Poultry International - April 2018 - 36
36 ❙ PoultryInternational
Poultry processing requires mix
of expertise, automation
Modern poultry processing plants would not exist without extensive
technology and automation, but human input remains indispensable.
EDUARDO CERVANTES LÓPEZ
Without the high levels of automation
and technology employed in modern broiler
processing plants, it would be impossible to
satisfy demand for processed chicken.
Yet, the more that technology is employed,
the less equipped staff may become in resolving
issues that may arise when either technology fails
to perform in the way that it should or technology
is expected to perform in circumstances for
Digital displays will only display correct
information if sensors are working properly.
Eduardo Cervantes López
which it was not designed.
A couple of situations from plant visits
illustrate this issue well.
Poor information, poor product
Patchy removal of the epidermis from broilers
was observed in one plant.
The plant operated two sequential scalders
and produced birds with the epidermis totally
removed. Large control screens allowed all data
from the scalders to be clearly visible.
Nevertheless, prior to starting scalding, the
operator always checked that tanks were clean
and that water levels and turbulence were the
same in both tanks.
Checking the control panel display showed
that water in the tanks was at the correct
Checks were also carried on the pluckers to
verify the state of plucking fingers, and that spray
nozzles and water temperature were all as they
should be. Pluckers were adjusted in accordance
with the average live weight of the birds to be
Once birds began to come out of the final
plucker, however, varying amounts of epidermis
were still visible on the majority of birds, and
quality controllers brought operations to a halt, as
the birds would be unacceptable to the client.
At this point, a handheld thermometer was
dipped into the two tanks, to check that the actual
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ April 2018