Germany-based GEA is a big player in the supply of meat processing technology and, prior to IFFA, had gone through a rebrand to consolidate close to 200 affiliated websites and brands. At the trade show earlier in May, GEA unveiled a host of machines, including the MaxiFormer.
With the addition of the MaxiFormer, GEA is now able to offer meat processors a full 1,000mm wide machinery line that can defrost, grind, mix, form, coat, fry, cook freeze and package food items in one connected conveyor channel.
Through a rotating cylindrical drum designed with moulds to shape meat products, the MaxiFormer can produce products like chicken nuggets, fillet and tender steaks at fast speed, while maintaining shape retention and weight accuracy.
To avoid the meat sticking to the rotating drum during the shaping process, the moulds are designed with a porous material that enables air to travel through the drum and push the meat out of the cavity.
Using air pulse instead of a water spurts ensures meat forming is “cleaner and quieter and [also] lowers operation costs”, according to GEA spokesperson Nadine Gerndorf.
After the product is released, known as a ‘knock out’ effect in the machinery world, the product is sent on a conveyor belt to downstream equipment.
The MaxiFormer has a top belt speed that can run at 30 metres per minute, while its rotating drum can do 34 rotations per minute.
GEA, which reported consolidated revenue of €4.6bn last year, also launched a three-stage meat cutter, the DualSlicer 1850, at IFFA. This can consecutively cut up to four meat logs simultaneously and has an automated rear loading system which reduce slicing downtime significantly.
DualSlicer 1850 has been designed in accordance with the highest hygiene standards from the US Department of Agriculture. Its sloped surfaces help water and moisture drain off easily, while its belts and conveyors are easy to remove to enable easy cleaning, said the company.