31 Jan 2019


Interfood Technology is reporting a significant increase in supplying equipment for use in the processing of poultry, building on the growth of a sector which continues to perform well. According to market research specialists Kantar Worldpanel, primary poultry is growing in volume, increasing by 1.9% year-on-year, with poultry now estimated to make up half of all meat eaten in the UK. Within the sector, chicken legs performed particularly well, with volume up by 5.2% and value by 3.6%. This growth is reflected in the investment levels from poultry processing plants who are continuing to commit to refits and new equipment to extend capacity and keep up with demand.

The versatility of chicken is undoubtedly one of its major draws for the consumer and, through different processes, the range of poultry-based products continues to grow. Coating of chicken breast and thighs is a big area of development as processors look to add flavour and, importantly, value to their product ranges.

Interfood can offer Breading, Dusting, Coating, Frying, Spiral Cooking and Spiral Chilling systems from Alco Food Machines which are designed to provide an automated process which can be used for coating different food products, with chicken being a prime market. Flour, spices or finely-ground breadcrumbs can all be applied, through a process which features an innovative blow-off system which creates minimal dust after a precise and even application of the chosen coating. Options include a multi-flip belt system, dust removing systems and flour feeding hoppers. Liquid coating machines are also available for the application/battering of products with tempura-type batters or marinades.

The range of equipment manufactured by Alco means that in addition to individual machines, integration of these machines can allow the creation of complete lines. Steve Naylor, Interfood’s Divisional Manager, comments – “One of the advantages of working with Alco is that their wide range enables us to develop bespoke configurations to meet the specific requirements of a given processing application. Through the extensive experience we have at Interfood, this can extend right through to supplying complete lines to cover, for example, the forming, coating and frying of chicken nuggets. Poultry is definitely a growth area for the meat industry and, as such, we are seeing investment in both product development and the equipment required to achieve such development, all of which is offering significant opportunities for us to extend the role of Alco equipment in processing operations throughout the UK and Ireland.”