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Title:
A DEVICE FOR SEPARATING FISH LIVER FROM VISCERA
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/212501
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device and method for separating fish liver from fish viscera are provided by the present invention. More specifically, the present invention relates to a device and a method where viscera and liver are automatically separated using a separation blade (5) and a conveyor (3) in a container device. The device and method use the physical properties of the liver and the rest of the viscera to facilitate the separation in a tank device comprising a conveyor and a separation means.

Inventors:
FINNBOGASON, Jonas Hall (REKAGRANDI 4, 107 REYKJAVIK, 107, IS)
Application Number:
IS2017/050008
Publication Date:
December 14, 2017
Filing Date:
June 08, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MAGNDIS EHF. (TUNGATA 7, 400 ISAFJORDUR, 400, IS)
International Classes:
A22C25/14
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008055509A22008-05-15
WO2009063294A12009-05-22
WO2008055509A22008-05-15
Foreign References:
EP2222171A12010-09-01
US0719948A1903-02-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARNASON FAKTOR (Gudridarstig 2-4, IS-113 Reykjavik, IS-113, IS)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A device for separating fish liver other fish viscera, said device comprising :

- a container 1,

- an infeed opening 2,

- a conveyor belt 3,

- an outlet 4 for liver and in the upper part of the container, and

- a separation means 5, characterised in that conveyor belt is positioned in the bottom of the container and extends upwardly from the container behind the separation means, the separation means is positioned above the conveyor belt.

2. The device according to claim 1, wherein the separation means is substantially horizontally positioned above the conveyor belt,

3. The device according to claim 1, wherein the separation means for separating fish liver other fish viscera is a comb-like member.

4. The device according to claim 1, wherein the separation means further comprises blades between the teeth near the base portion of the comb like separation means,

5. The device according to claim 1, wherein the separation means further comprises tubular extensions with upwardly extending front piece on top of each tubular extension,

6. The device according to claim 1, wherein the device further comprises a second opening 7 near the upper surface of the container for removing (exiting) floating material. 7. The device according to claim 1, wherein the container has one or more inlets 9 at the bottom of the container for pumping in fluid.

8. A system for separating fish liver other fish viscera, said system comprising :

- a container 1 with fluid,

- an infeed opening 2 for receiving fish viscera, - a conveyor belt 3 for pushing the viscera forward and upwards out of the container,

- a separation means 5 for separating fish liver other fish viscera,

- an outlet 4 for exiting separated liver out of the tank, said outlet being positioned in the upper part of the conta iner, and characterised in that conveyor belt is positioned in the bottom of the container to push the viscera forwards in the container and extends upwardly from the container behind the separation mea ns to exit the viscera out of the tank, the separation means is positioned above the conveyor belt to separate the floating liver from the viscera being pushed in the bottom of the container by the conveyor.

9. The system according to claim 8, wherein the infeed opening is above the start of the conveyor belt to allow the viscera to fall to the bottom of the tank and the liver to float.

10. The system according to claim 8, wherein a blade 6 in the infeed opening being positioned above and in front of the separation means prevents the liver from falling on or under the separation means. 11. The system according to cla im 8, wherein the separation means is a comb-like member positioned above the conveyor belt to mechanically sepa rating the liver from other viscera by tearing or cutting .

12. The system according to claim 8, wherein a stopping portion of the separation means extends upwards and in the conveying direction of the container to the top of the container to stop the floating liver to be caught by the conveyer belt and to be transported out of the tank with the other viscera .

13. The system according to claim 8, wherein the conveyor belt is a cleated conveyor belt to pull the viscera forward and upwards out of the container.

14. The system according to claim 8, wherein the container has two or more inlets 9 at the bottom of the container for pumping in fluid and the strength of flow increases for each inlet in the direction of the conveying direction of the conveyor belt.

15. A method for separating fish liver other fish viscera, the method comprising : - feeding fish viscera including liver into a container with fluid through an infeed opening,

- pushing the viscera forward and upwards out of the container by means of a conveyor belt,

- separating fish liver other fish viscera with a separation means,

- exiting separated liver out of the tank through an outlet for, said outlet being positioned in the upper part of the container, and characterised in pushing the viscera forwards in the container and upwardly from the container after the separation means to exit the viscera out of the tank by a conveyor belt being positioned in the bottom of the container and extending upwardly from the container after the separation means, and in that the floating liver is separated from the viscera by the separation means being positioned above the conveyor belt by pushing the viscera forwards in the bottom of the container by the conveyor.

Description:
A DEVICE FOR SEPARATING FISH LIVER FROM VISCERA Field

The invention relates to a device for separating fish liver from fish viscera. More specifically, the present invention relates to a device and a method where viscera and liver are automatically separated using a separation blade and a conveyor in a container device.

Introduction

The value of fish liver such as cod fish liver is increasing, both for consumption as well as extraction of oil from the liver. In order to separate undamaged liver from other viscera prior methods more or less manual, that is a worker has gutted the fish and separated the liver from the viscera with a knife and discharged the two in separate collecting means. There has been a tendency to gut and separate liver from large fish manually, in order to retrieve a whole and undamaged liver, whereas smaller fish is gutted mechanically, pushing the viscera out and collecting all the viscera including the liver. One of the mechanical solutions is shown in WO2009063294 where an apparatus for separating and collecting organic materials. The apparatus comprises a liquid filled tank, a conveyor an inlet and an outlet for the organic material. Detaching tools comprising both stationary part and a movable parts are used to separate the viscera. The stationary part comprises a bracket plate with a curved cutting surface extending away from a free cutting edge of the bracket, whereas the movable part comprises at least one detaching knife, rotating along the cutting edge and dragging the viscera under the conveyor for separation.

WO2008055509 discloses a device for the separation of fish liver from other fish viscera . The device comprises a container filled with liquid, a conveyor blet, a viscera inlet, an outlet for liver and liquid in the top of the container and optionally a separate liquid inlet. The fish liver is separated from other fish viscera in the container by the movement in the water, combined with gravity and the buoyancy of the water, which causes the pieces of liver among the viscera to separate from the other viscera. A continuous flow of liquid in the tank facilitates that the liver is separated from the other viscera without any cutting means or mechanical parts in the tank.

Summary

The present invention provides a method and an apparatus for separating fish liver other fish viscera using a mechanical separation or cutting device. A tank or container with a c!eated conveyor belt in the bottom and rising out of the tank pulls the viscera forwards in the tank with the liver floating above due to its physical properties, A separation device is positioned in the middle portion of the container so when the viscera is pulled forwards the separation device cuts the tissue connecting the liver to the remaining viscera. Embodiment such as a comb like separation device, pipe like extending pins of the comb like separation device with optional air-perforations and upwardly extending lifting members facilitate the separation capabilities of the apparatus and the method of the present invention

It is an object of the present invention to overcome and/or ameliorate the aforementioned drawbacks of the prior art and to provide an improved and/or alternative and/or additional device or method for separating fish liver other fish viscera using a new device of the present invention. It is one preferred object of the present invention to provide device or method for separating fish liver other fish viscera where preferably whole liver is separated from viscera without damaging the liver by cutting the viscera that sinks to the bottom of the tank from the floating liver using a cutting device. Moreover, it is a preferred object of the present invention to provide a method for separating fish liver other fish viscera by pulling the part of the viscera that sinks to the bottom of the tank forwards with a conveyor and cutting the floating liver from the viscera with a cutting device. The advantages of the present invention may be obtained by one or more of a) using a separation device in the tank which mechanically separates the liver from other viscera by earing or cutting the liver from other viscera s the conveyor belt pulls the sinking portion of the viscera, b) using a comb-like separation means, which catches the tissue of the viscera hanging from the floating liver between the teeth of the comb-like member. The object(s) underlying the present invention is (are) particularly solved by the features defined in the independent claims. The dependent claims relate to preferred embodiments of the present invention. Further additional and/or alternative aspects are discussed below.

Thus, at least one of the preferred objects of the present invention is solved by a device for separating fish liver other fish viscera. The device comprises a container, an infeed opening, a conveyor belt, an outlet for liver and a separation means. The conveyor belt is positioned in the bottom of the container and extends upwardly from the container behind the separation means, where the separation means is positioned above the conveyor belt. The invention further provides a system for separating fish liver other fish viscera, where the system comprises a container with fluid, an infeed opening for receiving fish viscera and a conveyor belt for pushing the viscera forward and upwards out of the container. The system further comprises separation means for separating fish liver other fish viscera and an outlet for exiting separated liver out of the tank, said outlet being positioned in the upper part of the container. The conveyor belt is positioned in the bottom of the container to push the viscera forwards in the container and extends upwardly from the container behind the separation means to exit the viscera out of the tank. Furthermore, the separation means is positioned above the conveyor belt to separate the floating liver from the viscera being pushed in the bottom of the container by the conveyor. The invention further provides a method for separating fish liver other fish viscera, the method comprises the steps of:

- feeding fish viscera including liver into a container with fluid through an infeed opening,

- pushing the viscera forward and upwards out of the container by means of a conveyor belt,

- separating fish liver other fish viscera with a separation means,

- exiting separated liver out of the tank through an outlet for, said outlet being positioned in the upper part of the container,

- pushing the viscera forwards in the container and upwardly from the container after the separation means to exit the viscera out of the tank by a conveyor belt being positioned in the bottom of the container and extending upwardly from the container after the separation means, and

- separating the floating liver is from the viscera by the separation means being positioned above the conveyor belt by pushing the viscera forwards in the bottom of the container by the conveyor.

In an embodiment of the present invention the device further comprises a blade or guiding member in the infeed opening positioned above and in front of the separation means to stop the liver from falling on the cutting means or under the cutting means.

In an embodiment of the present invention the separation means is substantially horizontally positioned above the conveyor belt.

In an embodiment of the present invention the conveyor belt is a cleated conveyor belt. The cleats pull the sinking portion of the viscera forwards and upwardly out of the tank.

In an embodiment of the present invention the separation means for separating fish liver other fish viscera is a comb-like member. The separation means may also comprise cutting member, such as knife members to separate fish liver other fish viscera. Tissue or membranes connecting the sinking portion of the viscera and the floating liver will get caught between the pins of the comb-like separation means and the pulling force of the conveyor belt, thereby separating the liver from the other viscera. In some embodiments the separation portion of the separation means is substantially horizontally positioned in the tank to perform the separation as the conveyor belt in the tank is horizontally positioned in the bottom of the tank and the sinking portion of the viscera and the floating liver are moving horizontally in the tank before the sinking portion is being pulled upwards by the conveyor belt.

In an embodiment of the present invention the separation means further comprises blades between the teeth near the base portion of the comb like separation means.

In an embodiment of the present invention the separation means further comprises tubular extensions with upwardly extending front piece on top of each tubular extension. In a further embodiment the tubular extensions comprise perforations to facilitate airflow through the tubular extensions for further facilitating floating of the liver. In an embodiment of the present invention the device further comprises a second opening near the upper surface of the container for removing or exiting floating material such as fat and membranes.

In an embodiment of the present invention the container has one or more inlets at the bottom of the container for pumping in fluid . In some embodiments the strength of flow increases for each inlet in the direction of the conveying direction of the conveyor belt. These openings are arranged side by side near the bottom of the tank to form a flow in one direction in the tank and to introduce liquid in the tank. Therefore, the flow through the inlets can be regulated such that most powerful flow is in the inlet where the flow is to be initiated from with decreasing strength in flow in the moving direction. In an embodiment of the present invention the infeed opening is at or above the start of the conveyor belt to allow the viscera to fall to the bottom of the tank and the liver to float. The sinking portion falls on top of the belt and is pulled forward by the belt, such as cleats or pulling means attached to the conveyor belt.

In an embodiment of the present invention the infeed opening being positioned above and in front of the separation means prevents the liver from falling on the separation means or under the cutting means. In further embodiments the stopping portion of the separation means extends upwards after the separating portion of the separation means and in the conveying direction of the container to the top of the container to stop the floating liver to be caught by the conveyer belt and to be transported out of the tank with the other viscera. In an embodiment of the present invention the separation means is a comb-like member positioned above the conveyor belt to mechanically separating the liver from other viscera by tearing or cutting,

In an embodiment of the present invention the infeed opening is above the start of the conveyor belt in the container in the front portion of the container to allow the viscera to fall to the bottom of the tank and the liver to float before it meets with the separation means.

In an embodiment of the present invention the separation device in the tank which mechanically separates the liver from other viscera by earing or cutting the liver from other viscera s the conveyor belt pulls the sinking portion of the viscera.

In an embodiment of the present invention a continuous flow of fluid is maintained in and out of the container.

In an embodiment of the present invention the fluid in the container is selected from one or more of water, seawater, brine or fluid ice. Brief description of the drawings

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinafter and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus, are not limitative of the present invention, and wherein :

FIG. 1 shows a perspective layout a device for separating liver from other viscera according to the invention.

FIG. 2 shows drawings of a device for separating liver from other viscera according to the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective layout a method for separating liver from other viscera according to the invention. FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of the separation means of the present invention

Description of various embodiments

In the following, exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described, referring to the figures. These examples are provided to provide further understanding of the invention, without limiting its scope. It should be appreciated that the invention is applicable for separating liver from other viscera in general, or any viscera and inner organs where part of the organs float and other sink.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is perspective view of a device for separating fish liver other fish viscera. The device comprises a tank or a container 1 filled with liquid. The container 1 has an infeed opening 2 at the top of the device in the front portion or the portion or the portion where a conveyor belt 3 starts. The conveyor 3 extends from the front portion of the container along the bottom and upwardly out of the tank at the after portion of the container 1. The device has an outlet 4 for liver also positioned in the upper part of the container as the liver floats in the liquid leading to means for collecting the liver (not shown). The device further comprises separation means 5 for separating the liver from other viscera. As shown in Fig. 1, the separation means is a comb-like member substantially horizontally positioned in the container 1, where the separation means extends in an upward manner diagonally towards the after portion of the tank and up to the upper rim of the tank. This will stop the floating liver to be caught by the conveyer belt and to be transported out of the tank with the other viscera. The conveyor belt 3 is positioned in the bottom of the container 1 and extends upwardly from the container behind the separation means 5, but the separation means is positioned above the conveyor belt. In the embodiment shown in Fig 1, a blade or a guiding member 6 is placed behind the infeed opening 2 to form the aft portion of the in-feed opening. The blade 6 is positioned above and in front of the separation means in order to stop the liver from falling on the cutting means or under the cutting means as it is dropped into the tank 1. As shown in Fig . 1 the separation means is substantially horizontally positioned above and behind the conveyor belt to catch the tissue or membranes connecting the liver and other viscera and to facilitate separation between the two due to the pulling force of the conveyor. The conveyor belt shown in the embodiment in Fig. 1 is a cleated 8 conveyor belt, but the conveyor may have any means such as the cleats to catch and pull the sinking portion of the viscera forward and out of the tank. Figure 2 shows a perspective transactional view of an embodiment of the device according to the present invention. The infeed opening 2 of the container 1 is defined in the drawing, showing the space in the container where the viscera containing the liver is feed in. The infeed opening is above the start of the conveyor belt in the container, in the front part of the container in front of the separation device 5, to allow the viscera to fall to the bottom of the tank and the liver to float. The outlet 4 for liver also positioned in the upper part of the container 1 just in front of the stopping portion of the separation device 5. The drawing shows a second opening 7 near the upper surface of the container. The second opening is positioned in the aft portion of the container 1 and behind the stopping portion of the separation means and it is intended for removing or exiting floating material in the liquid. The drawing further shows inlets 9 at the bottom of the container for pumping in fluid.

Figure 3 outlines the method for separating fish liver other fish viscera according to the present invention. As the device in the figure is identical to the embodiment shown in Fig . 1 the individual components are not indicated with numbers but only the route of the material being handled by the device and the method of the invention. Fish viscera including liver 10 are feed into the container 1 through an infeed opening 2, where the container contains fluid such as sea water or brine with fluid. The conveyor belt 3 transports the viscera forward in the container and extends upwardiy from the container after the separation means to exit the viscera out of the tank by the conveyor belt being positioned in the bottom of the container and extending upwardly from the container after the separation means. This is obtained by the cleats 8 f which pull or push the sinking portion 11 of the viscera forwards and upwards. The fish liver 12 is then separated from other fish viscera (the sinking portion) 11 by the separation means. Separated liver is exited or flows out of the tank through an outlet 4 for the liver. The outlet is positioned in the upper part of the container but in front of the stopping portion 13 of the separation means which prevents the liver from floating behind the separation means and being caught by the conveyor belt and thereby exiting the tank with the sinking portion 11 of the viscera. The floating liver is separated from the viscera by the separation portion 14 of the separation means, which is substantially horizontally positioned above the conveyor belt after the infeed opening and the guiding plate 6. The separation is obtained by pushing the sinking portion of the viscera, while connected to the floating liver, in the bottom of the container by the conveyor. The blade or guiding plate/member 6 in the infeed opening is positioned above and in front of the separation means. This gives the liver an opportunity the float in the liquid and prevents the liver from ending under the separation means or the sinking portion of the viscera to fall onto the separation means. The blade or guiding plate/member 6 therefore regulates the in- feeding of the fish viscera including liver 10 so that the sinking portion of the viscera 11 is allowed to sink onto the belt and the liver 12 is allowed to float before it reaches the separation means.

Figure 4 shows an embodiment of the separation means 5 of the present invention. The separation means is a comb like unit with teeth or pins extending from it's base portion. In the embodiment shown in Fig . 4, the teeth have tubular extensions 15 with upwardly extending front piece 16 on top of each tubular extension. A cutting blade 17 is positioned between each two teeth near the base portion of the comb like separation means. The tubular extensions 15 catch the part of the viscera hanging down from the floating liver, The upwardly extending front piece 16 on top of each tubular extension 15 serves the purpose of raising the floating liver in the tank as it moves closer to the cutting portion of the separation means, Cutting blades 17 are transversaily placed between each two teeth to ensure separation of the liver from the viscera . The gap that forms between each two teeth, behind the cutting blade is closed with a cover plate 18 in some embodiments to prevent the viscera to get stuck in the gap.

As used herein, including in the claims, singular forms of terms are to be construed as also including the plural form and vice versa, unless the context indicates otherwise. Thus, it should be noted that as used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

Throughout the description and claims, the terms "comprise", "including", "having", and "contain" and their variations should be understood as meaning "including but not limited to", and are not intended to exclude other components.

The present invention also covers the exact terms, features, values and ranges etc. in case these terms, features, values and ranges etc. are used in conjunction with terms such as about, around, generally, substantially, essentially, at least etc. (i.e., "about 3" shall also cover exactly 3 or "substantially constant" shall also cover exactly constant). The term "at least one" should be understood as meaning "one or more", and therefore includes both embodiments that include one or multiple components. Furthermore, dependent claims that refer to independent claims that describe features with "at least one" have the same meaning, both when the feature is referred to as "the" and "the at least one". It will be appreciated that variations to the foregoing embodiments of the invention can be made while still falling within the scope of the invention can be made while still falling within scope of the invention. Features disclosed in the specification, unless stated otherwise, can be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose. Thus, unless stated otherwise, each feature disclosed represents one example of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

Use of exemplary language, such as "for instance", "such as", "for example" and the like, is merely intended to better illustrate the invention and does not indicate a limitation on the scope of the invention unless so claimed. Any steps described in the specification may be performed in any order or simultaneously, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All of the features and/or steps disclosed in the specification can be combined in any combination, except for combinations where at least some of the features and/or steps are mutually exclusive. In particular, preferred features of the invention are applicable to all aspects of the invention and may be used in any combination.