I-Smell, would collect a certain

“This solution can be implemented in three-easy steps and we will help you all the way,” says Hansford. “The first is aroma/active volatile compound development. You

amount of smells and would then react to impulses from

can either use your own in-house aroma or create a new

digital files loaded on web pages or emails, releasing the

one. Before installation, our Air Products experts can help

most suitable fragrance to what you were viewing on your

you develop your own specific aroma/active compound

PC, ranging from food to the great outdoors..

thanks to a close collaboration with Carinsa’s Department

While the idea might seem a bit bonkers, the company

of Food Aromas development. Carinsa will then design

raised around $20 million in funding. A prototype was

and provide the appropriate aroma/active compound for

launched at the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show in Las

your product.

Vegas, but failed to get the public’s interest. Along with the problem of getting it to work, other

“Second, Air Products experts will then build and calibrate your Freshline Aroma to the exact dosing rate

issues with it was that it didn’t meet any demands from

needed depending on the compound used and desired

the public, nor was it solving any needs, especially at a


cost of somewhere between $200 to $500. Outside of burning through funding, there were little

“And last, Air Products will help you fit the Freshline Aroma to your modified atmosphere packaging line. We

to show for the device and it was never released on the

will also show you how to set the Freshline Aroma to


the specific gas flow and inlet pressure needed by your

One new solution which has got MPJ impressed is Air Products’ Freshline Aroma MAP system. This system

packaging line.” Air Products sent MPJ two identical test muffins one,

vaporizes natural aromas, such as essential oils, into the

however, had its MAP package treated with Freshline

packaging at the same time as the Modified Atmosphere

Aroma. When you opened the untreated package,

Packaging (MAP) gas, with no additional production steps.

you could only barely smell the muffin. With the other

As MPJ sees it, this is offering you the opportunity to

package, it smelled like it had just come from the bakery.

have a package of ham that smells like ham when the

MPJ noticed that if you had smelled the aroma, it seemed

customer opens the pack. Could you imagine what it

like that muffin tasted better and was fresher. However,

could do for sales if your roast sliced turkey MAP packs

when giving a person samples of both muffins who hadn’t

smelled like the turkey just came out of an oven for

smelled the Freshline Aroma, she thought they tasted the

Christmas dinner?


Offering a new, natural way to improve the flavor and

Phantom aromas

aroma of packaged foods, the system helps enhance the customer’s sensory experience and could possibly influence future purchase behavior. This isn’t just Air Products opinion, but that of numerous researchers over the last decade, some who are mentioned above. Air Products says that the technology also offers the potential to tackle food waste and reduce costs associated with unnecessary product returns. In addition,


March~April 2019


nother development which is on MPJ’s radar is the work that flavor company FONA International is doing to create aromas for things which aren’t in

the product. According to science writer Jenny Chen in writing for

Meat Packing Journal



The Atlantic, the idea came about from the lackluster

its own. “When you are tasting food, you are perceiving

sales of low-salt or low-sugar foods. While almost all

several sensory dimensions – smell, taste, texture – and

governmental health agencies are promoting the idea of

the brain is making a synesthetic perception,” says Thierry

reducing salt and sugar in their citizen’s diets, there is low

Thomas-Danguin, one of the study authors and a flavor

demand from consumers for these products. The reason

scientist at the French National Institute for Agricultural

being: a lack of taste and flavor.

Research. “When you are exposed to one dimension, your

To counter this, while giving consumers lower salt and sugar, Robert Sobel of FONA International, has been researching ways to use smells to trick consumer brains

brain is reconstructing all the flavors and all the sensory dimensions, even if they aren’t there.” According to Sobel, the way to create this is to get

into thinking food contains high levels of sugar and salt,

the aroma to barely detectable levels so that we don’t

even when it doesn’t.

actually know that we’re smelling it, but we can perceive

Sobel first came across this idea, called “phantom

it when we’re eating the food. While we don’t particularly

aroma,” in a 2009 article called “Taste, Aroma, and the

want a ham-smelling bread, for example, it may be

Brain” in the magazine Perfumer and Flavorist. The term,

possible to add just enough ham flavor to bread that we

inspired by the neurophysiological phenomenon of

still associate it with a salty flavor without realizing the salt

phantom limbs, is the process by which the brain fills in

isn’t actually there.

the perception of a certain taste perceptions even when the ingredient may not exist. In one study, a team of French researchers found that

As processors, we spend a fortune on appearance and placement, but too often, once the customer buys our sliced turkey or ham, we feel our job is done. MPJ believes

when participants ate something treated with a salt-

if you want continuous sells, your job is just beginning.

associated aroma – like the smell of ham – they perceived

Along with taste, think about that first smell the customer

that the food had more salt in it. The researchers

will get when they open-up your package. Will it invite

theorized that when the brain has a learned perception

them to choose you over and over again, or try your

of a certain type of food, it fills in for the missing taste on

competitor’s instead?

March~April 2019


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K londike

Striking gold While many are jumping on the Turkey/ Thailand bandwagon as the next big thing, Meat Talk says you need to look elsewhere.

While in my family just saying the word ‘Klondike’ brings about a sudden distant look off to the far horizon, today it’s a term used in the finance sector and in the commercial fishing industry to pretty much describe the exact same thing – the next big fishing grounds. In the meat/poultry industry, I might be the only

by velo mitrovich

person who uses it to describe the next center of riches, but it’s a great word to describe sudden big global moves


into products such as bacon, nitrate-free processed meat,

Idaho, but after hearing so many get-rich stories from

for production, with makers of processing equipment

gold miners, he decided to try his hand at panning. Taking

rushing in to help develop the new industry.

y grandfather, whom I was named

or even ideas like ‘clean label’ and ‘plastic reduced’ that

after, jumped ship in New York Harbor

suddenly everybody jumps on.

around 1895 and headed west. He had

Sometimes a powerful ad campaign can start a gold

been a sailor on a three-mast sailing

rush, such as when the American Pork Board came out

ship and figured life in America had to

with: Pork, the other white meat or Hebrew National’s: ‘We

be better than furling sails in a storm. For a while he owned a saloon outside Coir de Lange,

his new bride, Stefania, with him, the two headed north

answer to a higher authority’ for kosher, all-beef hot dogs. Countries, too, can suddenly become the next Klondike

Poultry is the main catalyst behind any country’s

into Canada’s cold Yukon territory to join in the mad

protein-driven Klondike and already on Meat Talk we’ve

stampede of the Klondike Gold Rush.

discussed the rise of Poland’s poultry industry. I just saw

During a three-year period from 1896 to 1899 over

an article in Poultry World discussing how Kazakhstan’s

100,000 prospectors made the journey, you’ve probably

poultry industry wants to become Central Asia’s largest

seen the famous photo of a long line of hundreds of

exporter. A possible Klondike, only time will tell.

miners trudging over the snowy Chillkoot pass to get

However, there are two countries I want to discuss

to the gold fields. Each of them was required to bring

today that everyone seems to think will be the next

a year's supply of food by the Canadian authorities to

Klondike – but I don’t. But I will tell you one that is way off

prevent starvation. In all, their equipment weighed close

the radar but won’t be for long.

to a ton, which for most had to be carried in stages by themselves.

Ottoman spirit will hurt industry

By the time my grandfather got there, the gold was gone – the story of his life – and the prospectors were already moving on to the next Klondike, this time to Nome, Alaska. However, after a year living in a hut in the freezing Yukon, my grandparents had enough of the cold; there


he Republic of Turkey is a country of contradictions and even as I say this, I feel the contradictions in myself regarding this country.

After landing at Istanbul’s main airport in Europe, take

was no way they were going on to Alaska. Deciding

the E80 ring highway, cross the Bosphorus Strait on the

California was the place they should be, they moved

Faith Sultan Mehmet Bridge – which puts you into Asia –

to San Francisco in time for the earthquake and fire to

and then drive south on the E881 from Bursa to port city

destroy whatever new beginning they had created for

of Izmir on a very modern highway.

themselves. From there they moved down the coast to San Diego

You will see Starbucks – more than 300 in Turkey – Burger Kings, KFCs, and enough shopping malls to make

where grandmother said enough is enough, no more

you wonder if you’re in southern California, with the only

chasing gold, and there they stayed until the end of their

exception being Turka Cola billboards instead of Coca


Cola, and a lack of traffic on the roads unless it’s summer.


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

P oultry

Instead of hugging the coast, however, drive into the

K londike

M e at


I was once travelling with a Turkish trout farmer who

central part of Turkey. What seemed like a very European

wanted to show me his farm in interior Turkey. Driving

and progressive country suddenly becomes what it really

back towards the coast, he told me we had to stop at

is, a very Middle Eastern country. While to the far west it

this mountain spring for the best water in the world.

might share a border with Greece, to the east it borders

Somewhere in the mountains – to this day I have no idea

Iran and Iraq and to the south, Syria.

where we were – he pulled off the road.

Over the years, I’ve seen in Turkey some very

I went over to the spring which came out of a pipe for

modern, progressive processing plants and feed mills

a taste, but my friend told me not yet. First, he went over

for numerous types of protein production. I’ve also seen

to a nearby roofless shack with three walls, where an old

some that had old, tattered electrical cables running

couple were seated next to a huge inverted circular pan

through pools of water on the plant floor, viewed

– it looked like an industrial size wok upside down. They

“automation” as some untranslatable word, and used

spread some batter on the pan and made Turkish crepes

dried olive pits as a source of heating fuel for water,

– Gözleme – for us with a crumbly white cheese. Handing

sending clouds of black soot everywhere.

me a crepe, my friend told me now was the time to taste

Turkey is one of those countries that I’d like to give a two-thumbs up investment rating for – but not in Turkey

the spring water which was exactly how he describe it would be.

since thumbs-up is considered a very vulgar gesture.

With the blue, blue sky, the red and yellow leaves of

Once you’re out of the tourist area of Istanbul, with its

the autumn trees, the smell of the wood smoke, the salty

overly aggressive carpet salesmen and tourist touts, you’ll

taste of the crepes, and the sweet, sweet water, if I had

find very decent people who will go out of their way to

died right then and there in Turkey, I would have died a

help you.

happy man.

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But. As always there is a but.

19 high rise buildings to now just under 100. New rail,

There is a reason why you find so many Turks living in

highway, and bridge projects were launched.

Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. It would be easy to point a finger at the current

But now the chickens have come home to roost. As always, loans aren’t meant as gifts, but contracts that

government of President Recep Erdogan and his policies

need to be honored. The once vibrant economy has now

that many see as a step back to the oppressive Ottomans

taken a sharp nose dive. According to Erdogan, however,

in the 19th century. [Don’t write about this in Turkey for the

this has not been due to his failed economic plan, but

country has more journalists in jail than anywhere else in

instead to foreign power “jealousy”. He told supporters

the world by a long shot.]

recently: “Once again, we are facing a surreptitious

The Turkish diaspora, however, started long before Erdogan came to power and unfortunately it will probably

political plot.” According to global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright,

continue long after he and his one-man rule are just a

lenders with foreign hard currency loans like US dollar


and euro to Turkish borrowers need to pay close attention

According to Statistica, based on economic standards,

to the economic and political situation in Turkey. The

Turkey is recognized as an emerging market and is one

firm says: “The slide of the Turkish lira, the fact that

of the world’s newly industrialized countries, having

most foreign currency debt is not hedged and a wall of

earned a place in the Group of Twenty, which is a group

repayments coming up are factors for real concern.”

consisting of the twenty most important economies in the

In the recent past, one of Turkey’s way of dealing with a lira slide was to knock the zeros off its currency and issue

world. Granted, if this was being written in 2017, President

new notes. On the wall of my office is a 1 million lira note

Erdogan would be seen as a miracle worker. From 2008-

from 2005 that at its time of issue was worth less than one

2017, Turkey’s GDP rate led all others in the OECD block of

US dollar.

nations by a country mile. This includes the USA, Japan, Korea, the EU, and others. There was a reason, however, for the recent economic

Depending on whose statistics you believe – the government or foreign – somewhere between a third and half of Turkey’s 81 million population is currently

growth and unfortunately, much of its foundation was

considered impoverished, living on less than $120 a

built on sand. Erdogan’s faulty economic policies, which


started in 2009 and helped to kick-start the economy, have begun to crash down. Blame has to be placed on the President who signed

According to research group Universum, in a poll conducted among young Turks, the biggest dream most have is to leave the country.

a decree in 2009 easing access to foreign-exchange

Most popular poultry

loans for Turkish companies. According to The Wall Street Journal, the new rules lifted restrictions that had previously barred companies without revenue in hard currencies from doing such borrowing – as long as the loan exceeded $5 million. “This was tantamount to saying: If you drink, drink a lot,” an official told the WSJ. The euro and dollar loans came in fast and furiously,


hicken is the most popular meat in Turkey, with it often served grilled with a squeeze of lemon juice. It also is the most affordable meat,

especially when compared to beef and lamb – the high

allowing a massive economic expansion that helped

prices of which have been hot topics in the country. Food

Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party to

inflation in Turkey recently was generally over 12 percent,

win successive local and national elections.

but reached almost 20 percent in August last year.

A coup attempt by members of the army in 2016

Poultry meat prices at markets have been increasing

was easily suppressed, thanks in part to some highly

in line with normal inflation but, because chicken is a

incompetent military officers who couldn’t even organize

staple, consumers are sensitive to price increases and

seizing Erdogan at a holiday hotel in the south of the

the industry has been hesitant to increase retail prices. An

country. As news of the coup attempt spread via social

eight percent increase in poultry prices has been seen at

media, thousands of ordinary citizens, armed with nothing

the markets, according to Turkish press.

more than kitchen utensils, gathered in streets and squares around the capital to oppose the coup. The crowds resisted tank fire and air bombardments

However, poultry consumption has not been impacted by the increasing poultry prices, since the price of chicken is still far below red meat prices. That said, with local

and, with the help of loyalist soldiers and police forces,

elections happening soon, Erdogan has been cutting

they defeated the coup attempt in a matter of hours.

deals with so far around 11 countries to ensure that a

His power intact, no one was going to question

cheap supple of red meat is available in Turkey and is

Erdogan’s economic plans. Istanbul’s skyline went from


March~April 2019

subsidizing Turkey red meat producers. Once the last vote

Meat Packing Journal

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is counted in March, however, there is big doubt that this

will have increased again in 2018 by five percent, reaching

policy will continue.

around $360 million dollars. But, will they be able to hold

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Turkey’s poultry sector continued to grow in 2018, albeit

this? Surprisingly, with all its problems, the country is still the

at a slower pace than the 10 percent growth seen in 2017.

world’s 5th largest exporter of poultry, currently shipping

This growth is driven by increasing exports and increasing

product to over 70 countries, with the majority to Iraq. The

chicken consumption due to high red meat prices.

sector has asked the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and

But, the devaluation of the Turkish currency has

Forestry for subsidies to support high feed and electricity

financially hit Turkish poultry producers, with now most

costs, as this would help the Turkish sector to compete

poultry production costs related to feed. Currently, the

with Brazil and Thailand.

price of poultry is 68 percent based on the price of feed, and 14 percent is the cost of the day-old chicks. Turkey farmers grows soybeans, corn, and a significant amount of wheat, but it is not enough to meet the demands for the growing poultry sector, so they must

Iraq takes half of Turkey’s exports and this seems to be stable, despite all the turmoil in the area, which has recently led to restrictions place on Turkish vehicles entering Iraq. In addition, Iraq has been threatening to enforce a

import additional soybeans and grains. However, Turkey’s

recent 50 percent tax on imported chicken, which was

biosafety law limits imports and puts financial risks on

passed in order to support their local industry. But with no


significant local industry, most are assuming this tax will

Although soybean imports face zero tariffs, the mentioned biosafety law and slow approval process

be repealed. At this point you might be thinking, steady growth, a

for genetically modified (GM) soy and corn varieties,

real need for exports, actually, Turkey is sounding pretty

significantly impacts imports and increases feed prices.

good for investment. Think again.

Turkish importers faced market access problems

At their height of power, the Ottoman’s accomplished

importing soybeans, due to delays in the domestic

something that no one else has been able to do before

approval process for GM varieties that have already been

or since. There was peace in the Middle East between

approved in many other countries, including the European

Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

Union. This prevents the domestic poultry industry from

During the beginning days of the Turkish Republic, its first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk wrote a beautiful,

accessing affordable raw materials needed for feed and

touching letter to the mothers and wives of those

causes soybean prices in Turkey to increase significantly,

Australian soldiers who fell during the Allies’ disastrous

increasing the cost of production for poultry, meat, and

World War I campaign at Gallipoli.

aquaculture industries. I’ve seen Turkey over the years write its own rule book

In the letter, Kemal wrote that the graves of Australian soldiers would be respected and viewed as those of

regarding animal feed, setting standards for imports much

Turkey’s own young men – not those of an invading

higher than its own standards for national use or export.


Turkey's currency hit an all-time low level against the

And then we have the current president who seems to

US dollar in 2018 which makes it even more difficult to

have accomplished what no other modern Turkish leader

import feedstuffs – the lira falling 37 percent against the

has – to deconstruct the Republic.

dollar in 2018. Imported feed inputs are paid in foreign

Erdogan started out in a strong position and was

currency, while most poultry is sold domestically in local

widely seen as the leader who would not only bring


Turkey on par with any European nation, but he would

Overall, Turkey is a strong poultry meat exporter,

also become the leader of a Turkish-centric Central Asia.

mostly to Iraq and Middle Eastern countries. There is no

And, if Turkey joined the EU, it would be on its terms, not

import of poultry meat to Turkey, though Turkish Statistics

the EU’s.

Institute does show some limited imports, but good luck

But, things started happening that were out of his

figuring these out – I’m guessing the imports are rejected

control. Although much has been made of Germany

or miss-sold poultry being shipped back. Tariffs on poultry

accepting 698,950 Syrian refugees since the crisis begin

meat entering Turkey are 65 percent, which discourages

in 2011, Turkey has over 3.6 million Syrian refugees,


along with a half million from other Middle East/Central

Exports remain an important income source for the

Asian countries. This has cost the Turkish government

sector since they can sell in dollars and this helps make

somewhere between $5 billion to $8 billion dollars,

up for losses in the domestic market where they sell

depending on whose source you care to believe.

poultry in Turkish lira. It is expected that once all data is in, poultry exports

The EU, which has had a policy for years of dangling a carrot in front of Turkey to get the country to do its biding

March~April 2019


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with the promise of EU statehood, said it would send

government, which for years has flipped back and forth

billions in euros to aid in this humanitarian effort. Money

between a democracy and a military junta – which is

was promised, money was not paid, and Erdogan finally

currently in power. “Amazing”, because very few people

ran out of patience with the EU.

outside of Thailand seem to realize this or care – it doesn’t

Turkish raft and life jacket businesses made a small fortune, outfitting refugees who wanted out of Turkey.

affect its massive tourist industry one iota. Thailand’s current slogan, “Open to the new shades”,

They were then pointed towards the nearest Greek

is perhaps purposely so bizarre and puzzling as to get no

islands, some within a literal shout of Turkey, and the

one thinking of the junta or a lack of democracy.

refuges became someone else’s problems. It wasn’t until Europe began getting flooded with

Its membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations provides businesses in Thailand the advantages

Syrian, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other mostly economic

a single market of over 600 million people covering 10

refugees, that the EU started making substantial

countries in the region. This and its prime location in Asia

payments to Turkey to get them to turn off the tap.

should have it being in the world’s top poultry producers.

Finally realizing that the chances of joining Europe

Over the past four decades, Thailand’s poultry sector

were – as they always were – zero, Erdogan quit dancing

has transformed itself from backyard farming into a

to the EU’s tune.

leading poultry exporter. Today, the poultry sector

He has since back-tracked on the Armenian Genocide

occupies more than half of Thailand’s total meat and feed

issue; back-tracked on trying to solve the Kurdish issues

production, ranking number four in Asia’s poultry meat

with something other than a gun; has push-back women

production with a total of almost 1.8 million MT in 2018,

equality issues; arrested teachers and journalists by the

which is expected to increase by around five percent this

thousands; engaged in a diplomatic row with the US;


had a Russian military jet shot down; driven down the

Thailand has had major success in improving farm

economy; soured relations with Israel and Greece; and

productivities, disease control, food safety, and end-

seems to be dissolving the barrier that kept religion

product development for export. The only year that

and politics separate in Turkey – one of Kemal’s major

Thailand’s poultry figures dropped significantly – over 32

accomplishments and foundations of the republic.

percent – was in 2004 when the industry was struck hard

While in many parts of the world, politics is politics and business is business, and never the twain shall meet.

by an outbreak of Avian Influenza. About 30 percent of Thailand’s poultry is exported and

Turkey is an exception and I do not see this changing until

it has an odd way of cropping up where you least expect

there is a change in administration which nobody seems

it. Have a chicken curry anywhere in the UK and there is

happening very soon.

an excellent chance the chicken is from Thailand. In fact,

If you decide to invest in Turkey’s poultry industry – which some are doing and with success – do so only with both eyes opened wide. It is not a Klondike.

throughout much of the EU and Japan, restaurants use frozen chicken from Thailand. There are major local and foreign poultry producers in Thailand who have been pushing steady increases in

Why Thailand will never reach potential

production since the 1990s. The only major world player without a presence was Tyson and that just change. It all sounds good – but it’s not.


or those who follow American football, at the start

Thailand’s development has been based on

of every season there is a team that on paper

agricultural production. The agricultural sector of the

should be capable of finishing at least in the

country, which is mainly supported by millions of

opening playoffs, if not even better. But by the time the

smallholders, continues to be the basis of livelihood for

playoffs begin, this team’s stadium has already shut off

the majority of its population.

the lights and its fans are dreaming of next year. This is Thailand’s poultry industry. On paper, it should

The country’s animal industry requires corn (maize) for feed and almost all corn grown in Thailand goes to the

right up there in the top 10, even the top five. But, there is

poultry and pig industry with a smaller amount going to

a reason why it’s not.

its aquaculture industry.

Thailand has a population of just shy of 70 million

Most corn in Thailand is grown in the north of the

people and is strategically located to markets in the

country in the more hilly and mountainous region. Unlike

region and beyond. By comparison, neighboring Vietnam

rice which requires extensive irrigation and paddy terrace

has a population of 95.6 million; the Philippines 105

construction in the hill region, corn does not, which makes

million; and Indonesia 264 million.

it more suitable for the area.

For the last couple of years its tourist slogan was “Amazing Thailand.” This could be a reflection on its


March~April 2019

Almost all of the crop – 90 percent – is sold on to brokers who in turn sell it to animal feed companies. Very

Meat Packing Journal

P oultry

little – around two percent – makes its way into food

K londike

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In addition, opium was also seen by farmers in

products for humans. One of the most common uses is in

this region as a cash crop and it is something that the

corn starch, used to thicken cooking sauces.

government – along with the US DEA – would not want

The 10 percent of corn that the shareholders hold back is used for the next planting (there can be up to two a year) and for their own domestic use – mostly as farm animal feed and for making a potent corn liquor. Even with this high of proportion of domestic corn

to see a return to. By keeping the value of their corn crop artificially high, it helps to keep these farmers solvent. Unfortunately, in today’s dynamic poultry market, trying to keep things “as is” does not work as there is always someone else looking at your markets and

going to feed, it cannot meet the poultry and pig farmers’

wondering how they can take advantage of them. If

needs. According to the USDA, in 2017 the demand for

Thailand does not take a more aggressive stance in

poultry and swine feed was around 8 million metric tons

building its poultry industry, will it lose what it has?

which is far above local corn production of around 4 to 5 million metric tons.

Where you'll strike gold

Maybe seeing what happened to Mexico’s small farmers when NAFTA allowed US corn to flood the Mexican market and drove farmers off the land, the Thai government imposed a high tariff on imported feed. This in turn keeps the price of Thai poultry higher than that of American or Brazilian poultry and kills it chances of joining the top producers. For any government, it’s a hard call to make. Northern Thailand is poorer than the south and while it is not often


ith its ultra-low production costs, the one country in Europe that can put fear in Poland – the EU’s leading poultry producer – is the

Ukraine. And right now, there are very few things that can get in its way of developing its poultry industry to a massive scale. Unfortunately, these are some very big ‘few things’.

discussed in polite society, it’s not uncommon for farmers

One of these is Russia which has occupied the

to send their wives or daughters to work as prostitutes

Eastern Ukraine, seized the Crimea, and has recently

in the southern tourist areas, sending their money back

captured three Ukrainian ships, bringing international

north to support the farm.

condemnation – not that this is something Russian

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P oultry

K londike

President Putin loses any sleep over.

Listen to the full story on the Meat Talk podcast, episode 31

Although the conflict is most definitely far from being over with occasional shots still being fired, the borders have stabilized and the Ukrainian poultry industry has recovered from the loss of consumers and facilities in

Since this podcast was first aired in February, the Turkish Statistical Institute has announced that Turkish poultry production as dropped in January by 6.7% compared to the same time last year. Chicken meat production reached 168,908 metric ton and decreased by 6.9% compared with the same month of the previous year. The Ukrainian State Fiscal Service has stated that the country’s chicken producers have seen a 43% increase in poultry exports compared to the same time last year. In 2018, Ukrainian poultry meat exports hit a record high of 329,000 metric tons, having increased by 21% compared to the previous year.

Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever your get yours

saturated, Ukrainian producers will be increasing exports

While the domestic market contracted due to the population loss, incomes of the remaining consumers stabilized and grew, notably in 2017-18. For the majority of food products, consumption recovered to 2013 pre-crisis levels. The stabilization of the political environment has had a positive impact on new poultry production investments. New production facilities initiated operations in mid-2018. Further expansion is expected in 2019, as new poultry houses are populated with birds, and new hatcheries and slaughter lines are fully utilized. Ukraine’s domestic industry remains highly concentrated, with the largest producer responsible for over 60 percent of total production and the top seven Ukrainian broiler producers controlling over 90 percent of the market. Facing a domestic demand that is essentially to traditional markets in the EU, the Middle East and Africa. Trade problems related to political, technical

Go to:

and/or religious issues in Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have had a limited impact on Ukraine’s overall exports.


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

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Vertical integration that connects crop and feed

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snow-ball chance in Hell of becoming one anytime

production, hatcheries, chicken growing and slaughter

soon with Russian seeing EU membership leading to

has become standard for all large and mid-size Ukrainian

NATO membership. We all remember what happened to

producers. This vertical approach decreases production

Georgia when it wanted both.

risks significantly and brings economies-of-scale benefits,

For some years, low-paid Ukrainian labor has worked

unachievable in small-scale farming.

Poland’s poultry processing plants, allowing it to become

According to industry sources, production costs in

the EU’s largest. Will these workers now return and put

Ukraine remain one of the lowest in the world. It is likely

their experience into making the Ukraine Europe’s largest

to be more efficient than poultry production in Argentina,

producer or will Poland cry foul and demand tariffs be

Thailand or Russia, and comparable to Brazil.

placed on its non-EU competitor?

According to the USDA, record-high Ukrainian

I’m betting on the Ukraine to be the next big thing.

poultry exports are expected in 2018, with further growth

My grandfather died just before I was born, but over

projected in 2019. Ukraine will continue to ship poultry

the years I’ve heard enough of the stories to get a good

to its traditional export markets in the Middle East and

idea of the man. Although no fool and knowing numerous

North Africa, although Ukrainian exports to these markets

languages including Serb/Croat, Italian, Greek and a

will decrease a little in 2018 due to the surge in Ukrainian

smidgen of Spanish, the one he was never totally fluent in

exports to the EU.

was English.

Exports to the EU grew to a significant share, 35

The only job he could find that paid a regular salary

percent, of total Ukrainian poultry exports in 2018. This

was being a ditch digger for San Diego’s sewer, water,

situation is expected to continue into 2019, assuming no

and gas companies – I guess all that experience in mining

change in Ukraine’s access to the EU market. Ukraine has

finally paid off.

discovered new poultry markets in Spain and Bulgaria,

Although poor as church mice, I suspect strongly if

although so far test shipments have remained small.

anyone asked him if he ever found his Klondike, he’d look

The Netherlands and Slovakia have become major EU

around the dinner table at Stefania and their nine children


and say: “Yes, I think I’ve finally found it.”

The Ukraine is not a member of the EU and has a

I wish you good fortune in finding yours.

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March~April 2019



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High pressure memories & high pressure opportunities You start trying to explain something, something fairly complicated, so you start grabbing at things you hope your readers and audience do understand and you build up from there. I wanted to talk to you about high pressure processing (HPP), how what it did in radically changing the beverage industry, it could do the same for the processed meat industry. But boy did it take me down memory lane. Velo Mitrovich reports. by velo mitrovich


Listen to the full story on the Meat Talk podcast, episode 20 Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever your get yours Go to:

Later in the day – about 200 miles off the East Coast – Thresher met up with the submarine rescue vessel Skylark which was going to monitor the tests. Thresher did slow dives, circling submerged around Skylark, which

n April 9, 1963, the US Navy attack

would allow for constant communications between

submarine Thresher got underway at

the two vessels. As planned, Thresher spent the night

0800 hours with a crew of 112 on board

underwater and then on the morning of the 10th, the

plus an additional 17 civilian ship workers.

diving tests resumed.

The two-year-old submarine had been

At 0747, the submarine slowly began its descent to the

at Portsmouth Shipyard, New Hampshire, for a schedule

test depth of 1,000 feet. At 400 feet, it levelled off and the

six-month post-shake down shipyard period.

crew checked for leaks. None were detected. At 0825 it

Typical of a new class of submarine, the work took

reached 1,000 ft. At 0909, it’s believed a brazed pipe-joint

three months longer than expected and the crew

ruptured in the engine room and the torrent of saltwater

breathed a sigh of relief as Thresher finally cast-off her

took out an electrical panel which in turn took out the

mooring lines and headed out into the Atlantic for what

boat’s power. What happened next, no one is 100 percent

they hoped would be the final series of tests and they


could then rejoin the fleet. Thresher was 278 feet long, with a beam of 31 feet, and was built with high strength HY-80 steel alloy – a first for any submarine. Captained by Lt Commander John Wesley Harvey,

At 0913, Thresher radioed Skylark and said it was experiencing minor difficulties. It was the last clear message Skylark received from Thresher. With the additional water in the sub, it started sinking stern first. The crew tried blowing its tanks, but due to a

Thresher was designed from the keel up to go faster,

design flaw, they couldn’t. The only thing that could have

deeper, and quieter than any submarine ever built. In

saved the sub was if the crew had been able to restart

submarine warfare, victory goes to those who can run

her engines and power her to the surface. This start-up

silent and run deep. Thresher could do both, very well.

procedure, however, takes 20 minutes, time they didn’t

The US Navy was in awe of the performance of Thresher, enough so it had asked and received authority

have. Thresher keep sinking until its hull imploded at a

to build 14 more in her class, along with 11 other

depth of around 2,400 feet, releasing enough energy to

submarines that were going to be similar.

the equivalent explosive force of 22,000 pounds of TNT,

There was – and is – however one big problem in

turning Thresher into thousands and thousands of small

being a prototype design. You need to test limitations. On

parts. For the crew, death was quick; the hull collapsed in

this voyage, Thresher was to dive deep to determine the

47 milliseconds, or about 1/20 of a second.

true strength of its hull. How deep could she really go? That information is still classified.

Although I was just 7, I remember the day like it was yesterday, the stunned look on my mom’s face as we heard the news at my Grandma’s house. Being in the

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Navy town of San Diego, the loss of the Thresher was

with a coral reef on one side and a sharp, sharp drop off

front page news and was all the three TV news stations

on the other. But how else could I see this mysterious

seemed to cover – although there are just so many times

pressure, which outside of forcing me to pressurize my

you can say 129 died in sub disaster.

ears, I could not detect in the least on my body.

What I couldn’t figure out was, if submarines were

What is pressure

designed to be underwater, maybe Thresher and her crew were okay, they just needed to be found. Why wasn’t anyone doing anything? There was nothing anyone can do, my dad said, they went too deep and the pressure did them in. What’s pressure? I asked. He couldn’t give me an answer. Dad was a high school dropout. Science was not his forte. About a year later, we were driving up in the Cuyamaca


n its simplest definition, pressure depends on how much force or weight is exerted, and over the area on which that force is applied. The equation is written:

Pressure equals force divided by area. You push a tack into a piece of cork. The force of your finger is distributed over the wide end of the tack – low

mountains in San Diego’s backcountry and my ears

pressure. Turn the tack around so the point is facing up,

popped. I asked Dad why and he said it was because of

and apply the same amount of force with your finger. All

the difference in pressure.

your force is directed to one point – high pressure.

I practically crapped myself in fright. In High School a school counselor told me to take physics if I wanted to really understand pressure.

The force creating pressure can come from air, water, mechanical means, or a combination. Take any carbon-based life form on Earth – which

However, the people I knew taking the class were those

encompasses everything – apply enough pressure and

who had slide rule holders attached to their belts. They

enough time, and you can change it into a mineral, such

were mega, mega smart. I decided my strengths laid

as petroleum from ancient algae and plants, or diamonds


from your grandfather’s ashes.

Still, it was always in the back of my mind. When

When objects are placed under pressure, sometimes

learning how to scuba dive in the Maldives Islands, the

weird things happen. When I worked at a medical

dive master went a bit crazy with my swimming on my

research institute, one of the scientists showed me

back – not the best thing to do when you’re on an atoll

how you could take a petri dish of room temperature


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water, place it in a Bell jar, and by pumping out the air –

the product without adding any additional preservatives.

changing the pressure significantly – the water would first

One of the big up and coming uses of HPP is in treating

boil and them immediately freeze.

raw pet food, which demand for, is growing at record

On a dare from me, he even did the same with liquid nitrogen, which led to most of the research staff fleeing the building in panic. But, just like water, the liquid

levels. So how does HPP differ from pasteurization? With pasteurization, just as you might boil water to

nitrogen turned into ice. This is something you’d have to

sanitize it, thermal pasteurization applies a similar concept

travel to the outer planets to see happen naturally.

to processing food. The higher the temperature, the more

Three-years-ago at the IFFA show in Germany, I was contacted by Jorge Marraud of Hiperbaric who asked if I’d

harmful bacteria are eliminated. For example, by heating juice up to between 160 – 180

be willing to come by Hiperbaric’s stand to look at their

degrees Fahrenheit, the product becomes theoretically

HPP systems.

benign to consumers. Meanwhile, in order to prolong

What’s HPP? I asked.

shelf life, certain milk brands employ a method known

High pressure processing, he said. Jorge went on to

as Ultra High Pasteurization, which heats milk to 280

tell me they’d have some Spanish ham and red wine at

degrees, killing more bacteria and thereby extending its

the stand for me – little did he realized that he had me

expiration date.

sold the second he said the word ‘pressure.’

These methods of thermal pasteurization work – but at a price, which is loss of some flavors and a change in


the look and the texture of the food. Because HPP doesn’t use heat, flavors stay strong.


There are three major problems, however, with HPP.

et me first tell you how HPP is being used and then

The first is few understand it and if you go online you can

we’ll get down to the nuts and bolts.

see some blogs stating that supermarkets are pulling a

Back in the 1990s I worked at a coffee roasting

company. With this being San Francisco, besides coffee we sold 12-ounce plastic bottles of Odwalla’s freshly

fast one on consumers by allowing HPP treated foods to be sold. Instead of applauding stores for reducing food waste

squeezed, unpasteurized orange, carrot, apple and other

and giving consumers healthier products, they claim that

juices. At best, and I really mean at ‘best’, the carrot juice

in the interest of an increased shelf life, supermarkets are

lasted for about two days before going off, the orange

willing to sacrifice healthy components of the food which

maybe four.

somehow HPP destroys.

In 1996, a batch of bad apples entered Odwalla’s processing line and the resulting juice killed one person and sickened 66 in the Bay Area. Today, Odwalla juice has a longer shelf life than they’d

How odd, but no proof backing this belief is given. The second problem is people like me. You can take fresh hamburger patties, flash-grill them, vacuum seal and then treat with HPP, and you can sell them in your

like to admit to and is much safer to drink because it’s

fresh meat section for 30 days or longer with the burgers

been treated by HPP, which uses extremely high pressure

being just as fresh as the day you treated them with HPP.

to kill microorganisms. Odwalla is far from being the only company doing this and pretty much any of the larger ‘natural’ fruit or vegetable companies from San Francisco to London, to Sydney and all points in between are using HPP. How can you tell? In Europe, you’ll see somewhere

With your sliced chicken or turkey meat, again, treat with HPP and if sealed and kept chilled, the pack will stay fresh for up to 45 days or longer. I understand HPP; I understand how it works. But if I see meat in our refrigerator for longer than a week, it gets dumped – although with HPP it’s still 100% fine. The crazy

on the container printed HPP. In the States, the Food

thing is, HPP can actually give foods a longer shelf life –

and Drug Administration doesn’t require an HPP stamp.

up to 120 days – than what they’re acknowledging.

Instead, somewhere on the bottle it will proclaim: ‘Never

How many meat products are being treated HPP –

heated’ or Cold Pressure Processed – CPP – which is

more than you suspect. When was the last time ham was

exactly the same thing.

recalled due to listeria? Thank HPP for that. Ready to eat

You go to your gym and you see in a vending machine

meats such as turkey and chicken, pre-cooked heat and

protein drinks. I guarantee you they’ve been treated with

eat chicken and streak strips, ground turkey, sausages,

HPP to extend their shelf life.

salamis, ground beef, and many more are being treated

Wonder why your ‘fresh’ salsa with avocados has such a long shelf life? HPP On the meat side, it’s been primarily process meat that gets treated which can radically extend the shelf life of

with HPP. This isn’t to say that all are, but just more than you’d think. The give-away clue is the sell by date. If it’s a long sale by date, it’s HPP or it’s been preserved by something the

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Hiperbaric HPP equipment at Deli24

ancient Egyptians would be proud of. And the third problem…we’ll get to in a bit.

How many tons? As I eat Jorge’s ham and drink his red wine, he points at the massive machine that somehow Hiperbaric was

Theory there, not the practicalities

able to get into the IFFA exhibition hall. A small machine can weigh as much as 40 tons and some of the big boys are well over 120 tons. As far as I know, all buildings that


he theory of HPP for use in food preservation has been around since the late 1800s when a study showed that microorganisms can be “deactivated”

by subjecting them to high pressure. This was a great theory, but there was only one problem with it – how do you prove it? Put a machine under pressure and they have a bad habit of exploding. Few wanted to put the theory into practice. It was not until the early 1990s that the first commercial usage of HPP emerged, with the technology still not

house HPP equipment have had to reinforce their floors. The high-pressure process starts by placing packaged products in a cylinder which is then loaded into a highpressure chamber which looks similar to a torpedo tube. If the products are raw, they’ll stay raw; if cooked, they won’t be cooked any further. Because this is the final packaging stage, with products not treated and then repacked, once treated there can be no further contamination. So, juice, yogurt, lunch meat, etc, is treated in the

perfected until 2000s. Even still, worldwide there are

package it’s sold in. If, for example, you treated a 5-gallon

only around 310 HPP commercial machines in production

container of carrot juice, and then re-packaged it into

with a third of these coming on the market in the last five

individual containers, you defeated the whole purpose of


HPP – it’s the final step. And, in case you’re wondering, the

If it’s so great, why aren’t there more HPP machines out

packaging has to have a degree of flexibility; no glass jars or metal cans, plastic it is.

there? And here lies the third problem. To construct HPP

Once the loading is finished, the chamber is filled

equipment that can be used in a commercial manner and

with water and then pressurized via pumps employing

is also able to withstand the massive pressures involved

isostatic pressure that is transmitted through the package

in HPP, it means HPP equipment is costly, requires daily

into the food itself for a set period of time, usually around

maintenance from trained engineers, and weighs tons.

3-5 minutes. When I’ve seen it in operation, total time


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from load to unload was about 10 minutes.


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Butterball, Oscar Meyer, Maple Leaf, and Foster Farms.

How high is the pressure used?

Due to very high volume, not all products made by these

It’s like being at the bottom of the deepest part of the

companies are treated with HPP. The ones definitely

ocean – the Mariana Trench – times six. If you remember,

treated as those using ‘natural nitrates’ for preservatives,

a submarine’s crush depth is 2,400 feet; the pressure

giving the product just a bit more protection.

inside an HPP chamber is equivalent to 216,430 feet. That’s 90 times greater. What is even more difficult to get your head around is how can a product, such as a salami log or even a small pot of yogurt in a flimsy container, not come out of the chamber looking like the world’s flattest pancake?

The Australian government is conducting as assessment of HPP to see if chicken treated with HPP can then be imported into Oz. Vietnam, China and Singapore all have HPP plants and are eager to export. Besides Spain-based Hiperbaric, which is world’s leader in HPP, US – based Avure runs a very close

It was explained to me this way.

second. Other manufacturers include: Kobe Steel of

If you get a grape and put it between your fingers,

Japan, Bao Tou HPP Technology of China, and Germany’s

squeeze just the slightest and its crushed. However, take a grape and put it in a plastic bottle filled with water.

Multivac. But if you don’t have 10 million sitting around and a

Squeeze and put as much pressure as you want on the

building reinforced to handed a squadron of Abram tanks,

bottle but guess what? Because the pressure is uniformly

is there still anyway you can take advantage of HPP?

transmitted by water around the grape, the grape stays looking like a grape. This pressure, however, plays havoc with organisms and yeasts, causing sub-lethal damage through changes in their molecular structure. Pathogenic bacteria,

There is. In Europe, North America, and Asia, HPP tolling companies have been created that you ship your product to for treatment. I recently went to one in the UK to see first-hand HPP in action. Deli24 is the UK’s leading and largest HPP center.

including Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria are single-cell

Created six years ago by brothers Paul and Jeff Winter,

organisms which are destroyed by rupturing their cell

they first show me Deli24’s ‘small’135-liter Hiperbaric

walls and what is amazing, the pathogens are destroyed


instantaneously and uniformly throughout the mass of

Deli24 was definitely onto something. Just a few short

food; the process treats the interior of the food just the

years later, towards the end of 2014, they doubled the

same as the surface.

size of the existing plant and added a 420 liter Hiperbaric

But, while it destroys pathogens like no tomorrow,

machine, which at the time was the largest HPP available.

HPP does not affect the molecular level of food. There is

With it weighing a massive 120 metric tons, it’s like 20

little to no effect on nutritional value, vitamins or minerals,

mature African elephants deciding to stand on each

flavor, taste, or color.

other’s backs.

Because the food is not heated there is no heat

Deli24 primarily use the larger machine, which handles

degradation that is associated with thermal pasteurization

over 150 types of products, and use the smaller one as a

processes. If you want proof, go to your grocers and in the


chilled compartment, grab a plastic bottle of orange juice

I watch the team of Deli24 treat a shipment of Italian

which has HPP on the label then compare the flavor and

salami. These salamis, about a yard long and 3 inches in

taste against fresh orange juice and orange juice which

diameter, are used by a major, major sandwich company

has been pasteurized such as with long life juice.

in the UK.

Good luck telling the difference between fresh and

By the very nature how salami is cured – along with all fermented meats – there is always a possibility of harmful

HPP. “Depending on the product and the quality of it, you can be looking at a shelf life of up to 40-60 even 80 days,” says Jorge. “What HPP cannot do is make a silk purse out

microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds being in the salami, along with Listeria and Salmonella. While this is an issue in itself, how the sandwiches are

of a sow’s ear. We cannot make an unfit product fit; if you

quickly put together in an assembly line with workers

start with very high levels of bacteria, you will still have

dipping their gloved hands into each filling container –

some bacteria left.”

first salami, then cheese, then beef, and so on – means that any pathogens in the salami could easily spread to

Found all over

every other filling causing cross-contamination. A Deli24 worker loads up a plastic basket with the


salamis, the basket is then loaded in the chamber, it’s

PP equipment can be found in major plants such

flooded with water and pressure is applied. In less than

as North America’s Hormel’s, Kellor’s – which is

five minutes the pressure stops, the water is drained, and

constructing a 10 million dollar HPP plant, Tyson,

the salami logs unloaded.

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I looked at the salami logs before they enter the HPP


from the NY Times to BBC will point out the health

chamber at Deli24; I look at the logs after they leave.

dangers of eating processed foods with its high levels of

There is absolutely no detectable change in color or

sodium or nitrates, little research seems to be centered


on using HPP to reduce meat preservatives.

If I was allowed to break the packaging and sample

I could not find any research papers proving the

the salami, I would find that the ‘before’ and ‘after’ logs

effectiveness of HPP for food safety; the reduction of

taste and look exactly the same. The only difference is the

nitrates and sodium was only briefly touched on in one,

‘after’ are now pathogen safe.

which basically said more research needed to take place.

Glancing over at Paul Winter, I say: “Magic,” with almost a bit of disbelief in my voice. “Magic,” replies back Winter. “Well that’s a good way of describing it.” He believes that in HPP usage, Europe is far behind the

If this does come about, it could make a huge difference in the way processed meats are viewed by the public and health organizations. With anything there are always improvements which can be made and HPP is no exception. Having to unpack a client’s product, load it into a container, treat it, unload

USA. “In North America, you’ll have one or two major plants

the container, and then repack it, has to be process that

producing lunch meats, with logistics then eating up

is screaming for either automation or robotics. Even if the

some of the shelf life as it’s shipped from one side of

HPP processor was producing their own products, this is

the US to the other. Treating the packs of meat with HPP

still a process that has to be gone through.

considerably extends its shelf life. “In Europe and the UK, plants are only a day away so

While Deli24 seems to have this process down to fastmoving art form, I have to wonder if just supplying clients

that advantage of HPP is not always such a big factor,”

with their own loading containers would speed up the

says Winter.


But, he sees many opportunities for European meat

That said, HPP is an absolute amazing technology

producers and indeed, see missed opportunities on both

which will only be used more and more by the food

sides of the Atlantic.

industry as more advantages are discovered. Today the

“Right now, restaurants are advised not to serve rare or medium-rare burgers in the UK due to the increased risk from pathogens. It’s just not cooked meats that are suited for HPP, but raw meats as well,” says Winter. Raw ground beef (mince) does change slightly in appearance, with a small difference in color as it affects

global HPP food market is worth 12 billion dollars. It’s expected that within 7 years, this will have doubled. I hope that universities will do research into the reduction of nitrates and sodium with HPP, and especially in Europe, the meat industry takes the time to understand the benefits which can come from using HPP.

proteins slightly. However, this disappears during cooking and a medium-rare burger will look and taste exactly how it should. Raw chicken gives the appearance of having been

After Thresher sank, the US Navy started a certified construction procedures called Sub-safe. An example how successful this has been was displayed in 2005 when

blanched in warm water. The big advantage though in

the submarine San Francisco collided with an uncharted

using HPP with chicken is, with all danger of Salmonella

underwater seamount. Despite the sub being over 500

and Campylobacter removed, chicken does not need to

feet down and steaming at over 30 miles an hour, she did

be cooked as long.

not sink. Although one crewman was tragically killed in

“Instead of having to cook chicken until its dried out, HPP chicken is still full of juice and flavor.” Shredded BBQ pork and beef are getting to be popular in the USA, EU, and Australia. By running the packs

the accident, San Francisco was able to return to its base under its own power. Safety lessons were learned from Thresher. I still think of Thresher and her crew. Did they fight to

through HPP as a final step, not only have you increased

the end trying everything they could to save the boat and

dramatically the shelf life, you’ve removed all pathogens.

their lives, or were they resigned to their fate, listening

Confidentiality agreements with clients does not allow Deli24 to discuss specific companies and their products.

to the ever-increasing creaking of the hull until it finally caved in?

Not all products can go directly into HPP, with sometimes

Most times when a submarine sinks, it’s never found.

formulas or packaging needing to be tweaked. Winter will

Because of this, the Navy considers a lost sub to be on

say that at times it takes “months” of work to confirm and

eternal patrol. I like to think this about Thresher, she’s still

validate a new product.

out there, still on patrol, still waiting for the word to bring

What I find frustrating with HPP is that while everyone


March~April 2019

her crew back home.

Meat Packing Journal

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Chlorination Street Will it happen – or will it won’t? That is the question going through most British minds as the Brexit snafu continues on, making their government the laughing stock of the world, while threatening their food supply. And, playing in the wings is a possible USA/ UK trade deal which will bring chlorine-washed poultry to the UK. Is this much ado about nothing or a winter’s tale to food safety? Meat Talk reports

by velo mitrovich


The government, thinking no one in their right mind would vote to leave, conducted one of the most

hile it might seem hard to believe

lackluster campaigns in world history – a cold bowl of

but once upon a time, the British

oatmeal would have generated more excitement.

people weren’t giving a thought

To Northern Ireland – which is the only UK nation to

to US chicken washed in chlorine,

share a land border with another EU country – and to

nor were there any US poultry

Scotland – which earlier had had a referendum as to

producers even looking on a map to see where the UK

whether or not leave the UK – assurances were given that

was located.

they would remain in the European Union.

The UK poultry industry produces over 70 percent

The Leave side, on the other hand, waved the Union

of chicken consumed in the UK, with the vast majority

Jack and based on zero facts, promised that without all

grown in large farms very similar to those in the States.

that British tax money going to the wasteful EU a new

The remaining percentage comes from their other EU

NHS hospital could be built every week – I’m not making

member states, such as Poland and France, or from Brazil

this up – and other pie-in-the-sky fantasies. (A course, the

and Thailand. For British chicken-loving consumers, life

question as to how these hospitals could operate without

has been good with high-quality, combined with low-cost

EU workers was ignored). The only criteria for the Leavers campaign seemed

poultry. But then in June 2016, the British government allowed

to be: ‘the more outrageous, the better,’ since there was

a referendum to be voted on – more or less to appease a

no way to prove or disprove their statements. While

fringe political group – as to whether or not the UK should

they didn’t wear ‘Make the UK great again’ hats, they did

leave the EU.

frequently say: ‘Let’s put the Great into Britain again.’


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

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Much like how in the States immigration – both legal and illegal – has fuel populism, so too did it fuel the Leavers. While people in Middle England might be complaining about how the Polish workers in UK poultry processing plants, hog farms, or agricultural farms are


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was: you other EU states who are thinking of doing the same, just you watch what we do to the UK. Like waving a red cape at a bull, this was the wrong message to give to the plucky Brits. When the votes were counted, the Leave side won

taking away jobs from Brits, plant owners told me without

with a tiny majority of only 51.9 percent – though like a

the Poles, they’d be shut down due to a lack of laborers.

certain recent presidential election, they’re claiming it’s

David Cameron’s Conservative government – which

one of the largest majorities and sweeps ever. Like an

again so sure they would win – decided that only those

execution, a date was set – 29 March, 2019 – for what was

UK citizens living in the UK or on Gibraltar could vote,

now called Brexit to take place.

depriving the 1 million British expats living in other EU

Those in government who supported Remain,

States the right to vote on an issue which directly affected

resigned. Once it became quickly apparent that the Leave

their lives.

supporters had no plan A, B, C or even Z to bring this

But what Cameron didn’t count on was the highly-paid

about – they too were positive they weren’t going to win

president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude

– many of their supporters either resigned or quit their

Juncker and his less-than-winning ways. Instead of going


to the UK and telling voters that the EU is better and stronger with the UK, he took the opposite approach. Staying in Brussels, he pretty much told the British

Today, with only days to go, the current British government is no further along in striking a deal with the EU than they were three years ago, which means it could

public that if they voted to leave, the EC would punish

go to a “no-deal” situation, leaving Britain in a situation

them in every way it could. And the unspoken message

which could take years to recover from.

March~April 2019


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A kick in the wallet

news conferences, shouting that if he meant it and that chlorine-washed chicken is safe, that why doesn’t he eat one [Maybe because he’d have to fly to the States to find


ood prices are already rising, the British pound has dropped in value, major manufacturers such as Honda have announced that are going to shut UK

one.] Fox suggested that US chicken was merely a “detail” to be agreed at the end of complex negotiations. However,

factories due to long term Brexit uncertainty, and even

Environment Secretary Michael Gove insisted that

major Leave supporters such as vacuum cleaner king

chlorine-washed chicken imports would not be allowed

James Dyson are pulling out the UK and moving their

and that the issue was in fact a “red line” in talks with

headquarters to either the EU or Asia.


The head of the British Poultry Council, Richard Griffiths, has called for Brexit to be abandoned as a “failed

It really got a bit stupid. But, with the public being the public and being easily bored – how many times can you send emails to your

project.” “In the British poultry meat sector, we’ve suffered a

MP saying you are shocked and appalled at something

lack of labor and increasing production costs, and seen

that hasn’t happened – nor maybe never would. After a

our country’s food standards being challenged by other

few weeks, interest moved on to something else to be

nations eyeing a quick profit at our long-term expense,”

shocked and appalled about and chlorinated birds fell off

says Griffiths.

the radar.

“Brexit and food comes down to a very simple concept.

Now, however, with absolutely no trade deal in place

Any departure from the EU means affordability and

and the clock ticking down, President Trump’s offer

availability of food will be compromised. The burden

is sounding better by the minute. To add to this, the

will fall on those who can least afford it. This cannot be

government seems to have finally realized how much

acceptable to anyone, either individual or government.”

more expensive food could be in a few weeks.

With no trade deals in place, to say that the

With an eye towards the general public and their

government is hitting the panic mode would be putting

voting power – as opposed to the few numbers of

it mildly. However, they suddenly seemed to have

farmers – it’s going to do the ancient Roman political

remembered an old friend.

strategy of giving the public, bread and entertainment.

In 2017 US President Donald Trump, who is very much

Today, it said in the event of no deal with the EU, it would

in favor of Brexit, said that he would cut a trade deal with

remove trade tariffs on a huge range of food items to

the UK after Brexit. Trump wanted to do it before Brexit

keep food prices down.

– and also cut a separate trade deal with Germany – but

However, this must mean then that US agricultural

he didn’t seem to realize you cannot do trade deals with

products will be allowed into the UK, no matter if it’s GMO

individual EU States – it’s all or nothing.

wheat, beef with hormones, or chlorinated chicken.

For some reason, the British public became fixated on US poultry being part of that trade deal. Not only are US chickens raised in factory farms – forgetting that’s how

Chicken treated with chlorine is now back on the UK media agenda with a vengeance. Woody Johnson, US ambassador to Britain, has

the majority are raised in the UK – but after slaughter and

entered the fray, attacking what he described as a "smear"

plucking, the broilers are given a diluted chlorine bath.

campaign against American agriculture by interests with a

In Europe, poultry processing plants chill the birds in dry air or water, with chlorine wash being banned since

protectionist agenda. Ambassador Johnson said in an article published in

1997. That said, in a report I just read that was requested

the Daily Telegraph that US food products are safe, and

by the European Commission in 2005, in looking at the

that scare stories about "chlorine-washed chicken" and

treatment of poultry with chlorine dioxide, acidified

"hormone-pumped beef" are being used to mislead the

sodium chlorite, trisodium phosphate, and peroxyacids –


as they do in the States – no safety concerns were raised. But don’t confuse anyone with the facts. For those of you who were not in the UK then or do not

"You have been presented with a false choice: either stick to EU directives, or find yourselves flooded with American food of the lowest quality," Johnson wrote.

have access to UK publications, BBC newscasts/radio,

"Inflammatory and misleading terms like 'chlorinated

British blogs, social media, etc, it is next to impossible for

chicken' and 'hormone beef' are deployed to cast

you to realize the furor that erupted over this. Even the

American farming in the worst possible light. It is time

government split on the issue.

the myths are called out for what they really are: a smear

UK Security of State for International Trade Liam Fox said that the [UK] media was “obsessed” with chlorinewashed chicken. UK reporters then challenged Fox at


March~April 2019

campaign." Johnson says American producers use "scientific" and "technological" tools to feed a growing global

Meat Packing Journal

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population, in contrast to the European Union's "Museum


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Does chlorine destory or hide pathogens like E. coli?

of Agriculture."

We all drink it

With chlorine, in the USA farms are allowed to dip or wash chicken carcasses in water containing chlorine


dioxide in order to kill potentially harmful organisms such

o, what’s the deal with chlorine. Millions drink

as E coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella on the surface

chlorinated water every day without dying.

of the meat.

Americans eat around 150 million chickens a week

that have been treated without dying. Disagreements over poultry safety standards stem from a fundamental divide in how the US and EU have

The process is known as pathogen reduction treatment (PRT) in the industry. Is it safe using PRT treatment? According to numerous US university studies, the

tackled food regulation. The EU operates on the basis

answer is yes. For example, Mohamed Badaoui Najjar and

of the precautionary principle, preferring not to permit

Jianghong Meng of the University of Maryland wrote a

untested methods. The US is less interventionist, only

research paper entitled ‘Risk assessment of disinfection

forbidding processes that do demonstrable harm.

byproducts in poultry chilled in chlorinated water.’

This difference can be seen easily in how vitamins and

The two researchers found: “Chlorine is a common

health foods are sold in the USA and Europe. While in the

disinfectant used in water treatment and food processing

USA, you can buy tablets with mega doses of Vitamin C

worldwide. It is very effective to destroy foodborne

or E for example, those sizes are not permitted in the EU

pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter

since it would say mega doses have not been proven to

that are frequently present in poultry products. Efficacy

be effective nor have they been proven to be not harmful.

of chlorine in killing microorganisms and preventing

There is nothing stopping anyone, however, from buying

contamination/recontamination depends highly on

numerous bottles of approved-size vitamins and taking as

concentrations and acidic pH.

many as desired. In the States, the government’s attitude is: If you want

“Chlorination of water in chiller at 50 ppm in poultry process has proven to be an effective method in reducing

to take 50 times the daily recommended amount of

microbial contamination, thereby improving microbial

Vitamin C, we are not going to stop you.

safety of poultry products.

March~April 2019


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“Chlorine disinfection byproducts (DBPs) have been

per liter. At that upper limit, eating a whole chlorine-

identified to have potential adverse health effects at

washed chicken is roughly equivalent to drinking a glass

high level exposure. Poultry chilled with chlorinated

of UK water.

water at 50 ppm is an insignificant source of chlorinated

Depending on who you ask, what year they pull their

DBPs, especially after cooking. The contribution of DBPs

data from, and what their objective is, treating raw chicken

exposure from consuming the poultry is minimal and

in chlorine is either extremely beneficial to consumers, or

does not cause significant risk to cancer or other health

completely useless. For example, in January 2014 US Consumer Reports

conditions. “The current scientific evidence on the association

had a feature which was headlined: ‘Dangerous

of residual levels of DBPs with cancer does not warrant

contaminated chicken – 97% of the breasts we tested

changing the guidelines of 50 ppm chlorine for chiller

harbored bacteria that could make you sick.’ With such a

water treatment in poultry processing as the application is

sensationalist headline, Consumer Reports knew that all

essential to reducing pathogen load and controlling cross

US media outlets would pick up and run the story, giving

contamination. It is important to emphasize that public

Consumer Reports full credit – and a huge of amount of

health gains from reduced waterborne and foodborne


illness using chlorine in poultry processing far outweigh the risks from cancer.”

More than half of the samples in the Consumer Reports study – which would have gone through a bath – contained fecal contaminants and a similar amount had

US moving away

at least one bacterium that was resistant to three or more commonly prescribed antibiotics. A 2016 study by the UK’s Food Standards Agency


om Super of the US National Chicken Council, told

found comparable levels of contamination – half of

me last year that a lot of US plants have moved

chicken samples taken from retailers were infected with

away from chlorinated water in their chilling

multi antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter.

systems and rinses. The States are now ready to use

That said, the US broiler industry has been

acceptable chlorine alternatives that would meet the

steadily reducing the prevalence of Salmonella and

requirements established by both the US and potential

Campylobacter on chicken parts since the USDA’s new

trading partners.

performance standards took effect three years ago.

“Regardless,” says Super, “safe levels of chlorinated

In fact, when looked at several years ago, the industry

water, and several other antimicrobials, have been

was exceeding USDA expectations, said Ashley Peterson,

deemed to be safe and efficacious by the European

PhD, vice president of science and technology, National

Food Safety Authority, the US Department of Agriculture,

Chicken Council.

the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Codex

When the performance standards issued by USDA’s

Alimentarius Commission, which sets international

Food Safety and Inspection Service took effect in 2016,

standards for food safety that are considered benchmark

within six months the incidence of Salmonella was at

standards under the WTO system.

15.4% – down from 18.2% nine months earlier. Great

“Studies have determined that there are no residues of hazardous substances in poultry meat treated with chlorine-based compounds,” he says. “For perspective, if chlorine is used in immersion chilling systems, it is used in parts per million and

progress is also being made reducing Campylobacter, she said. Over the past several years, UK levels of Campylobacter fell as well – without the use of chlorine baths.

incorporated into the several thousand gallons of water

In the Pew Charitable Trusts report ‘Food Safety from

present, and is diluted significantly. Most chillers rarely

Farm to Fork’, it stated that the annual US cost of illnesses

exceed three to five parts per million when tested at the

from contaminated poultry was $2.5 billion a year and lists

overflow,” says Super.

different strategies for combating various pathogens in

“To put a part per million into perspective, it is equivalent to one minute in almost two years. There

the poultry and meat industry. These interventions include pre/probiotics; vaccines,

are these small, safe levels of chlorine in most of the

hygiene, feed, water, and biosecurity. Interesting enough,

drinking water in the United States and in the UK. Why

never once is chlorine disinfection mentioned.

aren’t Britons calling for the removal of chlorine from their drinking water?” Indeed, according to the UK’s Drinking Water Inspectorate, the British government limits the combined

What the report does not mention that even if the vast majority of birds were Campylobacter-free going into the processing plant, all it takes is one contaminated bird and the entire line can become infected.

concentration of chlorite and chlorate in water at 0.5mg


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

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But not in Europe


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“Chlorine is meant to eradicate any issues, but it gives consumers a false sense of security,” he told I-Media.


“We used a pour plate to grow salmonella and found

he European take on chlorine, however differs.

that when sprayed with a 50-parts per million [ppm]

Europe’s official line against US chlorine-treated

chlorine solution [20-50ppm is used in the US], the

chicken is that US poultry producers must treat

bacteria was eradicated completely. But, we then put a

processed birds in chlorine because US farming and

piece of chicken skin in the center of the dish and found

processing standards are so low, chickens require a

that while the chlorine treated the salmonella around the

chemical bath at the end of processing to compensate for

skin, bacteria remained underneath and in the folds of

poor hygiene throughout the entire supply chain.

skin. The scientific term is ‘viable-but-nonculturable’.”

EU/UK consumers believe they are better protected

By not using a chlorine bath, EU/UK consumers

against poor farming because EU rules doesn’t give

believe that it forces producers to commit to a more

processors a simple way out of hiding poor hygiene by

holistic ‘farm-to-fork’ approach to farming during each

treating processed birds with chemicals.

stage of the animal’s life and through the processing

Recent studies in the UK suggest chlorine is an

cycle. Instead of chlorine, European processors are only

ineffective way of removing germs – with the key word

allowed to use cold air and water to decontaminate

being “suggest”. According to UK university researchers,

poultry carcasses.

while chlorine appears to remove bacteria, it can hide in

Does this work? Not entirely. European chicken

and under “folds of skin” and lie “dormant” once treated,

has a high rate of Campylobacter and consumers are

only to reemerge in new conditions – such as on a

told that it is safer to always assume all raw chicken

chopping board, for example.

is contaminated. Indeed, due to the Campylobacter

Simon Dawson, senior lecturer in food science and

problem, supermarkets have come out with chicken

technology at Cardiff Metropolitan University, says that in

packaging which allows whole birds to go directly into

a chlorine bath, pathogens “go into a suspended state”,

the oven without consumer hands ever having to come in

but are not killed off entirely.

contact with raw poultry.

Dawson says that he and his laboratory team ran

And it’s just not Campylobacter that is a problem in

a series of tests into the chemical’s use in removing

Europe. According to a report from the London-based

salmonella in chicken. He said it failed to work every time.

free market think-tank, Adam Smith Institute: “Immersing

March~April 2019


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poultry meat in chlorine dioxide solution of the strength used in the United States reduces prevalence of Salmonella from 14 percent in controls to 2 percent. EU chicken samples typically have 15-20 percent Salmonella.”

Listen to the full story on the Meat Talk podcast, episode 33

With the European Food Safety Agency having approved chlorinated-washed chicken for safe consumption, that the practice would lead to safer poultry

Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever your get yours

in Europe – and yet it is still not allowed – it leads you to suspect there is more to the story than chlorine.

Go to:

More than just a chicken story Zealand lamb is now found throughout British markets


he USA is the world’s second largest exporter

with little home-grown, the same could hold true for

of chicken, with around 20 percent of US


domestically produced chicken getting shipped to

“Allowing the import of chlorinated chicken products

100 countries. That doesn’t sound then like a great need

would make clear that Britain is willing to agree

on the part of the USA to crack the UK’s poultry market.

sensible compromises, and that it is willing to use

In the UK, close to 100 percent of all fresh chicken

partial agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and

consumers buy at the major supermarkets is either UK

Investment Partnership deal as templates to rapidly make

or Irish-grown. Even KFC and other major chains such

deals with other partners,” says Spence. “As the symbol

as Nando’s claim to use locally grown chicken. Some

used by opponents of a free trade agreement with the

chicken is imported from Poland, Thailand, and Brazil,

United States, it is important to know whether chlorinated

with much of this going to chicken fry shops further down

chicken really is something to be concerned about.”

the food chain or Indian curry houses.

Tom Super says: “The bottom line is that its use makes

There doesn’t seem to be then much of a potential

the chicken safer, it is not present in the final product, it

market for US chicken nor a need for US growers to try to

poses zero health risk, and there are alternatives being

break in. So, what’s it really about?

used (already approved by the EFSA) to help the industry

There is no other way to describe the US agriculture

meet US government and international food safety

industry except as a massive juggernaut. It is efficient

standards. We believe that trade negotiations should

beyond belief and if it ever came to it, US farmers could

be based on sound science, not political science or fear

feed the entire world’s population. But this has come at a


cost to non-American farmers and farming communities.

“We'd be happy to have access and the opportunity

According to Money.CNN, during the first decade of

to compete in Britain, but it certainly is not the ‘be all and

the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico lost

end all’ for our industry either way. We’re the number two

almost a million farming jobs. With tariffs gone, there was

poultry exporter in the world and we export 20 percent

no way Mexican corn farmers could compete against US

of our domestic production already to more than 100

growers. I saw this happening firsthand in Mexico.


Although South Africa news seldom gets an inch of

Bottom line

print in a US newspaper, due to history and family ties, SA news does play in the UK. Many people in Britain are aware of how US poultry was part of a trade deal between the USA and South Africa. Despite SA farmers saying the deal would destroy them, it went ahead. South African consumers are benefiting in the short


aving lived outside the USA for the last 23 years in both Asia and Europe, I’ve seen my fair share of trade deals. No matter who signs the deal

term, no one can produce chicken as cheap as US

and no matter how wonderful 50/50 it all seems in press

farmers. But, how will this affect the country in the long

releases, it never works this way and you can always find

term? If your country has become dependent on another

clear winners and losers.

for its food, you’ve lost food security and could be subjected to toeing the other country’s line. According to Peter Spence of the Adam Smith Institute,

If Brexit goes ahead and if it goes ahead without a deal, then the UK will need a trade deal with the USA, a lot more than the USA needs one. Going cap in hand to

in the UK it’s all about costs. US methods produce fresh

Washington to beg for a deal, if accepting chlorinated

chicken at 79 percent of the price of equivalent birds on

chicken is the worse part of the deal, then the UK should

British supermarket shelves. Much like how cheaper New

consider itself the luckiest country in the world.


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

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IFFA 2019 big show new look It comes just once every three years but when it arrives, there is no holding back. Expectations are running high for this year’s show which will coincide with its 70th anniversary. Velo Mitrovich reports

to change the look of IFFA permanently. This year, the number one show for the meat industry moves completely to the western section of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre with an optimum setting for both exhibitors and visitors. The result is a circular tour linking Halls 8, 9, 11, and 12. What many are waiting to see is the Via Mobile, a covered and glazed transport system with

by velo mitrovich

moving walkways and escalators, which should make it possible to move around the fair quickly, easily and


independently of the weather.

he world’s largest show for the meat industry

IFFA Director Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim says:

– held every third year – is getting ready to

“Since the last IFFA, we have been able to introduce

kick off in the German city of Frankfurt from

numerous innovations, which visitors will notice at many

4-9 May.

different points. For example; when walking around the

While Atlanta’s IPPE in the world’s largest

fair through modern, light and airy halls; in the restaurants,

annual, IFFA is truly the Big Kahuna of all. This year,

through the short distances between appointments; and

organizer Messe Frankfurt expects over 63,000 visitors

when using our new, high speed WLAN. Many exhibitors

from over 140 countries, with over two-thirds coming from

have taken advantage of the move to increase the size of

outside Germany.

their exhibition stands and their presentations. And, last

Drawing them in will be over 1,000 exhibitors from

but not least, we have restructured the various segments

around 50 countries, including all market leaders who

and brought together a number of related product

will be presenting their top innovations at the fair. In the


fully booked-up exhibition halls, they will show new products, technologies, and solutions for all stages of the

Old and new

meat-processing chain on around 1 million square feet of exhibition space. In previous years, the layout and distance of the numerous halls left visitors utterly exhausted. Air quality has been lacking in most of the halls, leaving to constant yawning, and the lack of any natural light makes you feel like you’re in a Las Vegas casino. Hearing our complaints and concerns, Messe Frankfurt says it has made large


FFA 2019 will be characterized by old and new neighbors. As in the past, the overall structure is oriented towards the various stages of processing

because everything at the fair revolves around the most valuable of all foodstuffs – meat.

investments in the Exhibition Centre and its infrastructure

The circular tour begins in Hall 9 with slaughtering,

to ensure a more positive trade-fair experience. Exhibitors

dismembering, and processing, as well as transport and

and visitors can look forward to a new exhibition hall,

storage systems, refrigerating and supply equipment,

improved orientation, shorter walking distances and ultra-

operational hygiene, occupational safety and IT. For

modern services.

the first time, the central processing section is being

The new Hall 12 has been completed and is set

extended to Hall 12.0 where manufacturers from all over

March~April 2019


New services

the world present machinery and equipment for the core processes of meat and sausage production. On the two floors of Hall 11, leading international exhibitors from the fields of packaging, packing materials, cutting, measuring and weighing present their innovations. In Hall 12.1, visitors will find a broad


or the first time, there will also be guided tours of the fair based on these themes. By taking part in the IFFA Discovery Tours, visitors can obtain an

spectrum of ingredients, spices, additives and casings.

overview of products and services relevant to the themes

The range of products for ‘Selling – everything for

and find out more about selected highlights. During the

butchers’ shops’ occupies a special area of the new Hall

run-up to the fair, an independent committee of experts

12.0. This is also the setting for the German Butchers’

will select the innovations to be shown from those

Association (Deutscher Fleischer-Verband – DFV) with the

submitted by exhibitors. Visitors interested in taking part

competition area and market place.

can register at the starting point of the Discovery Tours in

While bad news for the restaurants, in the butcher

Hall 12.Via Ost.

shop zone there are generous free samples of sausages,

Orientation at the Exhibition Centre is easy because

salami sticks and slices, breads, pretzals, and at the last

all halls are now arranged in a circular pattern and linked

show, pieces of grill steak. For the truly adventurous, there

with each other. Visitors can enter IFFA via four entrances:

was also fried insects.

Torhaus (‘S-Bahn’ railway station), Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage

The new Hall 12 has 33,600 square meters of exhibition

(LEA) in the east, Portalhaus in the west and Galleria in the

space on two levels, as well as four catering areas, direct

north. New is the spacious reception building for Hall 8,

access to the Portalhaus and Torhaus entrances and

which is linked to the Torhaus building via a modernized

parking for 800 cars. With its fascinating architecture and

system of escalators, an area that was still under

spectacular foyers, it is a highlight in the southern section

construction during IFFA 2016.

of the exhibition center.

Also important for a satisfactory visit to the fair are attractive catering facilities. Accordingly, the restaurants


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

at the Centre offer a pleasant setting for eating and

Mechanical damage does not just appear from

drinking, as well as communication and relaxation. Visitors

nowhere. It makes itself known well in advance with

can look forward to ‘Centro’ restaurant in Hall 9, which is

unusual noises, vibrations that suddenly appear, or

now open after being fully renovated. It was singled out

temperature increases, as well as increased power

for the ‘Iconic Award 2018 Innovative Architecture’ and

consumption and the like. These changes can be picked

is distinguished by a peaceful atmosphere even when

up with the help of intelligent sensors in real time,

very busy. Also, well worth visiting are the two restaurants

monitored online and assessed, using appropriate CMS

and two bistros in Hall 12. Their transparent design offers

(Condition Monitoring Software). This makes it possible

wonderful views of Frankfurt’s skyline.

to target maintenance more specifically and provides valuable information on further possible optimization of

Major show themes

machinery and plant. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) makes


it possible to transmit data wirelessly in real time

hile with any show it is hard to pinpoint what

between transponders and read-write heads. Integral

will be companies’ latest developments or

transponders in slaughtering hooks, feeding troughs,

trends, there are three specific themes at the

palettes, packaging or machine parts communicate

2019 IFFA which many are focusing on.

bi-directionally with read-write heads installed at the processing and packaging stations. Thus, for example, not

Production digitalization


only do the factory-fitted RFID chips in the slicer knives store the geometrical data of the blades, they also store

ptimizing production processes is increasingly

the sharpening schedules that go with them and the

based on digitalization and interlinked networks.

encoded item and serial numbers. The RFID read-write

The objective is to increase security of production and

head installed in the sharpening module reads the data

optimize the use of the machinery, to work in ways that

from the blade, identifies it, carries out the appropriate

are more energy-efficient and to be able to react more

sharpening procedures and then updates the transponder

flexibly to changes in the market.

data, including details of remaining serviceability. This

At IFFA, leading international companies will be showcasing their latest technologies and providing information on the major trends and developments in

principle can be applied to many other processes and procedures along the value creation change. The combination of digital camera and image-

the meat-processing industry. A considerable amount

assessment software provide machines with the ability to

of space is devoted to the optimization of production

see and, with it, open up the possibility of their reacting,

processes. The examples of best practice on show at IFFA

in specific and appropriate ways, to changes in their

offer trade visitors a host of valuable hints in this regard,

environment and of taking decisions. As a result, they

together with assistance in making relevant decisions.

can recognize location, position, orientation, shape, size

In the ‘smart factory’, products and individual machines

and color of all sorts and kinds of object on conveyor

spread throughout the factory must communicate

belts. The data acquired in this way can then be used,

with one another and organize, regulate and monitor

for instance, to control robots and extraction/rejection

themselves. One of the basic requirements for this is the

units or to assess proportions of fat and lean in the in-line

ready availability, at all times, of status data on products,

classification of bacon cuts as A, B or C class goods.

machinery and drive mechanisms, bearings and so on.

Further applications include checking that packages

This task is undertaken by so-called ‘smart sensors’.

are complete in number and undamaged, as well as

As well as the actual sensor itself, which captures the

the correct positioning and printing of explanatory and

magnitude of the relevant parameter, they include

address labels.

integrated micro-processors for processing and analyzing the signals. Alongside traditional parameters such as temperature, power usage, torque and pressure, they also record gases and microbial contamination. Traditional maintenance at fixed intervals or at a given number of hours of operation usually takes place

Packaging solutions


rade visitors can see modern packaging technology for meat and sausage products, as well as poultry

and fish, on both floors of Hall 11. Leading packaging

too early, for reasons of safety, and thus shortens

companies, including Multivac, Sealpac, Tavil, Ulma,

unnecessarily the running time of still perfectly

Variovac and VC999, will be represented there. Exhibitors

serviceable components such as drives, shafts and

from the packaging-materials sector, such as Flexopack,

bearings. As a result, companies lose both money and

Krehalon und Schur Flexibles, will also be making

valuable resources.

presentations in Hall 11.

March~April 2019


Packaging for foodstuffs, especially perishable

the environmental influences to which the product has

products such as meat and sausages, calls for the highest

been subjected along the value chain after the packaging

standards in terms of packaging materials, machines

stage. Integrated time-temperature indicators reveal the

and systems. In addition to traditional purposes, such as

current quality status, degree of freshness, any breaches

protection, transport, storage, handling and information,

of the cool chain and whether the product is still suitable

packaging must also provide for food safety, hygiene,

for consumption. Active packaging plays an ‘active’ role

waste prevention, sustainability, resource efficiency and

in any physical, biological and chemical changes taking


place. It regulates the moisture in the packaging, absorbs

Reducing the amount of packaging materials and

oxygen or carbon dioxide and thus extends product shelf

the use of recyclable materials have been the subject of

life. Bio-chemically active versions prevent the spread of

attention of consumers, manufacturers and the packaging

microbes. Other smart packaging protects products from

industry since the publication of the EU Plastics Strategy

manipulation and hinders shoplifting.

in January 2018 and the German Packaging Law.. Light packaging with the same or better properties and superior stability make an important contribution to greater sustainability and resource conservation. Low weight means savings on raw material, energy and

Brand differentiation at the point of sale


ackaging not only provides information about ingredients, quality or environmental labels and

transport costs, as well as easier handling. Decisive for

product origins but also gives the contents a face and

sustainable packaging is not only the film material used

generates purchasing impulses. Which products land in

but also how it is processed. Thus, modern packaging

the consumer’s shopping basket is mostly the result of a

machines permit the parameters of the film to be set

spontaneous consumer decision in which the appeal of

exactly and thus keep down processing costs.

the packaging and information contained thereon play an important role. When there is hardly any difference in

Smart packaging

emotional difference. Investments in innovative, high-


ultifunctional, active and intelligent packaging

grade packaging strengthens the brand image and soon

opens up completely new perspectives for the

offer a substantial return for manufacturers of branded

meat industry. Such packaging can monitor and record


product quality, a better package design can make the

March~April 2019


Meat Packing Journal

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technology for safer food Of central importance at IFFA are solutions designed to ensure greater food safety. In the run-up to the trade fair, Messe Frankfurt interviewed Richard Clemens, General Manager of the Food and Packaging Machinery Division of the Association of German Machine and Plant Manufacturers (Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau – VDMA), about food safety issues. The manufacture of safe and hygienically acceptable products is a matter of top priority in the butchering and meat processing trades. Year on year, recalls of foodstuffs are on the increase in this industry too. Where do most of the dangers spring from?

Reducing human input into the process is one approach. What technical measures can be taken, in addition, to avoid contamination of meat and sausage products from microbial germs? First and foremost, consistently applied hygienic

Clemens: Micro-biological contamination, foreign bodies,

design of appliances, apparatus, machines and plant

inadequate labelling, together with violations of limits

is absolutely crucial in maintaining hygiene. The basis

with regard to controlled and banned ingredients are,

for this is formed in statutory regulation, such as the

according to the German Federal Office of Consumer

machinery guidelines and food hygiene regulations, as

Protection and Food Safety (BVL), the most common

well as the recommendations in the guidelines set out

sources of complaint. Subsequent investigations have

by the EHEDG [European Hygienic Engineering & Design

almost always thrown up the same picture, namely that

Group]. These prescriptions are aimed at essentially

the causes can be overwhelmingly traced back to human

constructive measures. It is all about avoiding dead

negligence, less frequently to technical failure. And,

spaces, undercuts, depressions and crevices, because

unfortunately, there are black sheep in every sector, who

that is where the remains of products are most likely

deliberately flout the legal regulations with thoroughly

to collect and provide the ideal breeding ground for

criminal energy, in order to gain advantage for their

microbial infestation. Hygienic Design is, however, also

business. In effect, it amounts to food fraud.

about making machinery and plant cleaner-friendly, so that they can be cleaned more easily, more thoroughly,

How can we exclude the risks of microbiological contamination – or at least reduce them?

more quickly and in a way that is more sparing of resources. It also involves ensuring that cleaning materials and disinfectants can drain off unhindered.

The meat-processing industry remains heavily dependent on manual handling. As a result, people continue to be the greatest hygiene risk as far as the transmission of germs throughout the value-creation chain is concerned.

Foreign bodies in food are also often the cause of recalls. To what extent can these be prevented with the technologies that are available today?

Principally in areas where there is direct contact between the workforce and the products. An important step

Contamination with foreign bodies in meat and sausage

towards greater food safety, therefore, is to replace

products can occur anywhere along the entire production

manual activity with automated processes as extensively

chain. From a broken knife in the cutting room, for

as possible. One example of this is the fully automated

instance, or an overlooked screw or sealing gasket during

portioning and insertion of fillets, steaks and cold cuts into

unplanned maintenance or repair work. Other sources

the packaging by means of dispensing units and industrial

of this kind of contamination are material failure and


bits of the machinery or plant breaking off as a result of


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal

wear. Foreign bodies can be picked up by means of an inspection system with, say, metal detectors or X-ray

How can manufacturers ensure greater food safety and authenticity in this area?

equipment. Metal detectors are an efficient and costeffective way of picking out ferrous and non-ferrous

That requires an extensive catalogue of measures. Over

metals, as well as plastics or plastic film containing

and above the requirements for self-monitoring outlined

metallic powder, in both food and packaging. More

above, a universal, digitalized, tamper-proof traceability

frequently than metallic foreign bodies, however, it is

system needs to be put in place. Furthermore, we need

things like stones, glass, bone or plastics that appear

to establish regularly documented assessments of any

in products. And this is where X-ray technology can be

weak points, together with risk analyses specifically with

used, as it offers a broad spectrum of tests for almost all

regard to dangers posed by food fraud. These need to

types of foreign body. Used in combination with weight

be implemented along the entire value-creation chain

checks, it is possible to monitor several criteria at the

from raw material to end product, in conjunction with the

same time in both packaged and unpackaged foodstuffs.

appropriate HACCP concepts.

March~April 2019


Are you ready to see all of our INNOVATIONS at the IFFA? IFFA 2019 HALL 12.1 BOOTH B10

Companies are going all out While some might still call Atlanta’s IPPE “the chicken show”, it’s anything but these days. And, for those who refer to IFFA as “the German show”, tell that to the over 1,000 exhibitors from around the world who will be hoping you’ll stop by their stand. To make the slightest headway in trying to see those on your ‘must see list’, MPJ has picked out just a small listing of some companies we see who are very interesting. Enjoy the show

Slicing and packing of meat

Filling and closing machines Waldner supplies high performance filling and closing machines for major plant lines, but also for medium and small production capacities. The traditional owner-managed company produces machines for a multitude of industries including meat and delicatessen. With this wide range of German-made products, every potential customer finds a suitable machine – the Waldner product portfolio includes small laboratory sealing units as well as highlymodern, flexible, turnkey systems. All types of pre-made containers can be run on Waldner machinery, including various plastics, aluminum, buckets, cans and stand-up pouches with or without spout. Waldner offer many different DOSOMAT solutions, either round-table or inline machines, as well as end of line packaging machines like carton erectors, carton sleevers or packer systems. Hall 11.0, Stand A81

At IFFA, MULTIVAC will be demonstrating its complete lines and automation for the meat processing industry. Under the banner of ‘The DNA of Better Packaging and Processing’, the solution provider will be showing several fully automated lines for the slicing, portioning, and packing of different meat and sausage products. In addition to this, live demonstrations of MULTIVAC slicers and TVI portioners will take place in the MULTIVAC Processing Tent in front of Hall 11. Thanks to the systematic expansion of its product range in the direction of Processing, MULTIVAC can now offer its customers high-performance equipment, both as individual components and integrated solutions, from one source for the processing and packing of meat and sausage products. With the areas upstream of the packaging machine, the product range extends from slicers and portioners through to transport conveyors of all types and right up to handling modules for converging or orientating the products and loading them into the packs. Hall 11.1 Stand (various)

March~April 2019


Poultry meat detection

Central nervous system of meat industry Solutions for the digitisation and automation of meat factories will be the central theme of industry specialist CSBSystem’s stand at this year’s IFFA. “Everything the smart meat factory needs” is the concise description of the CSB stand, which will showcase solutions from the fields of Smart ERP, Smart Meat Factory, Smart Greenfield and Smart Optimisation,” says the company. CSB is presenting three ERP variants: The new Basic ERP, specifically developed for smaller companies and butcher shops, Factory ERP for production facilities of corporate groups and Industry ERP for a turnkey solution. The systems vary with regard to their level of complexity and scope, but all can handle the task of a central nervous system in meat factories. In addition to commercial and product management jobs, the CSB-System can facilitate real-time monitoring of machines, plan complex production processes or control and automate entire warehouses. At a dedicated island exhibit on the CSB stand, visitors can find out more about the individual solutions and get advice from experts. “We support our customers in digitisation, be it in planning new buildings, the digital evolution of existing factories or fully digitised meat processing facilities,” explains Hermann Schalk, CSB’s Head of Sales. Hall 11.1, Stand B81


March~April 2019

The filtering out of poultry breast fillet, which is interspersed with firm connective tissue, poses great challenges for quality control in the poultry industry. With the TOMRA QV-P, a detection system for poultry meat with this abnormality known as ‘muscle myopathy’ or ‘wooden breast’, can now be reliably sorted out. The system thoroughly scans the continuous product flow, classifies the meat in real-time and ejects flawed breast fillet. TORMA says the user-friendly system can be easily integrated into existing lines or is available as a stand-alone version. The recorded measurement data can be retrieved as reports at any time and ensure complete documentation and traceability of the processes. Bruno Gabriel, sales manager process analytics at TOMRA Food, says: “With the TOMRA QV-P our customers will not only be able to reliable sort out the affected products, though they will also have the ability to monitor each flock, making it possible to monitor each grower and compare for differences being it in the feeding, climate etc. The TOMRA QV-P is the perfect addition to our portfolio for the meat, turkey and seafood business and we are pleased to take the next step in helping our customers to meet the industry’s demanding requirements." Chris Begley, sales director of Vanguard Processing Equipment Ltd, TOMRA agent for the UK and Ireland says: "British consumers eat chicken twice a week, on average, and as a result Britain’s poultry sector is among the largest in Europe. This can lead to quality issues due to highly intensive farming. The TOMRA QV-P detects and grades chicken fillets in line according to muscle defects. It results in higher end-user quality and enables accurate grading for further processing." Hall 9.1, Stand D30

Meat Packing Journal

Visit us!

Hall 11.1 Booth B81

How much does your software know about meat? Ours knows a good deal. Industry-specific processes, integration of machines and systems, monitoring and reporting, traceability, recipe optimization, quality management and much more. The CSB-System is the business software for the meat industry.

The end-to-end solution encompasses ERP, FACTORY ERP and MES. And best-practice standards come as part of the package. Would you like to know exactly why industry leaders count on CSB?

A digital solution Processing 37 miles deep The market environment for modern food processing plants today is characterised by cost pressure, a highly dynamic approach and complexity. Plant and production managers frequently feel forced to pursue competing aims under difficult conditions: stringent quality requirements coupled with ambitious cost targets, quickly fluctuating demands and changing operating staff are typical challenges. The Handtmann Monitoring Function HMF independently stops the filling and portioning line if quality-relevant parameters are exceeded or not met. Miss-production can thus be reduced or even altogether avoided. Its Data Interface (HDI) features a standardised interface for easy communication with data processing system for process optimisation, while the Handtmann Line Control (HLC) allows status monitoring of complex automated production lines in real time, as well as automatic programme change for the entire production line via the Handtmann vacuum filler’s control system. IFFA will also see the premiere of the Handtmann Machine Cockpit (HMC), an online tool that stores defined data such as operating hours, pressure curves, error messages and machine status in the cloud. Hall 12 Stand A80


March~April 2019

Californian chicken giant Foster Farms relies on a high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) process for its All Natural Sliced Turkey, which eliminates the need for preservatives. This innovative product was achieved with Hiperbaric’s technology which was used to develop and produce these products. High Pressure Processing is a cold pasteurization technique which consists of subjecting food, previously sealed in flexible and water-resistant packaging, to a high level of hydrostatic pressure (pressure transmitted by water) up to 600 MPa/87,000 psi for a few seconds to a few minutes. It is the same effect as subjecting the food to an ocean depth of 37 miles deep – if an ocean this deep existed. HPP is a natural, environmentally friendly process that respects the ingredient and helps maintain the fresh food characteristics like flavor and nutrients. It is a real alternative to traditional thermal and chemical treatments. Hiperbaric is the global leading supplier of HPP equipment for the food industry. It started in the year 1999 and has nearly 200 installations in the world, contributing to its customers’ success through innovative solutions with the Hiperbaric equipment. Hall 9, Stand F39

Meat Packing Journal

Digital technology for casing printers Spice expert for ham and sausage Under the heading "German heritage – worldwide expertise" RAPS GmbH & Co. KG will be pioneering both flavour and technology at IFFA, presenting a wide range of functional additives, compounds, and culinary seasonings. Customer proximity, raw material competence and technological know-how characterize RAPS’ tailor-made product offerings, including numerous new developments such as next-generation injection brines for cooked hams. Easily combined and supplemented to make a subtle difference, the new RA-LAK injection brines have a relatively neutral yet finely spiced profile and are a perfect complement to the newly developed LAK-TOP seasonings. Visitors are invited to taste exquisite French Jambon Supérieur, trendy coffee ham and hearty poultry ham, for example, and make their own sensory judgements about the variety of regional, international, and new flavours. Hall 12.1, stand C61


March~April 2019

For many years printers of artificial food casings have identified the potential benefits of being able to access ‘short run’ production capability, including instant image change with virtually no material waste or down-time. Through cooperation between Resino Trykfarver and KPG Europe and by combining the experience and skills of both companies, Resino is launching a digital system for printing casings in full color, plus white. Resino has finalized a development program, adapting their well proven flexographic UV curing ink technology for printing artificial casings, into an inkjet applicable variant, RESUCAT 220 series. Designing the new digital system, KPG has been able to maximize the vast experience gained by supplying dual-pass flexo casing presses worldwide for many years. With pdf handling, instant data changes, choice of print resolution and production speeds (600 X 600dpi and up to 100m/min depending on design); ‘short runs’ are now a reality for casing printers. Hall 12.1, Stand D18

Meat Packing Journal

Leading global provider

Large network for microwave

Dutch company Marel is the leading global provider of advanced processing systems and services to the poultry and meat industries. Its product range spans the entire production process, from reception of raw materials all the way through packaging and labelling of the final product. Marel has full line offering through out the process from primary, secondary, and further processing. Marel’s Meat Industry Center brings together decades of experience and expertise accumulated across five continents with the goal of supplying top-of-the-line integrated systems and services to the red meat industry. The company focuses in particular on the four key processes of deboning and trimming, case read, food service, and bacon pressing. For the latest from Marel, please visit them at their stand. Hall 8, Stand K98

Sairem is a worldwide supplier of microwave machines and radio-frequency machines for food industry. It provides their customers with different applications such as tempering, thawing, heating, cooking, drying, and pasteurization. Around 80 percent of the French company’s turnover is made on the export market and it has a very large commercial network with more than 40 sales partners and agents representing it. “Our standard product range of microwave and radio frequency equipment can be used for tempering frozen food products – meat, poultry, chicken – is made of batch machines with an hourly capacity between 125 and 1200 kg/h for tempering between-20°C and -4°C/-2°C. In addition, we have continuous flow tunnels with an hourly capacity between 1,000 and 10,000 kg/h for tempering between -20°C and -4°C/-2°C,” says the company. Hall 9, Stand C98

March~April 2019


I n n ovati o n

B reedr

Precision reared livestock by velo mitrovich


n the farmed salmon industry, farmers can go over ‘shopping lists’ and select exactly what characteristics they are looking for in their salmon, such as disease or cold resistance, or fast growth rate. Egg providers then select breeding stock with

exactly these characteristics and provide farmers what THEY want, not what the industry is willing to provide. Chicken and hog farmers as well are able to be selected in choosing stock, enabling them to have animals that will grow at the same rate with little variance in size, making them more valuable to processors. And then we have the world’s beef industry which in many aspects, has changed little in the last two-thousand years. No longer. “British beef farmers are missing out on up to £400 per carcass as almost half fail to meet the required market specifications,” Ian Wheels, co-founder of start-up

different approach based on "better understanding of how

productivity app Breedr, tells MPJ.

genetics and breeding can create a desirable frame size.

A shift in consumer preferences has led the beef

Also, to investigate how the use of 3D camera technology

industry unprepared to respond to the market demand

can help standardize measurement and give a much

a new approach is needed. Now, an app launched by

earlier predictor of value, and better align to the actual

Breedr in conjunction with Rothamsted Research can

needs of a processor".

make the corrections necessary to adapt the farm production to consumer's taste. Breedr co-founder Ian Wheal was brought up on a

The start-up is working with Professor Michael Lee, Head of Sustainable Agricultural Sciences at Rothamsted Research and Chair in Sustainable Livestock Systems at

mixed livestock farm in Australia, where his father was

Bristol Veterinary School, on the Field to Yield project,

one of the first to adopt electronic tagging. The tags

which is funded by the Impact Labs.

capture information about the performance of individual

"Our research shows that it is possible to produce

animals and enable an audit trail to be created of tests

livestock with the desired attributes within 18 months

and treatments, time on grass and other animal health

from pasture-based finishing, to balance the needs of

and welfare interventions, reports Farming UK magazine.

production efficiency, product quality, and environmental

"There is a big drive towards loin steaks and burgers

impact. But to achieve such targets requires excellent

from consumers, however, the current EU-wide EUROP

pasture management, appropriate animal genetics and

grading system, which is used to value beef, was

visualization tools to predict carcass and eating quality",

originally designed when rump was the main piece

added prof. Lee.

of beef consumed. The result is that today’s farmers

AHDB data suggest that if customers have a bad

are flying blind when trying to meet the specifications

eating experience it can take up to 12 weeks for them to

of retailers for meat with less fat and improved taste,"

buy that specific cut of meat again.

explains Ian Wheal. Instead of that system, Breedr co-founder suggests a


March~April 2019

Meat Talk will have more on this amazing development later in the year.

Meat Packing Journal





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March~April 2019




Leading Turkish producer talks MAP – massive MAP expansion predicted Sultan Et (, located on the outskirts of the city of Ankara in Turkey, has been producing high-quality meat for almost 50 years. In 2017, the company introduced a new range of fresh red meat products in trays under modified atmosphere. Mustafa Bilikçi, managing director at Sultan Et, talks about the challenges and benefits of this recent project. SEALPAC and MPJ report

by velo mitrovich


hile Turkey has seen a recent

With this new generation, the company grew quickly and its activities spread across Turkey. Investments in new equipment were made, while its product range was extended with salami, sausages, hams, roasts, and smoked meats. As consumer behavior in Turkey started changing, those products all had to be pre-packaged for sufficient shelf life, so several new deboning and packaging lines were acquired. In addition, offices and warehouses were opened in Istanbul, Antalya, and Izmir, extending the company’s range.

Successful by nature


oday the company has around 230 employees, most of which work in the meat factory in Elmadağ. Later this year, a second office in Istanbul

downturn in its economy and a

will be opened, bringing the total to six and Sultan Et

deprecation in its currency, some

expects company employment to reach 30 by year’s end.

producers such as Sultan Et still see opportunities and are willing to

invest in technology to improve the packaging and shelf life of their products.

According to Bilikçi, while there used to be 600 different meat manufacturers in the Ankara region several decades ago, today there is only one leader – Sultan Et. “Why? Because my father, based on his 40 years

Sultan Et was founded by Ahmet Bilikçi, together

of experience, taught us to be honest, to focus on our

with his brother and two aunts, in 1973. At the start, their

core business, to reinvest any money earned into the

production area measured just 500 square meters and

company, and to provide the highest meat quality

focus was on producing a small selection of delicacies,

possible by using the best technology available. That

such as sucuk (typical dried sausages from Turkey) and

is our family culture. It makes us one of the top 1,000

pastrami, primarily for the Ankara region. This was done

industrial companies in Turkey.”

with 40 people in total, who were producing 75 tons per

Sultan Et applies a strict quality assurance system

month. At that time, pre-packaging of meat was not so

according to FSSC 22000 in its production. The company

common or popular in Turkey.

controls each step in the process, from acquiring

In 2000, the second generation entered the company.

carcasses to delivering finished products at retail. Its

Mustafa Bilikçi, son of the founder, took up the position

red meat is selected from domestic cattle breeds that

of CEO. Since he was 10, he had been working in the

are raised in well-chosen parts of Central and Eastern

company as a ‘trainee’ under the care of his father so he

Anatolia plateaus. As the company’s website states: ‘We

knew the company inside and out.

are manufacturing products that everybody can consume


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal


safely and share with loved ones.’


meat and fresh red meat cubes under MAP.”

These days, Sultan Et is producing a wide variety of

With 53 people, including 18 technicians across the

processed and fresh meat products, such as pastrami,

country, and being a representative of major brands in

sausages – still including sucuk – döner, salami, and

food manufacturing, such as SEALPAC, Feyzi has been

various types of sliced meat. Primary focus is on beef,

at the service of its clients with slaughtering, deboning,

veal, lamb, and poultry, including offal, which are sold

cutting, further processing and packaging lines for over

under the brand names Sultan, Serdar and Anadolu.

half a century. It offers a full-service package, including

Main business of the company is fresh meat, although a small part is also frozen product. The latter is mostly

consultation, design, installation, training, spare parts, maintenance and repair with the equipment it supplies.

sold in the Antalya region, where Sultan Et is supplying

Confidence to invest

around 300 hotels with large meat cuts. In fresh meat, the company is producing about 1,100 tons per month, divided between vacuum packaging and MAP. This second packaging system was introduced only recently. Production Manager Murat Byikli explains: “In 2012, we started investigating the possibility for applying modified


n the poultry industry in Turkey, SEALPAC is the market leader in terms of tray-sealing equipment. We knew that from our contacts with well-known

companies such as Beypi and Erpilic,” says Mustafa Bilikç.

atmosphere packaging to our fresh meat. For this project,

“For some reason, it had not been able to enter the red

we teamed up with Feyzi. Finally, in 2017, based on their

meat segment just yet. However, our company highly

advice, we invested in a new line for packaging minced

values equipment manufactured in Germany so we were

March~April 2019




interested. “Within our factory, we have around 80 different brands of equipment, with 95 percent of them are made in Germany. This is why we involved SEALPAC in the decision process. We visited their factory in Oldenburg, as well as a reference customer. In the end, this led us to invest in the new line with a SEALPAC A7 traysealer in 2017. “Feyzi played a central role in the project. Our contact person, Serkan Atay, has a personal style that matches our company culture. He knows the market extremely well and is different from other suppliers. Where they tend to only emphasize their advantages, Serkan carefully compared the advantages and disadvantages of all the equipment offered. This gave us the necessary confidence to make the investment.”

Flexible, yet high outputs


fter running the line for around a year, and seeing the success of the MAP products, a second line with another SEALPAC A7 traysealer was installed

by the end of 2018. Both lines consist of processing equipment (eg, mixing and portioning), a denester, checkweigher, metal detector, labeler, and printer. Murat Byikli says: “Feyzi helped us by designing the lines in such a way that they would fit in our limited production space, and by achieving optimal synchronization of all the steps in the production process. Another important issue for us is maintenance. Here, we knew Feyzi would be able to offer us excellent service, whilst SEALPAC equipment is known for its low spare parts usage.” The A7 traysealers and their tooling quick exchange tooling system provides Sultan Et with the required flexibility to run different batch sizes with minimum changeover times, yet still achieve high outputs. Both machines in the factory are equipped with servo technology, hence requiring less maintenance and reducing air consumption by up to 90 percent. Stainless steel doors and covers allow for optimal hygiene and easy cleaning. Murat Byikli adds: “And most important, the SEALPAC traysealers are extremely operator-friendly.”

Growing the market


ultan Et currently runs two different tray sizes (190 x 144 and 275 x 175 mm) on the MAP lines. Each tray is sealed with InsideCut technology for an

excellent appearance at retail and has a peel tab for easy opening by the consumer. By applying a gas mixture of CO2 and O2, the shelf


March~April 2019

Meat Packing Journal



March~April 2019




CEO Mustafa Bilikçi, (R) with Production Manager Murat Byikli

life of the products is between eight to 10 days. Products

He was also the Chairman of the National Red Meat

are primarily sold at retailer BIM, which has almost 7,000

Council, a joint venture of meat manufacturers, farmers,

stores across Turkey. Around 170 own refrigerated trucks

universities, and consumers, for two years.

deliver Sultan Et’s fresh meat across the country on a daily basis.

One of its priorities is establishing sustainable food production in Turkey. Based on his extensive market

With the second MAP line installed by the end of

knowledge, Mustafa Bilikçi predicts a strong growth in

2018, production volume has now doubled, opening up

modified atmosphere packaging in the coming years:

possibilities for supplying more customers. Some years ago, Mustafa Bilikçi was chosen as the

“In 2017, red meat consumption in Turkey was around 1.3 million tons per year, off which only 1,000

youngest president of the Turkish Red Meat Association

tons per month in MAP. We expect the annual red meat

at the age of 35. This organization represents the Turkish

consumption to reach 1.5 million, with MAP making up at

red meat industry, for example with regards to political

least 25 percent. Not only because Turkish consumers are

decisions and regulations.

getting more used to modified atmosphere packaging,

After serving for two years, he was re-elected for another two years, only to step down this last January.


March~April 2019

but also because standardization and hygiene in Turkish meat production is improving.”

Meat Packing Journal




MEET US AT IFFA 4-9 May, 2019 | Frankfurt am Main |

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