GEA and Red Arrow have jointly won a Fleischerei Technik (Meat Technology) Award 2016 for their ‘smokeless’ smoking process in the 3rd Generation GEA CookStar spiral oven. SuperHeatSmoke is an innovative in-line solution for smoking of meat, poultry, seafood and meal components. The highly regarded award has been presented at IFFA 2016.

Recognition for innovation, efficiency and food safety

2016.05.24 Outfeed CookStar with smoked chicken

The Fleischerei Technik award honors innovations in meat and sausage processing in the supply chain from slaughtering to packaged products. The jury place special emphasis on groundbreaking ideas that not only boost efficiency but also increase product quality and enhance food safety. The award is presented in seven categories: processing machines; food safety; food processing; smoke & climate control; automation; hygiene; transport and logistics. GEA and Red Arrow won the Golden award in the smoke & climate control category.

The market for smoked products is growing. For example, smoked vegetarian products are becoming popular in Germany, while in Scandinavia, traditional fish products remain strong. The BBQ sector is another important European market for smoked products like ham shanks, pulled pork, pulled beef and pulled chicken. However, there are health concerns regarding conventional smoking processes.

Concern for well-being and authentic taste

Paul Verbruggen, Senior Product Manager Further Processing at GEA, says, “In today’s dynamic food market, consumers are aware of products that combine a concern for their well-being with ease of preparation and an authentic taste. At the same time, food processors get more and more direction from local and central government to provide sustainable products and adopt a responsible eating policy. The SuperHeatSmoke in-line smoking process co-developed with Red Arrow produces fully cooked smoked products that meet these criteria”. Uwe Vogel, Managing Director at Red Arrow Handels-GmbH, says: “Using conventional smoke is a labor intensive batch process and has limited performance in high temperature (> 100 °C) in-line smoking processes. The application of our purified primary smoke products and atomization technology in the GEA CookStar is an efficient, safe and effective alternative for hot smoking processes.”

Smoke without fire

SuperHeatSmoke is a process for smoking at temperatures above 100 °C. The 3rd Generation GEA CookStar is the only in-line spiral oven available with the option for using freshly generated smoke from Red Arrow’s purified smoke condensate. This means cooking, baking, roasting and smoking can all take place at the same time in one spiral oven. The oven ensures a controlled environment for a more constant and mild smoke flavor.

The technology further enables taste and color variation by using smoke condensate with different colors and flavor intensities and by the flexibility of applying smoke in one or both oven sections. A semi-automatic smoke generator is integrated into the 3rd Generation GEA CookStar for 'smoke on demand'. The smoke condensate tanks are equipped with an automatic filling system and the recipe is controlled via the CookStar Menu.

Clean label

SuperHeatSmoke can be labeled 'smoked' on the packaging, and since there are no unhealthy residues on products such as tar, ash and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), products may be designated 'Clean Label'. The resulting products are healthier compared to conventional smoking methods. There are significant process benefits too, because the in-line process cuts smoking times from hours to minutes. It also produces more consistent product quality than batch smoking systems.

Visit the Technology Center in Bakel to test this in-line process together with the GEA Application Specialists.

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