Smidt, Henrik (Sandn�svej 77, Vejle, DK-7100, DK)
|1.||A method of scalding carcasses, preferably in a cabi net with hot water which has been heated in advance to the temperature necessary for the scalding, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the water is atomized for condensing on the carcasses.|
|2.||A method according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the atomized water which condenses and drips off the carcass is discharged.|
|3.||A method according to claim 1 or 2, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the atomized water which has not been in contact with the carcasses is recycled and re used.|
|4.||An apparatus for use in the performance of the method according to claim 1 and comprising a cabinet, which may optionally be composed of cabinet sections in which the carcasses are scalded, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the cabinet is provided with atomizer nozzles (5) to at omize the hot water directly therein.|
|5.||An apparatus according to claim 4, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the bottom of the cabinet is formed with at least one gutter (6) for the water which condenses and drips off the carcasses.|
|6.||An apparatus according to claim 4 or 5, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that gutters (7) are formed along the side walls of the cabinet for the water which hits the inner side of the cabinet and has thus not been in con tact with the carcasses.|
|7.||An apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the car casses are moved through the cabinet hanging in hooks from a suspension conveyor, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the cabinet is arranged below the suspension con veyor, and that the ceiling of the cabinet is formed with a slot through which the hooks hang down in the cabinet.|
Traditional methods of scalding carcasses use the same water for scalding the carcasses, e.g. in scalding ves- sels into which the carcasses are immersed or are recir- culated in scalding cabinets where the carcasses are sprayed with hot water, cf. EP 0 551 123 Al and DE 34 05 416 Al. Both methods are undesirable seen from a veteri- nary point of view, and they moreover use relatively large amounts of water.
These drawbacks are obviated by a scalding apparatus de- fined in DK 165 866 C, in which carcasses hanging in a hind leg on a suspension conveyor are moved through a cabinet, in which hot, most air is circulated and sucked off, and moisture and heat are added, and are then re- turned to or in the cabinet. The apparatuses are rela- tively large and complicated, as a relatively large amount of circulating air is required, and this moreover has to be distributed in the cabinet. In addition, the apparatus is divided into an inner cabinet through which the carcasses pass, and an outer cabinet which is ar- ranged around the inner cabinet and serves as an air dis- tribution channel, air nozzles for the distribution of the air being provided in the walls and the bottom of the inner cabinet. A gate having double doors is arranged in the inlet to and the outlet from the inner cabinet. Fur- ther, there is a section with a heat exchanger, an air flow streamliner, water atomizers, a drop trap and fi-
nally a ventilator. A similar apparatus is known from DD 248 954 Al, which uses a mixture of steam, air and water.
The object of the invention is to provide a simpler and more expedient manner of scalding carcasses.
It is realized by the invention that, instead, the water may be atomized directly for condensation on the car- casses, said water being heated in advance to the temperature necessary for the scalding, which involves a significant improvement over the prior art, since the circulation of air and the arrangements associated with this are obviated. Atomization exclusively requires a plurality of atomizer nozzles and feeding of the water to these at a suitable pressure, which may be generated with a pump. The nozzles may be arranged in an expedient pat- tern which ensures spreading of the mist of water around a carcass so that this is scalded in a single operation.
As the amount of water which condenses and drips off the carcasses is very small, it can be discharged, which only involves a very modest consumption of water in relation to the known methods. The atomized water which has not been in contact with the carcasses, is expediently re- cycled and re-used, which contributes to keeping the wa- ter consumption and the associated costs at a low level.
The hot return water and the overall small water require- ment results in a low consumption of energy. An evident veterinary advantage is achieved in that the carcasses are not scalded in the same water.
In an apparatus for use in the performance of the method, the cabinet, which is optionally composed of sections, is provided with atomizer nozzles by means of which the hot water is atomized for condensation on the carcasses. The
dimensions of the cabinet may be made relatively modest, as no air distribution arrangement is needed.
The reduced dimensions make it easier to fit in the appa- ratus structurally. In particular, it is readily poss- ible, also where the floor-to-ceiling height is low, to construct the apparatus such that the cabinet may be placed below the suspension conveyor, the ceiling of the cabinet being formed with a longitudinal slot for the hooks which hang down from the suspension conveyor and from which the pigs are suspended. As a result, the sus- pension conveyor does not have to passed directly through the aggressive environment which prevails in the cabinet, and wear on the suspension conveyor is accordingly re- duced significantly.
When the apparatus is formed with at least one gutter in the bottom of the cabinet, the water condensing and drip- ping off the carcasses may be collected and discharged in a simple manner. Arranging gutters along the side walls of the cabinet also provides an easy way of collecting the water which hits the inner side of the cabinet and thus has not been in contact with the carcasses. Thus, separation of the water is obtained, so that the part which has been in contact with the carcass may be dis- charged, while the other water may be returned.
The invention will be described more fully below with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which: fig. 1 shows a schematic cross-section through an appara- tus according to the invention for use in the scalding of pig carcasses.
The apparatus shown in fig. 1 of the drawing comprises a heat insulated cabinet 1 having a longitudinal slot 2 in
the ceiling. The apparatus is arranged directly below a suspension conveyor 3 by means of which the pigs are ad- vanced hanging with one leg in a hook 4, it being poss- ible for the hooks to slide into the slot 2 in the ceil- ing of the cabinet. The cabinet accommodates an arrange- ment of high pressure water mist nozzles 5 which are di- rected toward the carcasses, and which produce a mist of water that fills the cabinet. The carcasses are heated in that the mist of water condenses on these. To keep the mist of water inside the cabinet, it is provided with an inlet and an outlet gate for the carcasses. The bottom of the cabinet is formed with a gutter 6 communicating with a sewer for the water which condenses and drips off the carcasses. The water which hits the inner side of the cabinet and which has thus not been in contact with the carcasses, is collected in gutters 7 at the side wall and is re-used.
The apparatus is associated with a heat exchanger 8 which heats the water to a temperature so that it hits the car- casses with a temperature of about 62 degrees centigrade, just as there is a pump 9 belonging to the apparatus for the supply of the water at the necessary pressure to the nozzles. A water hydraulic pump is preferably used.
With the compact structure permitted by the invention it is easier to fit the apparatus into existing buildings, and this is additionally facilitated by the fact that the cabinet is not tied to a rectangular ground plan. For example, the cabinet may be given a U-shape or be con- structed with an almost square ground plan in which the suspension conveyor has a winding course.