IRIS-led technology shortens the cooling of cooked meat by 50%
Rapid cooling of cooked meats is a reality today closer to the industry than the laboratory. After two years of research, testing and demonstrations, a European consortium of companies and research centers has achieved its goal: to develop a new solution aimed at shortening the cooling time of freshly cooked meat. Coolmeat makes such great advancement accessible to the meat industry. Production processes of certain cooked meat products can be optimised thanks to Coolmeat.
As a result, now cooling and food security go hand in hand, without compromising quality. The project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission and led by the Spanish company IRIS Research & Development, presented the industrial prototype in late September at its last meeting in Denmark. The European project has another Spanish partner: Embutidos Daza, based at Barbera del Valles, Barcelona (Spain) plus four other SMEs in other European countries and two research institutions, apart from the IRIS private company.
Coolmeat system is founded on the novel technique known as “immersion vacuum cooling” (IVC). The cooling of the meat after cooking is currently a real challenge for the meat producers. In the case of ham, cooling to 10°C or 4-5°C, by conventional methods (for example forced air) can take up to 12 hours, or more depending on the size of the piece of meat. With Coolmeat technology, the cooling time is reduced by 50% approximately.
Furthermore, Coolmeat technology maintains meat’s organoleptic and nutritional properties. The quality and safety of the final product depends on the cooling process, as certain pathogens may survive the cooking process. According to the cooling method applied after the meat is cooked, the growth of these pathogens can be minimized.
The IVC system is optimum for meat that complies with the following characteristics: it must be porous to let off steam and have enough water for the loss that occurs during the process does not affect the quality of the final product.
Ultimately, Coolmeat is a huge advance for beef producers and cooked sausages: shortens the cooling time, maintains the qualities and texture and does not compromise food safety.
For the design and development of the new system aimed at the meat industry, the consortium Coolmeat has listened to the opinions and comments from the sector, through an online survey that allowed taking into account the current industry needs and respond with a tangible and customized solution for cooked meat manufacturers.