Processing Chicken Feet

Having been transported from the slaughterhouse to the processing unit, the chicken feet are processed in two separate halls:

  1. Primary Hall (non- sanitary)

Chicken feet are then unloaded, prepared and peeled in this hall. Equipped with a +0°C refrigerator and a waste chamber, this hall must be spacious enough to accommodate the unloaded chicken feet.                 

Designed and manufactured fully automatic and semi-automatic, the machines layout in Novin Chicken Feet Processing Complex is as follows:

  • Scalder machine
  • Peeling machine
  • Conveyor Belt Transfer
  1. Secondary Hall (Sanitary)

Chilling, fixing injuries to the bottom of the feet, paw cutting, control operations and packaging are performed in this hall which is equipped with a +0 °C refrigerator (pre-cooler), a freezing tunnel, an ice storage room and a -0 °C refrigerator.

The machines layout in Novin Chicken Feet Processing Complex is as follows:

  • Row Chiller
  • Conveyor table or belt for fixing and cleaning the injured feet
  • Tape or solar paw cutting machine
  • Conveyor belt transfer to finisher
  • Finisher
  • Control conveyor
  • Packaging conveyor

 

Chicken Feet Quality Control

Chicken Feet Quality Control

Having been peeled, paws cut and washed by the finisher, chicken feet are then transferred to the dewatering conveyor belt for final quality control so that the workers can separate the defective feet from the rest, sending the healthy processed ones to the packaging unit. The question is, what is the difference between a defective and a healthy product? Personnel’s lack of precision and knowledge either leads to further separation and an increase in waste, or product quality reduction and thus a decline in the export value of the product. Therefore, control unit staff must be fully aware that healthy chicken feet should meet the following criteria:

 

  • No cuts or bruises in the paws and nails
  • No yellow skin or nail sheath
  • Not a lot of black or grey spots
  • No severe fractures in the original bone
  • No sores on the soles of the feet and paws
  • A full foot is cut slightly lower than the joint
  • The cut at the paw should be no more than one centimeter above the nail on the foot
  • No feathers or pieces of skin in the product

 

Eliminating Chicken Feet Contamination

Given the fact that the transported chicken feet from the slaughterhouse naturally contain large amounts of waste and highly contaminated, Novin Processing and Packaging Complex has taken the following measures to reduce the chances of contamination:

  1. Chicken feet should be washed in the slaughterhouse by cold water to reduce some contamination while cooling and then stored in the refrigerator or mixed with ice powder and finally transported to the packaging unit by a refrigerator-equipped vehicle. This reduces the growth of bacteria and grounds for the initial spoilage of the feet.
  2. In case of excessive contamination, the chicken feet being washed and transferred to a +0 °C refrigerator in a non-sanitary hall, is sent to the production line for skin removal upon arrival.
  3. In addition to maintaining the temperature of the production hall, the chicken feet are sufficiently cooled by the chiller after skin removal, avoiding prolonged storage in the packaging process and if necessary, using ice powder to prevent an increase in the temperature. Finally, after being packed and stored in cartons, chicken feet are immediately transferred to the pre-cooling room or the freezing tunnel.

 

In order to reduce contamination in the production process, the product is washed by a finisher machine before transferring to the final control conveyor which cleans the processed feet with water and gradually unload them while disposing of the skin and feather residue.

 

Non-standard Moisture Prevention

Excessive moisture in exported chicken feet packages which leads to formation of frozen pieces on the bottom of the plastic wraps and frosting is one of the factors that cause dissatisfaction among buyers and sometimes a reduction in the agreed price. Many manufacturers mistakenly believe that this moisture is the result of leftover water from the final washing of the chicken feet, when in fact most of the moisture is due to the secretion or return of the interstitial water present in the chicken which runs out gradually due to the heat caused by cutting. To prevent this, the product should be kept at a maximum temperature of 4 °C throughout all stages after skin removal until it is frozen. To provide this temperature, Novin Chicken Feet Processing and Packaging Complex takes the following measures:

 

  • Cooling the chicken feet after skin removal inside a row chiller in a mixture of water and ice powder. The ice block is then crushed using an ice crusher and added to the water in the chiller.
  • Keeping the sanitary hall as cool as possible
  • Reducing product processing time in the production hall
  • Using ice powder or transferring the semi-processed product to the refrigerator if necessary
  • Transferring the processed and packaged chicken feet to pre-cooling refrigerators
  • Using a standard freezing tunnel with a temperature of -37°C