How a Meat Processing Machine With an 80
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How a Meat Processing Machine With an 80

May 05, 2023

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Over the decades, the CutMaster meat processing machine developed by German production technology giant GEA has evolved to become widely used in the production of plant-based meats.

The first iteration of the machine, then called the Propeller Blitz, was developed 80 years ago to cut and blend sausage meat. As demand increased, the machine was made larger with two independently driven knife heads.

By the 1970s, the machine could automate tasks such as loading and discharging. Over the next few decades, it evolved to be Internet-connected, with the ability to monitor speed, temperature, and service issues. The speed of the knife heads was increased, and their configuration could now be altered depending on the recipe.

The machine — now known as the CutMaster — had become so flexible that it was suitable for a variety of uses. As consumers increasingly began to choose plant-based products, the CutMaster became widely used for the rehydration, mixing, and cutting of meat alternatives. It was also able to use vacuum technology to improve the formability and appearance of these products.

According to GEA, the machine is now used by several blue chip food companies to produce plant-based burgers, sausages, slices, and more. One of its key strengths is that the recipe can be altered in a matter of minutes, making it possible to produce several different types of meat alternatives. The company is now working to make the CutMaster more sustainable by reducing energy consumption and water usage.

GEA has been working with alternative proteins for several years now, including TVP, mycoprotein, and vegetable-based mixes. In 2021, the company told vegconomist that it has solutions available for every step of the alt meat production process.

"Our portfolio begins at the preparation of the mix and goes over to further processing, which is the forming, coating and frying of the products. We have perfect solutions for freezing and packaging meat alternative products as well!" said food application technologist Nils Beyer.