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GEA Food Solutions ColdSteam: Technology inside

Historically, the meat processing industry has used fresh meat as raw material. In recent years, frozen meat has become increasingly important as it is usually cheaper and more widely available than fresh meat thanks to being sourced on the global market. In addition, the demand for fresh meat often exceeds market availability or growth plans. This makes using frozen instead of fresh meat increasingly attractive for meat processors. However, using frozen meat requires an optimized, controlled defrosting process. GEA Food Solutions provides the solution: defrosting under vacuum.

Vacuum Defrosting, rapid and efficient GEA Food Solutions applies defrosting under vacuum in both tumblers and mixers. Steam is injected into a vacuumed chamber containing blocks or pre-ground frozen meat. Due to the vacuum, the temperature of the steam is only slightly higher than room temperature, which means the meat is not scalded, damaged or altered, and its color, binding properties and structure remain intact. This means a meat processor can respond quickly to orders, as well as defrost meat ‘on-demand’. Fast defrosting under vacuum increases operational flexibility as it reduces lead-time in the production process. Compared to traditional defrosting techniques such as tempering chambers or microwave systems, vacuum defrosting delivers consistent results without incomplete defrosting or hot spots. In other words, it enables meat processors to satisfy the increasingly higher demands of their customers.

Defrosting with steam under vacuum
At normal atmospheric pressure (1.0 bar), water boils at 100°C (212°F). In a vacuum, it boils at a lower temperature. In a 95% vacuum (0.05 bar), for example, the boiling point of water drops to 33°C (91.4°F). The resulting steam is also at this temperature, so 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.

GEA Food Solutions offers two ColdSteam solutions

The GEA Food Solution ColdSteam Mixer (M) defrosts a batch of pre-ground or crushed frozen meat for further processing in around 10 minutes.

The GEA Food Solutions ColdSteam Tumbler (T) defrosts whole muscle and bone-in products in 3 to 8 hours, depending on the type of products/block size.

Fast facts

GEA Food Solutions ColdSteam M and GEA Food Solutions ColdSteam T

GEA Food Solutions Bakel B.V.

Defrosting of frozen meat under vacuum
Advantages: - Significant reduction of defrosting time
- Increased yield, no weight loss through purge (drip loss)
- Substantial reduction of manual handling
- Increased operational flexibility
- Faster reaction to customer demands
- Verified food safety guarantee
- Top and easy to use hygienic design
- For high variety of products (bone-in and boneless meat & poultry, shrimps)

Contact: GEA Food Solutions Bakel B.V.
P.O. Box 1, 5760 AA
Beekakker 11
5761 EN, Bakel, The Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0)492 349 349
Fax +31 (0)492 349 416
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