A Poultry Matter: Extending Shelf Life – September 2011 – South African Food Review
By Roxanne Ronaldo Published on Friday, 09 September 2011
Following the Supreme Chicken scandal that rocked SA in December last year, the use of chlorine to treat chicken has become less popular. Not only this, ever-increasing environmental concerns are forcing poultry manufacturers to choose alternative methods of bacterial treatment and extending shelf life.
With a view to decreasing its microbial load on products, South African poultry producer Chubby Chick set out to find an alternative disinfectant to the chlorine the company had been using in its final inner/ outer washer.
Chubby Chick comprises two abattoirs, slaughtering a total of 112 000 birds a day, of which 17 000 are free range and 95 000 are commercial birds. In addition to the abattoirs, the poultry farm is made up of three rearing farms, three laying farms, three hatcheries, nine broilers and two free range farms. The company also has a rendering plant. Primal poultry, value-added products, ready-to-eat products, frozen and individually quick frozen (IQF) products are packaged at the two abattoirs.
With growing consumer awareness of organic products Desmond du Preez, Chubby Chick factory manager, says that Anolyte was the only environmentally friendly and biodegradable disinfectant to be approved by the Organic Certification Board. ‘For this purpose, Anolyte gives us very good results and is very user friendly,’ he adds.
He says, ‘it has the advantage of not having any organoleptic or other detrimental effects on our products. It is environmentally friendly, as well as biodegradable. Furthermore, it is not dangerous if spillage occurs and can be stored in the same holding room as other products, both of which are important safety considerations.’
The pilot exercise proved successful at Chubby Chick and Anolyte has subsequently been used as a disinfectant here, for several years. Du Preez explains, ‘Anolyte is used at a 30 per cent concentration as a final rinse on portions prior to packing for several customers in order to lower microbial loads and extend shelf-life.’
Amongst its customers Chubby Chick numbers Woolworths, the OBC group, Nando’s and several wholesalers and retailers in Gauteng. It also supplies Woolworths Botswana, Ghana, Swaziland and Namibia.
Radical Waters, suppliers of Anolyte, has spent 12 years focused on developing and commercialising its green ECA technology. Radical Waters’ products are used in a wide range of markets formerly dependent on chemicals for controlling contamination and bacterial infection.
The company has a focus on markets that include beverage production, meat and seafood, sauce manufacture, milling and starch and hospitality Lucinda Jooste, Radical Waters’ technical sales specialist says, ‘Having worked at a chicken abattoir for many years in quality assurance, I understand the need for proper sanitation protocols and how previously there was no real effective alternative to chlorine available to the poultry industry.
We are very excited at the prospect of looking into other areas of the process where we can be of assistance to Chubby Chick and other poultry farmers,’ she concludes.