Beef Spinal Cord Removal Stage 2 Process Risk and Benefits

MAR recently completed project “A.TEC.0088 Beef Spinal Cord Removal – Development Trials”. In this project research and development along with manual and robotic tests and trials where completed to determine suitable tooling for an automated Beef Spinal Cord Removal process. The tooling developed and deemed best suited for this process incorporated the use of High Pressure Water and Vacuum “HPWV”. Trials with the HPWV tool provided confidence in the concept as a potential solution for automated spinal cord removal. However it also highlighted the need for further work, prior to any full scale development, to ensure the process is viable. A summary of the areas that need this further work are listed below:

  • Assessment of the process risk of HP water being forced into the meat through the nerve canals.
  • Review of potential Cost and Process Benefits and Risks.
  • Confirmation of vision and sensing ability to accurately detect spinal cord.
  • Carcass presentation and stabilisation.
  • Tooling development to minimise water use (optimise pressure, flow nozzle designs).
  • Tooling development to minimise SRM spread over carcass during the process.  

The aim of this project was to address the first two of these prior to further development stages to provide further confidence the HPWV process provides adequate benefits whilst ensuring the process does not introduce new and unmanageable risks.