Meat can be kept at an internal temperature of 2 to

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Unformatted text preview: under a week. Meat must be frozen and stored at much lower temperatures for long-term storage. The lower the storage temperature, the longer the storage life of meat products, as shown in Table 4–6. cen58933_ch04.qxd 9/10/2002 9:13 AM Page 245 245 CHAPTER 4 The internal temperature of carcasses entering the cooling sections varies from 38 to 41°C for hogs and from 37 to 39°C for lambs and calves. It takes about 15 h to cool the hogs and calves to the recommended temperature of 3 to 4°C. The cooling-room temperature is maintained at 1 to 0°C and the temperature difference between the refrigerant and the cooling air is kept at about 6°C. Air is circulated at a rate of about 7 to 12 air changes per hour. Lamb carcasses are cooled to an internal temperature of 1 to 2°C, which takes about 12 to 14 h, and are held at that temperature with 85 to 90 percent relative humidity until shipped or processed. The recommended rate of air circulation is 50 to 60 air changes per hour during the first 4 to 6 h, which is reduced to 10 to 12 changes per hour afterward. Freezing does not seem to affect the flavor of meat much, but it affects the quality in several ways. The rate and temperature of freezing may influence color, tenderness, and drip. Rapid freezing increases tenderness and reduces the tissue damage and the amount of drip after thawing. Storage at low freezing temperatures causes significant changes in animal fat. Frozen pork experiences more undesirable changes during storage because of its fat structure, and thus its acceptable storage period is shorter than that of beef, veal, or lamb. Meat storage facilities usually have a refrigerated shipping dock where the orders are assembled and shipped out. Such docks save valuable storage space from being used for shipping purposes and provide a more acceptable working environment for the employees. Packing plants that ship whole or half carcasses in bulk quantities may not need a shipping dock; a load-out door is often adequate for such cases. A refrigerated shipping dock, as shown in Figure 4–41, reduces the refrigeration load of freezers or coolers and prevents temperature fluctuations in the storage area. It is often adequate to maintain the shipping docks at 4 to 7°C for the coolers and about 1.5°C for the freezers. The dew point of the dock air should be below the product temperature to avoid condensation on the surface of the products and loss of quality. The rate of airflow through the loading doors and other openings is proportional to the square root of the temperature difference, and thus reducing the temperature difference at the opening by half by keeping the shipping dock at the average temperature reduces the rate of airflow into the dock and thus into the 0.5 freezer by 1 0.3, or 30 percent. Also, the air that flows into the freezer is already cooled to about 1.5°C by the refrigeration unit of the dock, which represents about 50 percent of the cooling load of the incoming air. Thus, the net effect of the refrigerated shipping dock is a reduction of the infiltration load of the freezer by about 65 percent since 1 0.7 0.5 0.65. The net gain is equal to the difference between the reduction of the infiltration load of the freezer and the refrigeration load of the shipping dock. Note that the dock refrigerators operate at much higher temperatures (1.5°C instead of about 23°C), and thus they consume much less power for the same amount of cooling. Poultry Products Poultry products can be preserved by ice-chilling to 1 to 2°C or deep chilling to about 2°C for short-term storage, or by freezing them to 18°C or Freezer –23°C Refrigerated dock 1.5°C Sliding door Refrigerated truck FIGURE 4–41 A refrigerated truck dock for loading frozen items to a refrigerated truck. cen58933_ch04.qxd 9/10/2002 9:13 AM Page 246 246 HEAT TRANSFER Air chilling H 2O 1000 g 980 g Immersion chilling H 2O 1000 g 1050 g FIGURE 4–42 Air chilling causes dehydration and thus weight loss for poultry, whereas immersion chilling causes a weight gain as a result of water absorption. below for long-term storage. Poultry processing plants are completely automated, and the small size of the birds makes continuous conveyor line operation feasible. The birds are first electrically stunned before cutting to prevent struggling. Following a 90- to 120-s bleeding time, the birds are scalded by immersing them into a tank of warm water, usually at 51 to 55°C, for up to 120 s to loosen the feathers. Then the feathers are removed by featherpicking machines, and the eviscerated carcass is washed thoroughly before chilling. The internal temperature of the birds ranges from 24 to 35°C after washing, depending on the temperatures of the ambient air and the washing water as well as the extent of washing. To control the microbial growth, the USDA regulations require that poultry be chilled to 4°C or below in less than 4 h for carcasses of less than 1.8 kg, in less than 6 h for carcasses of 1.8 to 3.6 kg....
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