Integrated duck processing solutions

PMJ and Marel synergy results in a full-line modular duck portfolio

Duck Evisceration

The successful integration of PMJ into the Marel organization creates added value for duck processors around the world. They can benefit from Marel’s polyvalent duck processing portfolio, which has been considerably overhauled. Marel will be their one-stop full-line supplier for Pekin Ducks, Barbary, Muscovy, Mullard and other duck types as well as geese.

In the primary process in particular, Marel has revamped its duck program by adding several automated solutions ‘powered by PMJ’.

Duck Drum Plucking System

In-line and off-line plucking

After the stunning and scalding processes featuring dedicated solutions for the different species, there’s a wide variety of plucking solutions available, which can be combined to suit most situations: in-line, off-line, drum pluckers, counter-rotating. An individual mix of technologies can be tailored to the species being processed to ensure high efficiency.

It is common knowledge that when dealing with variations in weight, size and shape, off-line rotary drum plucking delivers the best possible result. It can process almost every bird size. Head and feet are plucked too and drum pluckers can easily handle bigger in-flock weight variations while still maintaining good plucking quality. Marel solves the typical disadvantages of conventional rotary drum pluckers by loading and discharging them automatically as well as making pluck cycle and speed settings easier.

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Waxing ducks is essential for perfect skin quality, as it removes small feathers and down. By using more waxing cycles, the Marel modular waxing process can be tuned to all types of duck and any combination of market and product.

The waxing line comprises multiple phases featuring immersion tanks, wax removers and a wax recycling system. It starts with the Three Point Suspension System to position the product ideally for the application of a high-quality waxing layer around each product. The skin quality required determines the thickness of the wax layer and the number of dipping cycles.


The duck Transfer Machine from kill line to evisceration line features a unique feet-to-feet transfer. It strictly separates the two processes, preventing contamination and lifting food safety standards to higher levels. The automated transfer process doesn’t need human input.

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Polyvalent evisceration 

Marel evisceration solutions are not just for Pekin Duck but can be set to handle a wide range of sizes and weights of ducks, geese and other waterfowl. Their performance is outstanding, with the highest percentage of complete packs removed. Once separated from the carcass, the viscera pack is transferred directly to a tray on a separate pack conveyor belt to minimize the risk of contamination. The conveyor with the drawn packs is synchronized with the product conveyor to make veterinarian inspection easy and effective.

The drawing operation is done very carefully, effectively removing hearts, resulting in minimum liver damage and minimum skin contamination. For each type of duck, goose, the eviscerator uses a dedicated spoon which are easily interchangeable. This is a practical solution for processors in Poland or Hungary, who handle ducks for most of the year but also have to deal with seasonal geese.

Neck handling

In the duck industry, careful handling of the neck and neck skin is crucial for the end product. Marel uses four machines to ensure the best possible effective neck process: Neck Skin Slitter, Head Cutter & Tongue Harvester, Neck Skin Inspection Machine and Neck Cracker. Performance of this four-stage neck process is independent of the killing method used after stunning. The combined system performs better than any other when it comes to the removal of esophagus and trachea. All neck processes aim to get a higher neck skin yield and better neck skin presentation.

Together, all these specialized duck processing systems represent a state-of-the-art solution carefully handling each detail of the primary process and providing high-quality duck meat at the end of the line.

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