Flake Ice For Food Processing Industry: Meat and Sausage

When most people think of flake ice, they think of fancy buffet trays and seafood displays. However, flake ice is the perfect ingredient for a variety of foods. In particular, using flake ice for sausage cooling is the preferred solution for meat and sausage processors worldwide.

Using Flake Ice for Sausage Cooling

When making sausages and hotdogs, food processors must make a meat emulsion. A sausage meat emulsion is basically a mixture of finely chopped meat (such as pork), fatty tissue, and flake ice. Other meat emulsions are used to make bologna, frankfurters, and meatloaves. When making a sausage or meat emulsion, a critical ingredient is flake ice for sausage cooling. By adding flake ice instead of water, a much quicker and more efficient cooling effect is achieved.

Chopping or emulsifying meat will affect its stability with different fat sources. If beef fat is the type of fat being used, final emulsion temperatures should be between 40F and 70F. If pork fat is being used, the mixture should be kept between 55F and 60F. Chopping emulsions containing pork fat at higher temperatures will result in a poor product.

Benefits of Using Flake Ice in Meat Processing

There are numerous benefits to using flake ice in meat and sausage processing.

  • Ingredient Needed - Flake ice an actual ingredient in processed meat mixtures, such as emulsions and sausages. Due to its size and shape, flake ice will not clump in meat mixtures and emulsions, making it ideal for blending in products.
  • Superior Cooling Ability - Flake ice has superior cooling qualities, making it an ideal choice when managing a proper emulsion temperature. Since flake ice is thin and flat, it provides maximum cooling surface areas. In fact, flake ice has the greatest cooling surface area at more than 17,000 square feet of surface area per ton of ice. This provides greater cooling efficiency than other types of ice.
  • Maintaining Processing Temperatures - Flake ice is also best for maintaining cool temperatures of cut meat products throughout processing. As sausage ingredients are mixed together, a great amount of heat is generated, it is important to add ice as an ingredient rather that water to quickly and effectively remove that heat to prevent the product from cooking during the mixing process.
  • Ideal Cooling for Shipping and Presentation - Flake ice is a superior choice when packaging products prior to shipping. Flake ice can also be used on top of shipping containers in trucks and rail cars.
  • Flake Ice is Cost-effective - Flake ice is extremely economical to produce because it requires only 1.3 tons of refrigeration per ton of ice from 60F (16C) water making it one of the most efficient ice machines in the world.

Howe manufactures ice flaker models specifically designed for use in food production areas. These models include low ambient kits that provide protection from ice freezing to internal parts or waterways. The control panel is also available for wet locations as food production areas are considered wet and routinely cleaned and sanitized The NEMA4 rated panels and wiring conduits prevent potential damage to the electrical components eliminating risks to personnel.

Howe also supplies ice storage bin systems designed with food grade specifications which include coved interior corners in the bin, as well as the elimination of any silicone sealants on the bin interior.

For any questions regarding using flake ice to preserve your meat and sausage products, ice flake machines, or any of our other ice products, please contact us.

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