Ham, MultiJector & MultiCarve. GEA’s New Marination System Ensures Premium Quality Ham

Leading food technology supplier GEA has developed a system for tenderizing meat that optimizes the distribution of brine and provides ham with better sliceability – not to mention a reduction in slicing losses.

By using the GEA MultiCarve, an innovative tenderizing process between the injection and tumbling stages, food manufacturers are reproducing succulent ham products that offer consistently high quality characteristics like mouthfeel, taste and texture time and time again, with pork and poultry cuts.

Consumers are looking for ham that is tasty, tender and in convenient and cohesive slices. This is where the GEA MultiCarve is proving to be invaluable for pork and poultry cold cut manufacturers. Following injection, the meat that is to be used for ham is put through a set of bladed rollers, improving protein extraction, exposing greater surface area and releasing any tension within the meat, resulting in a more succulent texture and a well bonded product later on.

This releasing of tension works wonders for the meat. Being an animal product, cuts of pork do vary in terms of their fat to meat ratio, the grain of the meat in each piece, the tenderness and so on. By putting the meat through the MultiCarve stage before further processing, it can contribute to reduce tension, so the ham can be formed more smoothly later on.

The MultiCarve can be equipped with a selection of different rotating knife rollers, which can be adjusted as required either to gently follow the contours of the meat or, alternatively, more vigorous rolling can be used for tougher cuts such as shoulder ham. Putting the meat through this process also has the added benefit of reducing the time needed for curing, ramping up productivity.

Using GEA’s MultiCarve as an integral part of their ham processing, food manufacturers are preparing quality products that retain the right balance of moisture, succulence and tenderness, ready for tumbling, forming, cooking and slicing and packing.

Pork remains the world’s most widely eaten type of meat, with pork-based products accounting for 36% of all meat consumed. 1 Since pigs are efficient to rear and well-managed the world over, pig products are forecast to retain their hold on the market for the foreseeable future, with their popularity increasing year on year.

Ham is massively important in this market, given its popularity as a convenient option for sandwiches and salads. Creating products that look appealing, taste good, have the right texture and mouthfeel, and the ability to slice well has never been more important.

Willem Poos, Product Group Owner for Marination at GEA added: “GEA’s technology for the preparation of ham really is best-in-class because of its reliability, speed, and consistent accuracy. As well as this, the machinery has been designed with GEA’s slogan: ‘Engineering for a better world’ in mind. When ham and poultry slicing logs are difficult to slice, there is more waste on the slicing line. The MultiCarve is addressing this issue, by treating and preparing the meat to provide products that deliver the results time and time again.”

GEA offers complete line solutions for ham processing, including brine preparation, injection, tenderizing and tumbling, right through to slicing and packaging.