Excellent presentation and optimum yield are key priorities for chicken portions sold retail; cutting accuracy and repeatability will be what is most important for convenience food manufacturers and catering outlets.
Put simply, retailers are looking for products, which look good and which their customers will buy. Producers supplying them will want to ensure that they get the best possible price for them. This means top quality and top yield.
Often retail portions will be anatomic with cuts exactly between joints. Cutting between joints without damaging either joint is particularly important for product sold fresh. Both presentation and shelf life suffer if bone marrow is exposed. Whole wings, inner and middle wing joints and drumsticks are some examples of portions requiring accurate anatomic cutting.
Anatomic leg products
Anatomic legs are popular in many markets both as a product in themselves and as raw material for automatic leg deboning. These are often cut into thigh and drumstick portions. When harvesting anatomic legs automatically, the ability of a cut-up system to ensure that oysters remain on the leg portion is crucial for optimum yield. This is especially true in South-East Asian markets where local consumers prefer dark meat and where particular care should be taken to avoid sending tasty pieces of leg meat to a mechanical separator.