Immersing products in a spin chiller, until now the most popular chilling method in the US, leads to the absorption of additional water. US processor Bell & Evans puts it this way, "With conventional chilling systems, chickens absorb up to 12% of their body weight in added chlorinated water. This water "weeps" out of the meat and is trapped in the "diaper" you will find in most fresh chicken packaging."
In North America, the words ‘air chilling’ might give potential consumers the idea that the end product is drier and less hygienic. But this is what Bell & Evans says, "Our 100% Air Chilled method means no need for chlorinated ice water, so chickens' natural juices never get diluted or replaced. But that's not the only benefit. Our 100% Air Chilled method brings out the chicken's natural flavor and tenderizes the meat. It also reduces handling and environmental waste."
In North America, disinfectant chemicals are added into the water tank to improve microbial quality. Air chilling doesn't need chemicals and still succeeds in keeping the process super hygienic.
In-line automation & traceability
Usually, rehanging products at the outfeed of a spin chiller involves about 15 people. Air chilling keeps the process completely in-line with less need for labor. It also makes the complete process better traceable. End-to-end traceability, combined with food safety, is high on the priority list for North American customers and consumers.