Defrosting of meat

Meat is a delicate food product. Whether it is pork, beef or poultry, its processing in agri-food processes can cause food safety problems. Depending on the method used, the thawing process can pose several problems such as micro-bacteriological growth and significant water loss. The defrosting of meat by microwave is a process that makes it possible to remedy these problems.


Our customer was looking for a quick and efficient way to thaw frozen pork, chicken, and beef. Our rapid cost saving thawing solution fully meets their needs.

Former meat defrosting process

There are several thawing methods for food products and more specifically meat products. Among the classic methods used in the food industry, we often find the defrosting chamber where the meat is left in the open air for several hours. This is a commonly used method but has several disadvantages. Indeed, this solution requires a large and often ventilated storage space to allow the circulation of air at ambient temperature and the storage of meat products. It is also a solution that causes a very significant and uneconomical loss of water.


Our customer, located in Bogota, Colombia, employs approximately 200 workers. This company belongs to a large supermarket chain, with hundreds of shops all around the country. It produces meat sausages made of different type of frozen meat such as frozen pork, chicken, and beef.


Their plant was not equipped with a food defrosting solution. In fact, they were defrosting the meat blocks in the open air for approximately 18 hours. The main drawbacks of this defrosting method were bacterial growth, huge water losses, and delays in processing orders.

Customer meat defrosting process needs

This customer needs to defrost meat blocks of 20 to 25 kg, from -18° to -2° before grinding. The daily  food product volume requested is about 18 tons of meat per day. The volume increases during the summer season, so the equipment must be able to operate 24 hours per day during peak periods.

Thawing solution proposed

Taking into account the volume of frozen meat to defrost, SAIREM’s AMW400 microwave food tempering oven, with two sliding tables, offers the requested capacity. This batch solution allows our client to change quickly from one type of meat product to another with the recipes integrated in the HMI software. Meat blocks are now homogeneously tempered in less than 5 minutes instead of 18 hours previously and without any water loss. The food tempering machine also occupies a very limited amount of floor space.

Key benefits of microwave meat defrosting

  • Speed: our equipment saves time and money for the company, the customer can now thaw 18 tons of meat in a day, compared to 18 tons of meat in 3 to 4 days previously. Meat to be processed into sausage orders is ready in a matter of minutes rather than waiting a whole day. Customers are served faster.
  • Quality: the meat product quality has been enhanced thanks to the quick defrosting and a homogeneous final temperature. Indeed, the microwave defrosting process preserves the organoleptic quality of the food products.
  • Savings: microwave tempering process completely eliminated  water losses, which represented 6% of the processed meat. there is no more water loss. Our customer saves up to USD 2 700 a day thanks to this 100% yield.
  • Safety: the fast and homogeneous tempering prevents microbial development on the meat blocks completely. There is no risk of bacterial growth in the meat products. The microwave defrosting process is therefore a safe and efective solution for food companies wishing to find an answer to their food safety issues.


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