SSA embraces innovative convenience food production

A unique processing line for coated products without frying

SSA Brazil Factory

Meeting consumer demands for convenient and healthy further processed food while preserving the essence of ‘real food’ has been a major challenge for São Salvador Alimentos in recent years. SSA is one of the largest chicken meat producers in Brazil, operating in all stages of the production chain. With nearly 50 years dedicated to the poultry industry, including 32 years in processing, the company embarked on an innovative convenience food production project, together with Marel.

SSA Jandir Junior

When SSA decided to start a line of convenience chicken products, they found the ideal partner in Marel to develop this ambitious project, especially for their coated products line. Having been in partnership for over 10 years, the two companies took on the challenge of innovating in this market, aiming to create products with superior taste, crispiness and healthiness.

The most advanced

The processing line for coated products, considered the most advanced in Latin America, was installed at SSA’s Itaberaí (Goiás state) plant early 2023, and directly yielded promising results. It produces high-quality coated products with less fat, enhanced crispiness, and great flavor, while preserving all the sensory aspects of the product. The line was designed and scaled to produce steaks, strips, nuggets, and whole muscle, with a capacity of 3 tons/hour, resulting in 40 tons/day and around 1,000 tons/month. Initially, the production is targeted for the domestic market, but the Itaberaí facility is authorized to serve more than 170 countries.

SSA Brazil Revoportioner Inline

The project of creating non-fried coated products became a reality because both SSA and Marel fully embraced this idea.

Hugo Perillo, Executive President

No frying needed

São Salvador Alimentos identified a demand for coated products in the market, and they decided to expand investments in this area. Hugo Perillo, SSA Executive President, emphasizes that the experience with coated products has been excellent, “Marel has numerous qualities and is a great partner of ours. We always work on projects together, with a team that contributes, enriches the discussions, and undoubtedly adds value to us,” states Perillo, highlighting one of the most important outcomes: the development of coated products without frying. “Marel is a company that is always at the forefront, with cutting-edge technology and high-quality products,” he adds. “The project of creating non-fried coated products became a reality because both SSA and Marel fully embraced this idea.”

Usually, frying in oil is part of the coating process to get a crisp, gold-colored, attractive crust. SSA wanted to leave out the frying stage for various reasons. The oil that is needed for the frying process is subject to fluctuating prices; this could have a high impact on product cost, especially when inexpensive products are produced. Moreover, products without added oil have a healthier appeal to consumers.

SSA Flour Applicator

Ideal technological partnership

For over a decade, Marel and SSA have been trusted partners, with Marel successfully meeting all the technological needs of São Salvador Alimentos, from the primary to the secondary processing stage.

When SSA decided to produce their own line of further processed products, they chose Marel to develop the entire project, including two production lines: processed sausages and coated products. For the sausage line, Marel provided complete solutions for meat preparation, as well as the software to manage and control the entire production and product logistics, which is flexible and customized at SSA. For the coated products, Marel provided a comprehensive line, including meat preparation stages (grinding and mixing), forming, coating and cooking of the product.

Innovation and quality

Marel’s solutions included a CombiGrind and a SoftMix for meat preparation, a RevoPortioner for forming, and an Active Flour Applicator, Cyclones, Active Mixer, Active Batter Applicator, and a RevoCrumb for the coating line. The project also incorporated the SpiralOven, which, after validation by the client, enabled the production of breaded products with the desired characteristics without the frying step. Additionally, two Multihead Weighers and weighing control systems complete the packaging process.

The commitment to innovation, especially in terms of automation, and the top-notch product quality weighed heavily in choosing Marel to supply the entire line of further processed products for SSA. “Our idea was to have a closed turn-key system, so we would have only one technological partner, from meat preparation to the final product,” says Jandir Júnior, SSA General Industrial Manager.

SSA Crumb Outfeed

We realized that such a Marel coating line without frying would be an absolute innovation.

Frank Regouin, Regional Sales Director RFS for Latin America


“We approached Marel with the idea of installing an in-house line for coated products, a line that would innovate in the market,” Jandir Júnior recounts, mentioning that the main challenge proposed to both Marel and SSA engineering teams was the elimination of the frying step. To eliminate frying, the two companies jointly developed a new process. Tests were conducted in Brazil and the Netherlands. “Initially, everyone thought it was crazy, but the final result was astonishing, and today we have an excellent product with improved healthiness for our consumers,” he assures.

Jandir Júnior expresses extreme satisfaction with the final results of the project. “During the factory startup, Marel gave us full support, sending technicians from Europe and Mexico. We had excellent training, and everything went very smoothly,” says Jandir Júnio, who also mentions the ease of equipment cleaning and maintenance as another positive point.

Coated products and sausages

Frank Regouin, Regional Sales Director Marel RFS for Latin America, highlights that the results achieved by this project solidify the successful partnership with São Salvador Alimentos and reinforce Marel’s position as a supplier of complete solutions.

Negotiations for the production line for sausages and coated products took place from 2015 to 2019. During IPPE 2020 in Atlanta, USA, teams from São Salvador Alimentos, Marel Prepared Foods and the regional sales team evaluated different products available in the local markets. Marel presented SSA with a selection of American products that could be produced on their convenience line. “At that point, we realized that such a Marel coating line without the need for frying would be an absolute innovation,” says Frank Regouin.

SSA Brazil FP Line

About São Salvador Alimentos

With its two processing plants located in the State of Goiás, São Salvador Alimentos is one of the largest poultry companies in Brazil with a fully vertically integrated production chain. The company’s activities cover all stages of production, from poultry farms to product distribution at retail points.

SSA has two food brands: SuperFrango, specializing in chilled and frozen chicken products, and Boua, the group’s second brand for dairy products, sausages, smoked products, frozen vegetables and more. By adding production lines for sausages and coated products, SSA now also includes in-house further processing activities.

Currently, the company processes 430,000 birds per day in its two processing plants, Itaberaí and Nova Veneza. 70% of its production serves the domestic market, while 30% is exported to all continents, reaching over 170 countries.

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