Go to any supermarket or delicatessen to buy a meat product, whether that be hams, chicken or steaks, and the expectation will be a fresh, flavorful eating experience, but behind that product there is a great deal of technology; much of the best from JBT. Typically used to add brine to meats, injector systems are a key element of the meat processing chain, and are one in which food safety and effectiveness are crucial to their success.
JBT Injector Systems lead the way in the controlled injection of bone-in or boneless meat, as well as featuring a tenderizer head for boneless meat.
For the poultry industry, the MEPSCO ULTRACAT, Junior ULTRACAT and Double Head Injector & Tenderizer offer uniform distribution, best moisture retention, and superior piece-to-piece accuracy compared with competitor systems. Meanwhile, Schröder/Wolf-tec IMAX injectors, designed and manufactured with German precision, have become the industry standard for performance, consistency, and reliability for bone-in and boneless injection, and marination, for deli meats and poultry.
“The injector needles are used to infuse liquid back into the meat because you want it to be juicy as if it was fresh,” explains JBT Customer Care Business Development Manager, Humberto Hernandez. “You put the meat in one end, set-up the needles – up to 750 at a time – and there is a pump which injects brine to add flavor.” This can cover everything from hams, bacons and briskets to chicken breasts, whole chickens and steaks, Hernandez continues; in fact just about any meat product that can be found in a deli outlet.
Of course when dealing with injecting liquids into both bone-in and boneless meat products, food safety is of the utmost concern, especially given the immense hazard that broken needle parts could pose. In the case of JBT injector systems, the needles are fused and forged to the machine using tempered steel for extra strength and resistance.
“In the case of some competitors, the needles are just welded, which carry the risk of breaking off and can cause a lot of problems down the line, not just in terms of company reputation, but they can also represent a food safety hazard,” cautions Hernandez.
“The main benefits of using this system is that it gives flavor by adding liquid to the products. At the safe time, it is simple and safe because the JBT Injector Needles use high quality, tempered steel which won’t break off during the process.”
Hernandez estimates that between 60-70% of meat sold via grocery retail outlets is injected with brine. The remainder is tumbled or massaged; also solutions offered by JBT.