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Waterless knife sterilisation for meat processing plants

Opportunity for

  • Solution providers wanting to develop new solutions for sterilisation of knives and other tools for Australian red meat abattoirs. Participants may be:

    • Wishing to brainstorm and evaluate (without substantially building) new approaches (this can be initially focussed and limited to knife sterilisation) 
    • Ready to build and evaluate designs for new approaches 

Opportunity description

Industry challenge: Meat processing is a capital, labour and energy intense industry. Sterilisation, the cleaning of dirt and microbial remnants is required on all slaughter floor tools between each carcase. The process consumes large amounts of water and energy, requires twice the number of cutting tools at each station and at 82°C is also a health (burn) risk to staff.

Current opportunity: Currently in abattoirs worldwide operators must clean their tools, including knives between carcases. This means dipping the tool for a minimum of six seconds into a steriliser pot of hot water maintained at a temperature of no less than 82°C (180° F). Consequently two tools are required per station, so that the operator can move immediately to a new carcase.

Temperature and time sterilisation of these tools are part of a HACCP program . A common practice to ensure that these standards are unquestionably met is to have the water temperature much higher than the required 82°C. In addition, more water than is required is often continuously passing through the sterilisation pot. This widespread practice necessarily increases water and energy consumption, requires two sets of tools and increases the risk of heat burn to staff.

Past R&D: The industry has supported a number of investigations into waterless applications in the red meat sector, although the majority of these do not focus specifically on knife and tool sterilisation:

  • Technical support on the application of < 82°C water for knife and equipment sterilisation

  • Validation of an alternative procedure for knife cleaning on the slaughter floor

  • Robotic Front Vac San (Uses steam)

  • Robotic Rear Vac San (Uses steam)

  • The effect of different water temperatures on knife decontamination

  • Waterless cleaning initiatives

  • Waterless cleaning of meat processing facilities

  • Water Collection and Data Analysis

  • Energy and Water Use within processing plants.

Opportunity type

Seeking interest, Research partner, Field trial

Readiness

Early (TRL 1-4)
Describes the challenge or opportunity being pursued and undertakes preliminary R&D to determine if the concept is feasible.
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Project led by

Multiple industries
Beef Other rural industries Pasture, fodder & feed

Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC)

The Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) is the Rural Research and Development Corporation (RDC) that supports the red meat processing …

Multiple industries
Beef Other rural industries Pasture, fodder & feed
  • Location

    Australia

  • Organisation type

    Research funding body

Logo for Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC)

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