The demand for chicken wings has increased steadily over the past decades, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. The popularity of the wings is pushing poultry processors to seek new ways to improve processing efficiency while protecting yield and quality. Processors have to increase production to keep up with the demand for wing products, and at the same time, they face varying market demands. Today, wing products come in different forms, and it requires a highly flexible system to produce all wing products and quickly adapt to order changes. A manual cone line is a traditional solution to achieve flexibility, but it is labour intensive and leaves the processor exposed to labour shortages. The obvious solution is to automate the wing cutting process. However, wings present certain challenges as they vary in size, are difficult to position correctly before cutting and have small joints. These challenges make the accuracy of the cut more difficult, and profitable wing processing requires high accuracy to ensure yield performance.
Recent years have presented several challenges in terms of securing a financially stable poultry processing business that meets the needs of customers. COVID-19 has opened processors’ eyes to the risk derived from being highly dependent on labour, and their interest in increasing the automation level has never been greater – this applies to wing processing as well. Recently, increasing live bird costs and soaring energy prices are furthermore motivating processers to reduce production costs while maximising the value of each bird being processed. The BAADER wing segmenting programme is a fully automatic wing processing solution integrated into the cut-up system. Cutting units are bypassable to ensure flexibility to produce a variety of wing products on the same line: whole wings, drummettes, mid-wings and mid-wings with tip. Furthermore, the system is designed to meet processors’ needs for fine-tuning yield performance on either wing or breast products. Breast meat stays on the fillet if desired while back meat can be harvested together with the wing product to add value.
Birds come in different shapes and sizes, making it complicated to perform an accurate cut between two small joints. The solution is to make the cut more independent of size variations. The BAADER Mid-Wing and Wing Tip Cutters cut each wing separately to optimise the cutting performance and obtain an A-grade anatomical cut. By first cutting one wing and then the other, the cut is not dependent on the positioning of the other wing in the machine and the cut is as accurate as a manual cut can be. This unique processing method makes the BAADER wing segmenting programme flexible in both product input and output.
By segmenting the wings, the total value of each wing becomes higher than if the wing had been sold as a whole wing. Additional value can be obtained by freezing the wings. It brings convenience to the consumers and extends shelf life considerably.
The Individual Quick-Freezing (IQF) method uses extremely fast freezing. In fact, the technology is so fast that it prevents bigger ice crystals from developing on the surface of the chicken wings. Ensuring first-class quality wing products, speed and temperature is everything. The faster the freezing, the higher the meat structure integrity because of less muscle cell rupture. Slow freezing on the other hand will cause a greater drip loss on thawing and a larger loss of nitrogenous constituents. In other words, rapid freezing preserves the integrity of muscle proteins to a greater extent than slow freezing and prevents ice crystals building up.
As part of our product portfolio, we are offering our customers IQF solutions from SKAGINN 3X, a full member of BAADER. These freezing solutions will fit the requirements of every poultry processor, focusing on fast freezing and high product quality. The IQF freezers are designed in both single and multiple lane configurations to best adapt to your production needs.
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