The invention relates to a method for introducing liquid substances
such as brine or paste into a meat piece, wherein the liquid substance is injected
into the meat piece.
The invention relates more particularly to the injecting of brining
liquid into a piece of meat without needles or other mechanical means being inserted
into the piece of meat. To this end the brining liquid is sprayed at high pressure
from a spray nozzle into the meat which, in the known methods, results in the
surface of the meat being damaged.
The invention has for its object to improve the above mentioned method
such that this damage does not occur.
The method according to the invention is distinguished in that during
injecting the piece of meat is held in contact with one or more spray nozzles for
injecting the liquid substance.
The contact prevents the injection stream being atomized prematurely,
that is, outside the meat, which would result in a greater spraying spot.
According to a further development the meat piece is deformed using
mechanical means to a slab of predetermined thickness and with a certain width.
Owing to the deforming of the meat to a determined thickness the required injecting
pressure is reduced, which also contributes towards reducing the damage to the
It is further recommended in each case to subject the meat piece
according to a determined grid to at least one stream of liquid substance under
superatmospheric pressure. The most homogeneous possible distribution of the brining
liquid in the meat is thus obtained, wherein it is recommended according to the
invention to make the grid size a maximum of 2 cm, and preferably 1 cm.
To avoid damage to the meat, particularly red meat, the invention
proposes to make the thickness of the meat piece for deforming a maximum of 2 cm
so that with a penetration depth of 1 cm 50% of the meat is already cured.
The invention further relates to a device for performing the above
stated method, which device is provided with a frame and one or more spray nozzles
for the liquid substance carried by the frame, which device is distinguished in
that means are arranged for holding the piece of meat in contact with the or each
spray nozzle. According to a further development of the device according to the
invention it is embodied with means for deforming the piece of meat, in particular
close to the spray nozzles.
With such an embodiment the meat piece is carried along the spray
nozzles whereby these latter can have a stationary disposition, which facilitates
the supply of brining liquid under high pressure and control of the comparatively
short spraying times.
In a preferred embodiment the transporting means are embodied as
a conveyor carrying the piece of meat.
In preference the spray nozzles are disposed in a line perpendicular
to the conveying direction of the meat piece, wherein the conveyor can be embodied
as an endless belt whereof at least one reversing roller is arranged adjacent to
the row of spray nozzles.
According to the invention the deforming means can effectively be
embodied as a pressure roller whereof the rotational shaft is situated opposite
the row of spray nozzles. According to the invention this rotational shaft can
be distance-adjustable relative to these spray nozzles.
According to another embodiment the means for deforming the meat
piece can be embodied as a pressure chamber having two substantially parallel walls,
in the one of which the row of spray nozzles is arranged and the other wall whereof
converges relative to the one wall towards the spray nozzles, and wherein the transporting
means is a piston movable reciprocally between the two walls.
Above mentioned and other features of the invention will be further
elucidated in the figure description hereinbelow of a number of embodiments. In
the annexed drawing:
fig. 1 shows a perspective view of a first embodiment of a device according
to the invention provided with an endless conveyor with co-acting pressure roller,
fig. 2 shows a detail of the device of fig. 1 on enlarged scale with partly
broken away parts,
fig. 3 shows a further detail of the device of fig. 1 and 2 in perspective
view with partly broken away parts,
fig. 4 is an upright section of a second embodiment of the device according
to the invention provided with a pressure chamber,
fig. 5 shows a grid having shown therein the brine distribution in the piece
of meat obtained with the method according to the invention.
The device according to fig. 1 consists of a frame 1 of random type,
which in the embodiment shown is made from tube profiles, this such that two endless
conveyors 2, 3 can be supported in line with one another. Received between the
two conveyors 2, 3 is a beam 4 having arranged therein spray nozzles to be further
elucidated hereinafter, this such that these are arranged in a line perpendicular
to the conveying direction P1. A pressure roller 5 which serves as deforming means
for the meat is rotatably arranged opposite and above the beam 4, wherein it is
noted that the rotational shaft of the roller 5 is received at either end in each
case in a swivel arm 6.
With reference to fig. 2 and 3, the spray beam 4 is embodied as a
beam of trapezium-shaped cross section having a number of vertical bores in each
of which is received a spray nozzle 10. The bores communicate on the underside
with a common feed channel 11 which communicates with a feed conduit 12 which
is connected in a manner to be designated below to a liquid feed system 13. The
spray nozzle beam 4 is held in two frame beams 14 which form part of the main frame
In the embodiment shown the feed conveyor 2 is an endless belt 15
provided with a reversing member 16 extending parallel and close to the side of
the spray nozzle beam 4. The belt 15 is further trained around a tensioning or
drive roller 17 with associated guide rollers 18. On the feed side the belt is
embodied with a second reversing roller 19.
The discharge conveyor 3 is embodied in similar manner, with the
understanding that it is arranged mirror symmetrically relative to the spray nozzle
beam 4. The driving of both conveyors takes place such that the upper part moves
in the direction of the arrow P1.
The roller 5 embodied with a covering of elastic material can be
of any type but is of a weight and is biased in the direction of the arrow P2 such
that a meat piece V to be moved forward on the conveyor is subjected to a determined
pressure such that the piece of meat undergoes a deforming at the position of
the spray nozzle beam 4, whereby the thickness is reduced.
As already stated above, the roller 5 is freely rotatable on a rotational
shaft 5' which is mounted in swivel arms 6 which are mutually connected with a
coupling shaft 20 which is received in a fork-like bearing part 21 which supports
on the frame 1. The coupling shaft 20 runs through beneath the upper part of conveyor
2. If use is made of a determined biasing of the roller 5 in the direction of the
spray nozzle beam 4, hydraulic cylinders (not shown) can then act upon the arms
There now follows a description of the liquid feed system, the liquid
whereof serves as injection liquid for the meat piece V.
Arranged under the spray nozzle beam 4 is a valve housing 25 of which
the intake opening 26 is connected to a feed conduit 27 for the injection liquid,
for example brine with additives, subject to the meat piece for processing.
Arranged in the valve housing 25 is a non-return valve 28 in addition
to a non-return valve 29. Each non-return valve is embodied here as a ball that
is movable in a chamber and which can close off and release a passage opening located
Arranged between both ball valves 28 and 29 in the passage 30 of
the valve housing 25 is a branch bore 31 in which a plunger 32 is reciprocally
movable. In the embodiment of fig. 2 the plunger is driven by a hydraulic cylinder
33 by connecting the piston rod 34 thereof via a coupling 35 to the plunger end
part 36 of plunger 32.
Finally, it is noted that the outlet port of the upper valve part
29 is connected to the inlet bore 12 of the spray nozzle beam 4.
The above device operates as follows.
When a randomly shaped piece of meat is laid on the upper part of
the feed conveyor 2 it is carried in the direction of arrow P1 to the spray nozzle
beam 4. At this location the piece of meat V is brought to the correct thickness
by the pressure roller 5 and liquid in the spray nozzles 10 is in each case sprayed,
preferably every centimetre as seen in the direction of arrow P1, into the meat
on the underside. Spraying takes place for a very short time, between 12 and 60
milliseconds, in order to prevent stripes on the underside of meat piece V. With
a correct distance interval between the spray nozzles 10, for instance 1 cm, a
one centimetre grid can be obtained, see fig. 5. By selecting the correct spraying
pressure and spray velocity a good penetration depth of the liquid into the meat
V can already be achieved, whereby the meat is contaminated not only regularly
but also uniformly, see the concentric circles around the spraying positions in
the grid according to fig. 5. A uniform distribution of the brining liquid in the
meat V is herewith assured.
Spraying of the liquid is effected by periodically moving the plunger
32 reciprocally in the branch chamber 31 of the valve housing 25. This is carried
out in one case by actuating the cylinder 33 according to fig. 2 and in the other
by the motor 39 as in fig. 3.
When the plunger 32 moves to the left liquid will be drawn via the
lower valve 28 into the chamber 30, wherein after the plunger 32 has moved back
the liquid in chamber 30 is placed under pressure, which results in the closing
of the lower valve 28 and the opening of the upper valve 29, whereby the liquid
can flow via opening 12 and channel 11 to the spray nozzle beam, whereafter it
can exit to the outside via the spray nozzles 10.
Owing to the direct contact of the outflow opening of the spray nozzle
10 with the underside of the meat piece V the bottom surface of the meat piece
V will not be damaged.
Shown below is a survey of test results on different sorts of meat.
There now follows a description of an alternative embodiment according
to fig. 4. In the schematic depiction of this embodiment the spray nozzle beam
4 and the discharge conveyor 3 are the only similarities to the embodiment of
fig. 1-3. The spray nozzle beam 4 forms part of the bottom wall 40 of a pressure
chamber 41, the top wall 42 of which extends parallel to the bottom wall 40. The
sides of the pressure chamber 41 are closed by fixed wall portions (not shown).
In the pressure chamber 41 a rectangular piston 43 is reciprocally movable by a
hydraulic cylinder 44. The wall 42 located opposite the bottom wall 40 converges
from the point 45 in the direction of the spray nozzle beam 4, whereby a narrow
passage opening is obtained at the position of the spray nozzles. Behind the spray
nozzle beam 4 the pressure chamber widens again, wherein the open rear part debouches
above the upper part of the discharge conveyor 3.
The device operates as follows: By actuating the hydraulic cylinder
44 the rectangular piston 43 will move to the right in fig. 4, whereby the piece
of meat pre-arranged in the pressure chamber 41 is transported in the direction
of arrow P1 and pressed through the narrow opening at the spray nozzle beam 4,
whereby a deforming of the meat piece takes place to the desired thickness. The
operation of the spray nozzle beam 4 can take place in a manner corresponding to
that described above whereby the meat piece can be processed in accordance with
the same grid pattern as in fig. 5. The piece of meat V is further carried away
on the discharge conveyor 3.
The invention is not limited to the above described embodiments,
wherein a kinematic reversal of the movement of the meat relative to the spray
nozzles is conceivable. It is equally possible in a particular embodiment to move
the spray nozzles relative to the stationary piece of meat V in order to obtain
the desired spraying grid.
In addition the spray nozzles do not have to be disposed in a line
but may have any suitable configuration. It is furthermore conceivable to arrange
the spray nozzle movably in two coordinate axes whereby one spray nozzle would
The common feed chamber for all spray nozzles can of course be replaced
by a separate feed for each nozzle, thus enabling volume control per nozzle.
Method for introducing liquid substances such as brine or paste into a meat
piece, wherein the liquid substance is injected into the meat piece,
characterized in that
the meat piece is held in contact with one or more spray
nozzles during injecting of the liquid substance.
Method as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that
the meat piece is
deformed using mechanical means to a slab of predetermined thickness and with a
Method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the meat piece
is in each case subjected according to a determined grid to at least one stream
of liquid substance under superatmospheric pressure.
Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that
injecting takes place intermittently, wherein the interval time between the injections
is longer than the injection time.
Method as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that
the grid size is a
maximum of 2 cm.
Method as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that
the piece of meat
undergoes a deformation such that the thickness thereof is a maximum of 2 cm.
Device for performing the method as claimed in claim 1, provided with a frame
and one or more spray nozzles for the brining liquid carried by said frame,
characterized in that means are arranged for holding the piece of meat in
contact with the or each spray nozzle.
Device as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that
means are arranged
for deforming the meat piece, in particular at the spray nozzles.
Device as claimed in claim 7 or 8, characterized in that means are arranged
for generating a relative movement between the or each spray nozzle and the meat
Device as claimed in claim 9, characterized in that the transporting
means is a conveyor carrying the piece of meat.
Device as claimed in any of the claims 7-10, characterized in that the
spray nozzles are disposed in a row, wherein the conveyor is an endless belt whereof
at least one reversing roller extends parallel and adjacent to the row of spray
Device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims 7-11, characterized in
that the deforming or contact means are embodied as a pressure roller whereof
the rotational shaft extends parallel to the spray nozzles at a distance therefrom.
Device as claimed in claim 12, characterized in that the rotational
shaft is adjustable relative to the row of spray nozzles.
Device as claimed in any of the claims 7-13, characterized in that the
or each spray nozzle is connected to the outlet of a plunger pump.
Device as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that the deforming means
are a pressure chamber provided with two walls, in the one of which the row of
spray nozzles is arranged and the other wall whereof converges in the direction
towards the spray nozzles, wherein in the pressure chamber a driven piston movable
reciprocally therein is arranged as transporting means.
Device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that
behind the row of spray nozzles is arranged a discharge conveyor, preferably in
the form of an endless belt.