Duck feet are profitable products; an effective automated processing system can therefore be an interesting option. Marel PMJ's feet processing system prepares duck feet fully automatically up to peeling and chilling, with numerous advantages such as a low cost of ownership and labor-saving. Its modular set-up enables a profitable solution for every production capacity.
Driven by the overhead conveyor line, the Feet Unloader gently and efficiently removes the feet from the shackles after they have been severed from the carcass. After unloading, feet end up on a conveyor belt to be transported to the first process stage.
Once cut and cleared from the line, duck feet can be scalded. This is mostly needed for Muscovy ducks, not for Pekin ducks. The Feet Scalder features a completely closed water tank to prevent heat loss. It is equipped with a slow rotating conveyor screw to forward the feet through the tank gently. Scalding time is easily adjustable to compensate for feet variations and meet end product requirements. All this enables the thorough removal of the yellow skin downstream, in the Feet Skinner.
The Feet Skinner fully automatically peels off the horny yellow layer from the feet and the upper nail. The rotating shaft allows for excellent skin removal using fingers. Skinning intensity can be adjusted by changing the rotation speed. The removed skin is discharged to slots positioned at the side of the machine and collected in a through located underneath.
After peeling, duck feet are conveyed to a multi-purpose chiller, which is fit for cooling different by-products such as feet, tails, wings, necks, livers and gizzards. Feet are chilled by keeping them in the cold water tank for several minutes until they reach the required temperature. The chilling time can be adjusted by varying the conveyor screw speed. The transport direction of the birds is opposed to the direction of added cold water and cooling medium.
The Spin Chiller is energy-friendly, as it is completely enclosed to prevent heat loss. It also features an automatic water level system which contributes to low water usage. Optionally, a glycol cooling system with a double-walled heat transfer system can be installed.
At the end of the system, feet are discharged by the ejector to the screw conveyor, ready to be transported to the packing area.