Blog posts of '2011' 'March'

Food Manufacturer Online Article

Low cost green way to cool meat


Research is underway to develop lower cost and greener equipment that can cool water-cooked meat joints such as hams safely and rapidly, without compromising flavour and texture.

The two-year euro 1.2M EU Seventh Framework (FP7) project, which began in October last year, is investigating a novel technique known as immersion vacuum cooling (IVC) and is based on existing research conducted by University College Dublin.

It involves collaboration between research institutes and firms across Europe, including Irish pork processors McCarren & Co and Stephens Fresh Foods, based in Kent.

Conventional cooling doesn't easily enable producers to meet 'cook-cool' guidelines to minimise the growth of pathogens that survive cooking, according to Lee Gapper, sales director of the Food Machinery Company, which is involved in the project.

"EU legislation says meat products have to be cooled from 90°C to 5°C within two hours, which for ham is actually impossible," said Gapper. "If you take a ham that has been cooked up to 82°C and put it in a blast chiller it will take about 5.56h to cool it down, unless you then dip-freeze the outside, which damages the meat."


Vacuum chillers cool products evaporatively, which produces a dry and tough piece of meat that no-one wants to sell, he added.

IVC cools the product submerged in its brine "so you don't lose any of the meat quality", said Gapper. Cooling takes "less than half an hour, which provides huge energy savings".

Spanish engineering research firm IRIS is building a prototype IVC rig that will produce hams under varying conditions. These will be tested for quality, flavour and Listeria monocytogenes pathogen growth.

Gapper seeks producers to take part in an anonymous online survey to ensure that the equipment being developed meets industry needs.

Meat Trade News Daily - Coolmeat project

European Union - European Project survey CoolMeat

20 Jan 2011

We would like to briefly inform you about a R&D project that we are currently involved in called COOL-MEAT, which is being funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. The COOL-MEAT Consortium comprises Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Research and Technology Developers (RTDs) from across Europe.



The COOL-MEAT project aims to develop a combined cook-cool technique, known as immersion vacuum cooling, for rapid cooling of water-cooked meat joints. In terms of its use within the cooked meat industry, the technique will reduce the cooling times (up to 40%) and the energy consumption considerably, while keeping the quality of the cooked products.



In order to ensure that the needs of the cooked meat industry are adequately researched and taken into account during the development work of this project, we would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes of your time to fill out a simple on-line questionnaire, which you can easily access by clicking on:



All responses will be treated with utmost confidentiality and will be used for the sole purpose of helping us to design the most suitable and versatile tool to meet the needs of the industry.



If you as an association could distribute the survey among your partners and associates help us a lot in order to obtain the max number of responses.



While we would like as much feedback from you as possible, please feel free to skip any question you do not wish to or are unable to answer.

Thank you in advance and best wishes,

The COOL-MEAT Consortium.

*For more information about the COOL-MEAT project, please visit:

Food Manufacturer Print article on the Coolmeat project.

Food Manufature - Coolmeat Article