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Title:
SAUSAGE MANUFACTURING APPARATUS, CARTRIDGE AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/081651
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sausage manufacturing apparatus (10) includes an extrusion head (16), a feed pipe (18) for feeding a sausage filler composition to the extrusion head, a casing feed system (20) for feeding a sausage casing paste composition to the extrusion head and a setting agent feed system for feeding a setting agent to the sausage composition after extrusion by the extrusion head, for homogenising the sausage paste composition so as to form a circumfused casing layer surrounding the filler composition. The casing feed system includes a cartridge (23) comprising a deformable tubular body (24) holding the sausage casing paste composition and a nozzle (28), a pipe leading from the nozzle to the extrusion head, and a caulking device (22) for dispensing the sausage casing paste composition from the cartridge by exerting a force on the tubular body so as to deform the tubular body and extrude the sausage casing paste composition through the nozzle.

Inventors:
DOUGLAS, Alistair (42 Acacia Way, Pinelands, 7405 Cape Town, 7405, ZA)
BEZUIDENHOUT, Neville (14a Railway Road, No. 3 Railside ParkMontague Gardens, 7441 Cape Town, 7441, ZA)
SCHULTZ, Hermann August (20 First Avenue, Melkbosstrand, 7441 Cape Town, 7441, ZA)
Application Number:
IB2016/056803
Publication Date:
May 18, 2017
Filing Date:
November 11, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FREDDY HIRSCH GROUP AG (Bosch 37Buro 2 Stock, 6331 Hunenberg, 6331, CH)
FREDDY HIRSCH GROUP PROPRIETARY LIMITED (Cnr. 11th Avenue and Voortrekker Road, Maitland, 7405 Cape Town, 7405, ZA)
International Classes:
A22C11/02; A22C11/04; A22C13/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015142168A12015-09-24
WO2015108421A12015-07-23
WO2014007630A22014-01-09
WO2016027261A12016-02-25
WO2014007630A22014-01-09
Foreign References:
US20140329449A12014-11-06
US5065906A1991-11-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PLA-PILLANS, Philip Antonio (28th Floor, No. 1 Thibault SquareCnr. Long Street and Hans Strijdom Avenue, 8001 Cape Town, 8001, ZA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 . A method of manufacturing a sausage which includes: providing a sausage paste composition in a cartridge comprising a tubular body within which the sausage casing composition is hermetically contained and a nozzle at one end of the tube; providing a sausage filler composition; applying a force to the sausage casing paste composition within the cartridge for discharging the sausage casing paste composition through the nozzle of the cartridge; feeding the sausage filler composition and the sausage casing paste composition to an extrusion head and co-extruding the sausage casing paste composition and the sausage filler composition so that the sausage casing paste composition forms a casing layer substantially surrounding the sausage filler composition; and exposing the casing layer to a setting agent which homogenises the casing layer around the sausage filler composition so as to form a circumfused casing for the filler composition.

2. A sausage manufacturing apparatus including: an extrusion head for co-extruding a sausage filler composition with a sausage casing composition in the form of a paste; a filler feed system for feeding the sausage filler composition to the extrusion head; a casing feed system for feeding the sausage casing paste composition to the extrusion head; and a setting agent feed system for feeding a setting agent to the sausage casing composition after extrusion by the extrusion head, for homogenising the sausage casing paste composition so as to form a circumfused casing layer surrounding the filler composition, the sausage manufacturing apparatus being characterised in that the casing feed system includes: a) a cartridge comprising a tubular body within which the sausage casing paste composition is hermetically contained and a nozzle at one end of the tubular body; b) a caulking device for dispensing the sausage casing composition from the cartridge, the caulking device including a barrel for holding the tubular body of the cartridge, a plunger including a piston rod, and a plunger head at a distal end of the piston rod for exerting a force on the sausage casing composition for extruding the sausage casing composition through the nozzle of the cartridge; and c) a pipe connected to the nozzle of the cartridge for feeding the extruded sausage casing paste composition to the extrusion head.

The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the tubular body of the cartridge is configured so as to be removably located in the barrel of the caulking device.

The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the tubular body of the cartridge is of a flexible and deformable construction, the cartridge being removably received within the barrel of the caulking device, where it is acted upon by the plunger of the caulking device for exerting a force on the tubular body for discharging the sausage casing paste composition contained therein, through the nozzle of the cartridge.

5. The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in claim 3 or claim 4, wherein the cartridge includes a removable sealing element adjacent the nozzle for hermetically isolating the sausage casing paste composition.

6. The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 5, wherein the sausage casing paste composition includes an alginate.

7. The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in claim 6, wherein the alginate of the sausage paste composition is selected from a group consisting of sodium alginate, potassium alginate, ammonium alginate or any combination thereof.

8. The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the sausage casing paste composition includes an effective amount of a calcium containing compound so as to cross-link the alginate in order to form a hydrocolloid suspension within the cartridge prior to extrusion of the sausage casing paste composition with the sausage filler composition.

9. The sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 8, which is configured for use in implementing the method as claimed in claim 1.

10. The cartridge of the sausage manufacturing apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 9.

1 1. A cartridge for use in a method of manufacturing a sausage, the cartridge comprising a tubular body containing a sausage casing paste composition including sodium alginate; and a nozzle at one end of the tubular body, the sausage casing paste composition being hermetically contained within the tubular body, the tubular body having a flexible and deformable construction such that a force can be applied to an external side of the tubular body in a direction for deforming the tubular body and thereby extruding the sausage casing paste composition through the nozzle of the cartridge for co-extruding the sausage casing paste composition with a sausage filler composition so as to form a casing for the sausage filler composition.

The cartridge as claimed in claim 11 , wherein the sausage casing paste composition includes an effective amount of a calcium containing compound so as to cross-link the alginate in order to form a hydrocolloid suspension within the cartridge prior to extrusion of the sausage casing paste with the sausage filler composition.

Description:
SAUSAGE MANUFACTURING APPARATUS, CARTRIDGE AND METHOD

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a sausage manufacturing apparatus. The invention relates also to a cartridge for containing a sausage casing paste composition. The invention relates further to a method of manufacturing a sausage. Any reference in this specification to a "paste" must be interpreted sufficiently broadly to include a gel or a gel-like substance.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Synthetic coatings for food products, such as sausage casing, are well known in the art. Synthetic coatings are typically made from cellulose, though collagen and even plastics may also be used. A disadvantage of these coating materials is that they tend to confer an unnatural and unappealing texture to the outside of a food product and, in some cases, the coating is inedible. This means that synthetic coatings often have to be removed from the food product before consumption, particularly where an imperceptible coating is desirable such as with a skinless sausage. Anionic polymers have been used in synthetic food coatings, such as sausage casings, for some time. Alginate is an edible anionic polymer which is made up of two different uronic acid monomers, namely guluronic acid and mannuronic acid. Alginate is commonly used to form sausage casings as part of a process in which a solution of alginate is extruded through a circular die around a food product and subsequently treated with calcium chloride (see e.g. WO 2016/027261 ). During this process, the alginate solution undergoes a gelification process in which matrices of cross-linked alginate chains form.

In order for extrusion on to the food product to be successful, the viscosity of the alginate coating material must be closely controlled. If the viscosity is too low, then the coating material liquefies at the extrusion interface before gelification. Machine limitations can also result in the coating being sucked into the water separator, leading to insufficient casing supply at the extrusion point. If the viscosity is too high, then the pumping efficiency of the extrusion equipment is reduced which can lead to an irregular supply of coating material to the extrusion point. Even where a regular supply is achieved, uneven coating of the food product can result in an interrupted casing. Viscosity is typically controlled using viscosity modifying agents, such as hydrocolloids, insoluble fibers, liquid smoke and plasticizers. Each of the viscosity modifying agents has further effects on the casing material. For instance, the use of liquid smoke may shorten the texture of the casing material, as well as impart a particular flavour on to the food product. Similarly, the use of hydrocolloids may lead to an oily feel to the casing. Whilst each of these further effects may be desirable in some types of sausage, they may not be desirable in other types of sausages. For example, it is generally desirable to have a smoky flavour in dried sausages, whereas an oily feel to the casing may be undesirable. All of this means that a very particular combination of different viscosity modifying agents must be used in coating materials in order to produce sausages of different types with different target skin properties. Moreover, since the efficacy of viscosity modifying agents may vary from batch to batch, frequent fine tuning of the coating material is required to ensure that target viscosities and target properties are achieved. In sum, controlling the viscosity and consistency of a coating material and delivery of an alginate blend into a co-extrusion process with consistent properties can be challenging. This is particularly the case in smaller manufacturing operations.

Accordingly, there remains a need for a method and apparatus for coating a food product, in which the characteristics of the coating material (e.g. its viscosity before extrusion and/or its properties after extrusion) may be controlled more easily.

WO 2014/007630 discloses a method for preparing food products by means of processing food particles with a gelling agent such as alginate. An acidic buffer solution having a pH in 20 the range of from 3 to 6 is contacted with the gelling agent immediately before, or during, extrusion in order to improve adherence of the gelling agent to the food particles. This effect is achieved by using the buffer to prevent ionic strength differences between the food particles and the gelling agent. It will be appreciated that the manner in which the buffer is used does not significantly alter the pH of the gelling composition.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a method of manufacturing a sausage which includes: providing a sausage paste composition in a cartridge comprising a tubular body within which the sausage casing composition is hermetically contained and a nozzle at one end of the tube; providing a sausage filler composition; applying a force to the sausage casing paste composition within the cartridge for discharging the sausage casing paste composition through the nozzle of the cartridge; feeding the sausage filler composition and the sausage casing paste composition to an extrusion head and co-extruding the sausage casing paste composition and the sausage filler composition so that the sausage casing paste composition forms a casing layer substantially surrounding the sausage filler; and exposing the casing layer to a setting agent which homogenises the casing layer around the sausage filler composition so as to form a circumfused casing for the filler composition. According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a sausage manufacturing apparatus including: an extrusion head for co-extruding a sausage filler composition with a sausage casing composition in the form of a paste; a filler feed system for feeding the sausage filler composition to the extrusion head; and a casing feed system for feeding the sausage casing paste composition to the extrusion head; and a setting agent feed system for feeding a setting agent to the sausage casing composition after extrusion by the extrusion head, for homogenising the sausage casing paste composition so as to form a circumfused casing layer surrounding the filler composition, the sausage manufacturing apparatus being characterised in that the casing feed system includes: a) a cartridge comprising a tubular body within which the sausage casing paste composition is hermetically contained and a nozzle at one end of the tubular body; b) a caulking device for dispensing the sausage casing composition from the cartridge, the caulking device including a barrel for holding the tubular body of the cartridge, a plunger including a piston rod, and a plunger head at a distal end of the piston rod for exerting a force on the sausage casing composition for extruding the sausage casing composition through the nozzle of the cartridge; and c) a pipe connected to the nozzle of the cartridge for feeding the extruded sausage casing paste composition to the extrusion head.

The tubular body of the cartridge may be configured so as to be removably located in the barrel of the caulking device.

The tubular body of the cartridge may be of a flexible and deformable construction, the cartridge being removably received within the barrel of the caulking device, where it is acted upon by the plunger of the caulking device for exerting a force on the tubular body for discharging the sausage casing paste composition contained therein, through the nozzle of the cartridge.

The cartridge may include a removable sealing element adjacent the nozzle for hermetically isolating the sausage casing paste composition.

The sausage casing paste composition may include an alginate. More specifically, the sausage casing paste composition may comprise an alginate based mixture. Yet more specifically, the alginate may be selected from a group consisting of sodium alginate, potassium alginate, ammonium alginate or any combination thereof. The sodium alginate based coating material may include an effective amount of a calcium containing compound so as to cross-link the alginate in order to form a hydrocolloid suspension within the cartridge prior to extrusion of the sausage casing paste composition with the sausage filler composition.

The sausage manufacturing apparatus may be configured for use in implementing the method as described and defined hereinabove in accordance with the first aspect of the invention.

According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a cartridge for use in a method of manufacturing a sausage, the cartridge comprising a tubular body containing a sausage casing paste composition including alginate; and a nozzle at one end of the tubular body, the sausage casing paste composition being hermetically contained within the tubular body, the tubular body having a flexible and deformable construction such that a force can be applied to an external side of the tubular body in a direction for deforming the tubular body and thereby extruding the sausage casing paste composition through the nozzle of the cartridge for co-extruding the sausage casing paste composition with a sausage filler composition so as to form a casing for the sausage filler composition.

More specifically, the sausage casing paste composition may comprise an alginate based mixture. Yet more specifically, the alginate may be selected from a group consisting of sodium alginate, potassium alginate, ammonium alginate or any combination thereof.

The sausage casing paste composition may include an effective amount of a calcium containing compound so as to cross-link the alginate in order to form a hydrocolloid suspension within the cartridge prior to extrusion of the sausage casing paste with the sausage filler composition. The invention extends to the cartridge of the sausage manufacturing apparatus as described and defined hereinabove.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features of the invention are described hereinafter by way of a non-limiting example of the invention, with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying diagrammatic drawings. In the drawings:

Figure 1 shows a three-dimensional view of a sausage manufacturing apparatus in accordance with the invention, with top covers removed from the cutting assemblies;

Figure 2 shows a top plan view of the sausage manufacturing apparatus of Figure 1 , with top covers removed from the cutting assemblies;

Figure 3 shows another three-dimensional view of the sausage manufacturing apparatus of Figure 1 ; Figure 4 shows yet another three-dimensional view of the sausage manufacturing apparatus of Figure 1 ;

Figure 5 shows a further three-dimensional view of the sausage manufacturing apparatus of Figure 1 ;

Figures 6A-6C show three-dimensional views of a caulking device and a cartridge of the sausage manufacturing apparatus of Figure 1 , illustrating, in sequence, the manner in which the cartridge is loaded into the caulking device; Figure 7 shows a three-dimensional view of the cartridge of the sausage manufacturing apparatus; Figures 8-13 show three-dimensional views of the caulking device and a cartridge loaded therein, illustrating, in sequence, the operation of the caulking device and cartridge for extruding a sausage casing composition from the cartridge;

Figure 14 shows a sectional side view of the caulking device of Figure 6 with the piston removed;

Figure 15 shows an enlarged sectional side view of a plunger head of the plunger head of the caulking device of Figure 14; and

Figure 16 shows a three-dimensional view of the plunger head of Figure 15.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to the drawings, a sausage manufacturing apparatus in accordance with the invention, is designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The sausage manufacturing apparatus is adapted for manufacturing a sausage in an elongate continuous form and for cutting the elongate sausage into separate sausage portions.

The sausage manufacturing apparatus includes a stand 12 and sausage manufacturing structure 14 mounted on the stand. The sausage manufacturing structure includes an extrusion head 16 for co-extruding a sausage filler composition with a sausage casing composition which is supplied in the form of a paste. The sausage manufacturing apparatus includes a filler feed system including a filler feed pipe 18 for feeding the sausage filler composition which is contained within a hopper, from the hopper to the extrusion head 16. The sausage manufacturing apparatus further includes a casing feed system designated generally by the reference numeral 20 for feeding the sausage casing paste composition to the extrusion head and a setting agent feed system for feeding a setting agent to the sausage casing composition after extrusion by the extrusion head for setting the paste composition so as to form a circumfused layer surrounding the filler composition.

The extruded sausage with the casing set around the filler, is conveyed and supported along a channel 21 along a path towards a sausage cutting apparatus having two cutting assemblies 23.1 and 23.2 including cutting blades, for cutting the sausage into smaller sausage portions.

The casing feed system 20 comprises a caulking device 22 and a cartridge 23 including a flexible and deformable tube 24 containing the sausage casing composition in a flowable form, and a pipe 26 for conveying the extruded sausage casing composition to the extrusion head 16. The tube has an elongate, generally cylindrical configuration.

The cartridge has a nozzle 28 at an end of the tube 24 which defines an external screw thread and internally screw threaded cap 30 which is initially screwed onto the nozzle so as to hermetically seal the sausage paste composition within the tube. The caulking device includes a housing structure 32, a cylindrical barrel 34 for holding the tube, a plunger including a piston rod 36 and a plunger head 38 which is attached to the piston rod for exerting a force on the tube 24 under the action of the piston rod for deforming the tube 24 thereby to extrude the sausage casing composition through the nozzle 28.

The barrel 34 is pivotally connected between two housing plates of the housing 32 at a front end thereof so as to be pivotally displaceable between a raised loading position as shown in Figures 6A and 6B of the drawings for loading a cartridge 34 into the barrel and a lowered operative position as shown in Figure 6C in which the barrel having the tube 24 loaded therein, is received between the side plates of the housing such that the tube is aligned with the push plate 38 of the caulking device. The caulking device 22 includes a ratchet drive mechanism comprising a row of ratchet teeth 40 defined along the length of the piston rod 36 and a driven pinion wheel 42 which engages the teeth 40 of the piston rod for axially displacing the piston rod and thereby the push plate 38, relative to the barrel 34 for exerting a force on the plunger in the tube for extruding the sausage casing composition through the nozzle 28 via displacement of the plunger along the tube. The extruded sausage casing composition is conveyed to the extrusion head via the pipe 26.

With reference to Figures 14-16 of the drawings, further details of the plunger head 38 are shown. The plunger head has a generally cylindrical configuration when viewed in plan view and has an external diameter that is slightly less than an internal diameter of the barrel 34 such that the plunger head is displaceable along the length of the barrel in a sliding fit. An outer peripheral edge region 40 of the plunger head defines a sealing lip providing a seal with barrel. The plunger head further has a central boss 42 which contacts a proximal end of the tube when the plunger exerts a force on the tube for extruding the sausage casing paste composition from the cartridge. The boss presses a final volume sausage casing paste composition out through the nozzle 28.

The plunger head further defines an annular groove 44 surrounding the central boss 42 in which an outer edge region of the tube 24 collects as the tube is deformed when the plunger applies a force thereon in the barrel.

The invention extends to the cartridge described hereinabove. In another embodiment of the invention, the sausage casing paste composition may include an effective amount of a calcium containing compound so as to cross-link the alginate in order to form a hydrocolloid suspension within the cartridge prior to extrusion of the sausage casing paste with the sausage filler composition. The cross-linked sausage paste composition of this embodiment may have a gel-like consistency. As such, the cartridge may contain the cross-linked sausage casing paste composition for co-extrusion with the sausage filler composition. By providing the sausage casing paste composition in a partially cross-linked state, the homogenisation of the casing layer is accelerated so as to enhance homogeneity of the casing.

The invention also extends to a method of manufacturing a sausage which includes providing a sausage paste composition in the cartridge wherein the sausage casing composition is hermetically contained and providing a sausage filler composition. The method includes applying a force to the tube 24 of the cartridge for discharging the sausage casing paste composition through the nozzle 28, co-extruding the sausage paste composition and the sausage filler composition by means of the extrusion head 16 so that the sausage paste composition forms a layer substantially surrounding the sausage filler composition, and thereafter exposing the casing layer to a setting agent which sets the casing layer around the sausage filler composition so as to form a circumfused casing for the filler composition. The sausage casing paste composition is in the form of a sodium alginate based mixture wherein the sodium alginate based mixture homogenises around the filler composition in the presence of a setting agent such as a calcium containing compound such as calcium chloride, to form the circumfused casing for the filler composition.