The V-Pump was a new launch for Marel at the IFFA trade show in Germany, which concluded on 12 May. The machine can produce up to 5,000kg of red meat products, such as burgers, per hour.
Core to the achievement of winning best innovation at IFFA was the duo of alternating belt pistons that the V-Pump utilises. Both deliver the same amount of pressure to the forming unit, moving meat over a small distance with minimum pressure on the product. This helps meat products, like burgers, retain original structure – something Marel said was “important” to create a good bite for consumers.
Another aspect of the V-Pump is that its food wastage level is low, with less than 0.3% of raw meat discarded. This is important from a financial and a resource perspective, as food companies walk the tightrope between profit maximisation and environmental responsibility.
“At IFFA 2013 we received this Innovation Award for our Modular Oven System, now we have received it for our V-Pump,” said Henri Janssen, director of sales and marketing for Marel’s Further Processing enterprise. “To us this is proof that we made the right choice to focus on developing true innovative solutions. We are convinced that this new V-Pump will also be very successful.”
Traditional meat pumping is done with an auger – a type of screw that feeds meat through a cylinder – and this can sometimes lead to structural damage on burgers. With the V-Pump, meat mass is collected using gravity, rather than via vacuum suction or with an auger, and only travels 30 centimetres to the next machine – Marel’s RevoPortioner, which forms the meat products.
“The meat passageway is completely auger-free as the width of the piston is as wide as the forming drum,” a company spokesman said, explaining the V-Pump.“Meat does not have to be spread horizontally in a manifold and vacuum is not needed. Friction and shear are avoided. The pressure applied is low – all these features help retain the original meat structure.”