In the past, slaughterhouses were places where people manually killed animals for meat extraction. Today, many meat processing facilities across the world use advanced technology every step of the way. Mechanisms like deboning equipment reduce the time taken to process the meat from the carcass. Moreover, they also prevent losses and meat waste.
Technology has played an important role in reshaping the meat industry into an efficient one. It helps slaughterhouses in aspects such as law compliance, sanitation, and high yield. Let’s take a look at some areas where technology comes into play.
At the beginning of the process, the animal is still alive. Initially, the workers restrain the animal to limit moving. Then a process called stunning happens. This is to reduce the animal’s stress and slaughtering only happens after it goes unconscious. There are three methods to do this. The first method is mechanical stunning. Where a pneumatic device fires pressure on the skull of the animal.
The second and the most common method is the electrical stunning. It involves passing a small amount of electricity to render the animal unconscious. The third method is by exposing the animal to CO2 gas, which acts as an anesthetic.
Every slaughterhouse now uses machines to do the slaughtering. A large piece of cutting knife drops in the right position to cut the stunned animal’s head off. The machine looks like a small chamber that holds the animal in place, ready for slaughter.
Throughout the cleaning process, technology comes into play on several occasions. DGS caters to almost every step of the meat processing. First, the carcass goes through a scalding bath to remove germs and soften hair for easy removal. Then, the meat goes through a set of spinning blades to cut it in half. Here, a conveyor belt helps move the meat from one place to another. Thus, there is no gap in the production of meat.
Slaughterhouses do not just extract the meat, but also pack them. For this purpose, they use a robot depalletizer. They can automatically pack several units of meat without the need for human involvement. Furthermore, they can operate at sub-zero temperatures to ensure the safety of the meat. The benefit of using this technology is that it reduces the storage space. Manual packing takes up a lot of space. Plus, a robot depalletizer can easily stack heights that are impossible through manual methods.
Sometimes, this process happens before packing. For instant cooling, packed meat goes through a cooling bath that instantly drops the core temperature to sub-zero temperatures. This helps keep the meat fresh and prevents spoilage. Some facilities also use normal refrigeration methods to preserve the meat. This meat then gets transported to processing facilities where they use other technologies like grinding to achieve their end product. Otherwise, it goes to the local retail markets for instant selling.
It is not a pretty sight inside the slaughterhouses. However, the advancements in technology are making the process more sanitary and easy for the workers and business owners. Now, they can produce several units of meat and also many by-products. Without technology, all the by-products would go to waste. By adapting technology like deboning and robot depalletizer, you will get the most out of the process!