Linde launches CO2 snow-based Dri Pack packaging for meat
German industrial gases and engineering firm Linde has launched Dri Pack automated box chilling system based on CO2 snow, for packaging meat, poultry and seafood.
The system is claimed to be more efficient than water ice or dry ice packaging.
Dri Pack deploys extremely cold CO2 snow to preserve the moisture, freshness and quality for a given food product.
Linde prepared foods and seafood program manager Ed Cordiano said: "With fish and seafood products retailing for $10 to $20 a pound or more, preserving the product's high-quality appearance, taste, and texture becomes extremely important."
Conforming with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, Dri Pack can be installed in new as well as existing operations.
Adaptable to conveyor lines, the system can be used to fill CO2 snow into boxes with width up to 24 inches while they move on a conveyor.
The boxes are subjected to a controlled jet of CO2 snow at minus 109.3 degrees F (minus 78.5 degrees C). As the CO2 snow does not melt, refrigeration is performed through sublimation without condensation into liquid.
According to Linde, Dri Pack reduces labor costs as it helps in avoiding motion injuries caused by handling of bagged ice and CO2 pellets as well as shoveling of water ice.
The CO2, being an odorless asphyxiant, can pose hazards in packing plants if operated on open containers. The new system offers a vent for waste gases to the outside.