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Title:
MACHINE AND METHOD TO FACILITATE DEBONING OF MEAT CUTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/096446
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for facilitating the deboning of fresh meat cuts is described, comprising the steps of: positioning the meat cut, coming from a refrigerator cell, on a work plane; - a heating operation localised as far as possible at the external surface above the bone part near which the deboning cut is to be carried out; - carrying out the deboning and severing of the meat from the bone part. A machine (1) is also described for carrying out the deboning of meat cuts, comprising: - heating means for the meat cut, - a work plane (2) adapted to act as a support base for the meat cut to be deboned, - holding means (3) for holding said meat cut on the work plane (2), - handling means (7) configured to move a blade (8) adapted to sever the cut meat from the bone part.

Inventors:
ZANNA MARIA ANGELA (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2017/057290
Publication Date:
May 31, 2018
Filing Date:
November 21, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
THINK KUALITI DOOEL SKOPJE (MK)
International Classes:
A22C17/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1998045819A11998-10-15
Foreign References:
US5295898A1994-03-22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RIPAMONTI, Enrico et al. (Via Rosolino Pilo 19/B, Milano, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A method for facilitating the deboning of fresh meat cuts, in particular meat cuts such as loin, ribs, chuck and the like for which human intervention is required on a table or workbench in an environment having controlled temperatures and sterile conditions, characterised in that it comprises the following steps:

- positioning the meat cut, coming from a refrigerator cell, on a work plane,

- heating operation localised, as far as possible, at the external surface above the bone part near which the deboning cut is performed,

- executing the deboning and severing of the meat from the bone part.

2. The method according to claim 1 characterised in that the heating is performed until reaching a temperature of no less than approximately 25-35°C.

3. The method according to claim 2 characterised in that the heating is carried out by using radiant energy from the outside, on the area near which the deboning cut must be performed.

4. The method according to claim 2 characterised in that the heating operation is carried by using steam jets on the external part near which the deboning cut must be performed.

5. The method according to claim 2 characterised in that the heating is carried out by immersing the part of the meat cut, near which the deboning cut must be performed in hot water at a temperature ranging between 80° and 90°C.

6. A machine (1 ) for carrying out the deboning of meat cuts, in particular meat cuts such as loin, ribs, chuck and the like which include a bone part, said machine (1 ) being characterised in that it comprises:

- heating means for the meat cut adapted to carry out a heating operation localised at least at an external surface above or below the bone part near which the deboning cut must be performed,

- a work plane (2) adapted to act as a support base for the meat cut to be deboned,

- holding means (3) for holding said meat cut on top of the work plane (2),

- handling means (7) configured for moving a blade (8) adapted to sever the cut meat from the bone part.

7. The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that it comprises auxiliary means (16) adapted to aid in severing the meat cut from the bone part, by carrying out a traction operation on the meat cut.

8. The machine (1 ) according to claim 7, characterised in that said auxiliary means (16) comprise at least one plate (19) with a curve profile which is slidable on a guide (20) coupled to the work plane (2) in a direction orthogonal to the vertical wall (4), said at least one plate (19) passing through a hole (17) made in the work plane (2) and having its own end (18) which, when in the working position, is adapted to come into contact with the meat cut, so as to exert a traction force on the latter with a substantially vertical component in the direction of the work plane (2), and a substantially horizontal component in a direction opposite to the movement direction of the blade (8).

9. The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that said handling means (7) comprise:

- a telescopic arm (9) with a first end connected by means of a first ball- joint to a column (10) pivoted on said work plane (2), and a second end connected to said blade (8) by means of a second ball-joint,

- a piston (1 1 ) pivoted between a first support fixed to the work plane (2) and a second support fixed to the column (10), said piston (1 1 ) being adapted to move said column (10),

- a control unit (12) provided with a control lever (13) adapted to control said piston (1 1 ), so that an action on the lever (13) carried out by the operator corresponds to an action of the piston (1 1 ),

- an adjusting rod (14) provided with a knob (15) fixed to the blade (8) and configured to be gripped by the operator for adjusting the insertion angle of the blade (8) in the meat cut.

10. The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that said holding means (3) comprise:

- a vertical wall (4) that stands at an end of the work plane (2), said vertical wall (4) being adapted to act as the contact surface for a first portion of the meat cut arranged on the work plane (2),

- a holding element (5), sliding on a linear rack (6) orthogonal to said vertical wall (4), adapted to come into contact with a second portion of the meat cut substantially opposite to said first portion.

1 1 . The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that said heating means comprise a heating plane on which said meat cut is available.

12. The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that said heating means comprise radiant or electromagnetic energy emission means that propagate through waves in the meat cut at least in an area near which the deboning cut must be performed.

13. The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that said heating means comprise means adapted to generate jets of steam directed onto at least an external part of the meat cut near which the deboning cut must be performed.

14. The machine (1 ) according to claim 6, characterised in that said heating means comprise a container, containing water at a temperature ranging between 80°C and 95°C, inside which at least part of the meat cut, near which the deboning cut must be performed, is immersed.

Description:
MACHINE AND METHOD TO FACILITATE DEBONING OF MEAT CUTS

The present invention relates to a machine and a method for carrying out the deboning of meat cuts.

As is known, for carrying out the deboning of meat cuts and, in particular, meat cuts such as loin, ribs, chuck and the like, human intervention is required on a table or workbench.

This type of operation requires an increased use of workforce which, for the deboning of beef cuts, and not only beef cuts, represents a substantial percentage of the entire processing costs.

It is also an operation which is paid on an hourly basis and during which, injuries of said personnel occur fairly often, with all the entailing consequences that affect the entire organisation of work.

The deboning takes place by removing the connective tissue and the elastic fibres from the meat, in fact this is an operation that requires considerable time as a certain level of attention and also a significant physical force is repeatedly required for the entire work shift.

The object of the present invention is that of addressing the problems and inconveniences of the known art by introducing a machine and a method for facilitating the deboning of fresh meat cuts in particular, meat cuts such as loin, ribs, chuck, vertebrae and the like for which human intervention is required on a table or workbench, in an environment with controlled temperature conditions.

These and other objects are achieved by the invention which has the characteristics of the claims 1 and 6.

The advantages obtained from the application of the present invention, mainly derive from the fact that the deboning operation is rendered easier and less tiring.

The characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become clearer from the following detailed description of a practical embodiment thereof illustrated by way of non-limitative example in the attached drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a side view of the machine, according to the present invention, for carrying out the deboning of a meat cut;

Figures 2 and 3 show side views of the machine in Fig. 1 in two different working positions; Figure 4 shows a top view of the machine of Fig. 1 .

With reference to Fig. 1 , a machine, according to the present invention, for carrying out the deboning of a meat cut is indicated as a whole with the reference numeral 1 .

The deboning of the meat cut substantially consists in the removal of a bone part from the meat cut, by trimming the connective tissue and the elastic fibres found between said bone part and the meat cut. Specifically, but not comprehensively, the machine 1 has found useful application in the processing and in the deboning of fresh meats and, in particular, cuts such as loin, ribs, chuck and the like coming from a refrigerator cell in which they are preserved at a temperature of 2-3°C. The machine 1 is placed in an environment kept at controlled temperatures and sterile conditions.

The machine 1 comprises heating means (not shown in the figures) for said meat cut, adapted to carry out a rapid heating at least localised at an external surface, above or below the bone part near which the deboning cut must be performed. The localisation at least at the bone part is focused on the connective tissue and the elastic fibres that bind the meat to the bone part, in order to facilitate the detaching of the meat from the bone part.

Preferably, the heating means are adapted to carry out a heating operation on the meat cut, at least on the external surface above or below the bone part, until reaching a temperature of no less than approximately 25-30°. More preferably, the heating means are adapted to carry out a heating operation on the meat cut, at least on the external surface above or below the bone part, until reaching a temperature of no less than approximately 30°.

By way of example, the heating means can consist in a heating plane on which said meat cut is placed. For example, they can be a heating plane that releases heat by an electric current passing through a resistor of which the heating plane is provided.

The heating means can also consist of radiant or electromagnetic energy emission means that propagate through waves into the meat cut at least in an area near which the deboning cut must be performed.

Alternatively, the heating means can also be means adapted to generate jets of steam directed on at least an external part of the cut near which the deboning cut must be performed.

A further example of heating means can simply be a container, containing water at a temperature ranging between 80°C and 95°C, inside which at least part of the meat cut near which the deboning cut must be performed, is immersed.

The machine 1 also comprises a work plane 2, adapted to act as a support base for the previously heated meat cut to be deboned, and means 3 for holding said meat cut on the work plane 2. The holding means 3 are adapted to immobilise the meat cut stably fixing it in an optimal position for the processing on the work plane 2 during the deboning operations.

In particular, the holding means 3 comprise a vertical wall 4, which stands at an end of the work plane 2, said vertical wall 4 being adapted to act as a contact surface for a first portion of the meat cut arranged on the work plane 2. Furthermore, the holding means 3 comprise a holding element 5, sliding on a linear rack 6 orthogonal to said vertical wall 4, adapted to contact a second portion of the meat cut substantially opposite to said first portion. Essentially, the vertical wall 4 and the holding element 5 act as a clamp for the meat cut to be deboned. As the holding element 5 has the possibility of sliding on the rack 6 the holding means 3 can easily adapt to all sizes of meat cuts.

Furthermore, the machine 1 comprises handling means 7 configured for moving a blade 8 adapted to sever the meat cut from the bone part. The handling means 7 comprise, in particular, a telescopic arm 9 with a first end connected, by means of a first ball-joint, to a column 10 pivoted to said work plane 2. A second end of the telescopic arm 9 is, instead, connected to said blade 8 by means of a second ball-joint.

The handling means 7 comprise a piston 1 1 pivoted between a first support fixed to the work plane 2 and a second support fixed to the column 10, said piston 1 1 being adapted to move said column 10, as well as the telescopic arm 9 and, therefore, the blade 8. Since the column 10 is pivoted to the work plane 2, the movement it achieves by means of the piston 1 1 , is a rotary movement in respect to the pivot pin to which it is pivoted, said pin being parallel both to the surface of the work plane 2, and to the vertical wall 4.

As is known, the piston 1 1 essentially comprises two mechanical parts: a cylinder, formed by an empty cylindrical body (a tube), internally rectified, and a stem, formed by a solid round bar, externally rectified. For example, the cylinder is pivoted to said first support and the stem is pivoted to said second support fixed to the column 10.

The piston 1 1 can be controlled by a control unit 12 provided with a control lever 13, so that an action carried out on the lever 13 by an operator corresponds to an action of the piston 1 1 .

For example, the piston 1 1 can be a hydraulic piston wherein the stem slides inside the cylinder as a result of a pressure exerted by a fluid contained inside the cylinder. In this case, the control unit 12 provided with a control lever 13 is configured so that an action carried out on the lever 13 by an operator corresponds to an action of the hydraulic piston 1 1 actuated by the movement of said fluid inside the cylinder.

However, alternatively to the hydraulic piston an electric piston can also be used.

The mechanical assembly comprising the piston 1 1 , the column 10 pivoted to the work plane 2 and the telescopic arm 9, is configured in order to provide the blade 8 with a force in a substantially vertical direction for cutting the connective tissue and the elastic fibres between the bone part and the meat cut, and a force in a substantially horizontal direction, with a determined direction, for severing the meat from the bone part.

The handling means 7, finally comprise an adjusting rod 14 provided with a knob 15, which is fixed to the blade 8. The adjusting rod 14 has at least the length of the telescopic arm 9 when in its position of maximum extension. Preferably the length of the rod is longer than that of telescopic arm 9 at its position of maximum extension. The adjustment rod 14 is adapted to be gripped by the operator at the knob 15 for adjusting the insertion angle of the blade 8 into the meat cut.

Advantageously, the machine 1 comprises auxiliary means 16 adapted to aid the severing of the meat from the bone part by carrying out a traction operation on the meat cut. In particular, the auxiliary means 16 comprise at least one plate 19 with a determined curved profile (substantially "S" shaped) which slides on a guide coupled to the work plane in a direction orthogonal to the vertical wall 4, said at least one plate 19 passing through a hole 17 made in the work plane 2 and having its own end 18 that, when in the working position, is adapted to come into contact with the meat cut, in order to exert a traction force on the latter with a substantially vertical component in the direction of the work plane 2, and a substantially horizontal component in the direction opposite to that of the movement of the blade 8.

In particular, the auxiliary means 16 comprise a pair of plates 19 superimposed on one another in order to achieve a space therein adapted to house a tube 20 with ends fixed to two walls opposite one another of the hole 17 in the work plane 2. The tube 20 acts as a movement guide for the pair of plates which can slide on said tube 20, so that during use the operator can place said end 18 in the desired position for the meat cut. In fact, the operator can bring the ends 18, in a direction orthogonally further from or closer to, the vertical wall 4 by manually moving the plates.

In use the operator heats the meat cut at least on the external surface, above or below the bone part, until reaching said desired temperature (at least 25°-30°C), using the heating means with which the machine 1 is provided. After which, the meat cut is placed in the clamp made between the vertical wall 4 and the holding element 5; due to the adjusting by means of the linear rack 6, the holding element 5 is positioned by the operator so as to firmly hold the meat cut in place. Then, the operator reaches the desired meat cut area with the blade 8, due to the extendibility of the telescopic arm 9, and adjusts the blade 8 insertion angle in the meat cut through the rod provided with the knob 15 (Fig. 4). At this point, the operator actuates the control lever 13 of the control unit 12 for moving the blade 8 by means of a mechanical assembly comprising the hydraulic piston 1 1 , the column 10 and the telescopic arm 9 for cutting the connective tissue and elastic fibres between the bone part and the meat (in Fig. 2 the machine is shown in a first working position). After this cutting of the meat cut, the operator again actuates the control lever 13 in order to move the blade 8 again by means of the mechanical assembly which moves the blade 8 in a substantially horizontal direction, and with a determined direction, for severing meat from the bone part (in Fig. 3 the machine is shown in a second working position). The action of the auxiliary means 16 in an opposite direction aids the detaching of the meat from the bone part.

The method for carrying out the deboning of the meat cuts, which can be performed using the aforementioned machine 1 , envisages the following steps:

- positioning the meat cut, coming from a refrigerator cell, on a work plane;

- heating, until reaching a temperature of no less than approximately 25-30° carried out at the external surface above or below the meat cut bone part;

- performing the deboning and severing of the meat from the bone part.

In particular, the individual meat cut to be deboned will be taken from an environment, for example a refrigerator cell, in which it is preserved at a temperature of 2-3°C and then transferred onto a table or workbench of a processing line in an environment that is kept at controlled temperatures and sterile conditions.

On the workbench, the meat cut, consisting of loins, racks of ribs, chucks and the like are subjected to a heating operation localised as far as possible, at the external surface above or below the bone part near which the cuts must be performed.

Said heating is carried out until reaching a temperature no less than approximately 25-30°. More particularly, the heating is performed until reaching a temperature of no less than approximately 30°. This can be achieved in various ways. In particular, it can be by means of heat released from a heating plane, or can be achieved by using radiant energy from outside on the area near which the deboning cut must be performed.

The heating can be, furthermore achieved, by using steam jets constantly directed onto the outer part near which the deboning cut must be performed. The latter can also be simply achieved by immersing the part of the meat cut, near which the deboning cut must be performed, in hot water at a temperature ranging between 80°C and 95°C.

In regards to the holding times, which are determined according to each heating technique, in an essentially empirical manner based on the characteristics of the individual meat cuts.

The present invention has been described by way of an illustrative but non- limitative example, according to a preferred embodiment, but it is evident that variations and/or modifications can be made by experts in the art, without departing from the scope of protection, as defined by the attached claims.