Arkansas Patent of the Month – June 2022

While fat may add flavor when cooking meat, too much fat is not desirable. However, simply trimming fat off may not be capable of achieving the desired fat content for a lean piece of meat. Trimming fat can also be an incredibly time intensive process when trying to keep up with demand for various cuts. Tyson Foods, Inc. has developed a device that automates this process and more effectively achieves lean recovery.

Tyson Foods has been a leader in innovation for protein and food products for nearly a century. Their system starts out by automatically segregating meat products based on fat content. A piston pump pushes product through a reduction chamber, into a feed line, and then through a nozzle inlet. The product is injected into a series of chambers around the outer perimeter of a rotating wheel. The wheel rotates, causing the chambers to revolve.

When the product chamber is adjacent to the nozzle outlet, product is then injected into the chambers while the wheel continues to rotate. The same process occurs as each chamber aligns with the outlet. As product is added to each chamber, the fat content is scanned and then removed and sorted based on fat content.

Each chamber is equipped with a rejector which is set to reject product based on fat content. The range of fat content to be rejected is different for each chamber, allowing for effective sorting. The rejector uses a high-pressure air jet to effectively remove product.

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