New defrosting technology using cold steam

Defrosting frozen raw meat and poultry for processed products requires a quick and efficient process that doesn’t decrease the value of the thawed product. Technology provider GEA has created a solution using cold steam under vacuum conditions that completes the job faster than when using conventional methods.

GEA has developed the ColdSteam, which works in conjuction with the GEA ScanMidi tumbler, injecting steam into a highly controlled vacuum drum to gently but rapidly defrost meat and poultry, reducing lead times and enabling food manufacturers to respond more quickly to orders.

At the normal atmospheric pressure of 1 bar, water boils at 100°C (212°F). However, under the 95% vacuum (0.05 bar) conditions of the ColdSteam, it boils at the much lower temperature of 33°C (91.4°F). The steam is then injected into the drum at this temperature which does not scald or damage the meat, nor cause denaturation of proteins. The steam condenses on the cold meat, and efficiently transfers its thermal energy, significantly speeding up the defrosting process, whilst keeping the colour, binding properties and structure of the meat intact.

The system is suitable for a wide range of meat and poultry products. The speed and angle of the system can be adjusted according to requirements, and the process is very gentle, ensuring that damage to the products is at an absolute minimum.

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