GB2470342A - A method of processing whole crabs - Google Patents

A method of processing whole crabs Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2470342A
GB2470342A GB0809148A GB0809148A GB2470342A GB 2470342 A GB2470342 A GB 2470342A GB 0809148 A GB0809148 A GB 0809148A GB 0809148 A GB0809148 A GB 0809148A GB 2470342 A GB2470342 A GB 2470342A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
crab
meat
purse
purses
shell
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Granted
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GB0809148A
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GB2470342B (en
GB0809148D0 (en
Inventor
Timothy Peter Browne
Hannah Mae Browne
John Kerry Browne
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Timothy Peter Browne
Hannah Mae Browne
John Kerry Browne
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Priority to GB0809148.0A priority Critical patent/GB2470342B/en
Publication of GB0809148D0 publication Critical patent/GB0809148D0/en
Publication of GB2470342A publication Critical patent/GB2470342A/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A22BUTCHERING; MEAT TREATMENT; PROCESSING POULTRY OR FISH
    • A22CPROCESSING MEAT, POULTRY, OR FISH
    • A22C29/00Processing shellfish or bivalves, e.g. oysters, lobsters; Devices therefor, e.g. claw locks, claw crushers, grading devices; Processing lines
    • A22C29/02Processing shrimps, lobsters or the like ; Methods or machines for the shelling of shellfish
    • A22C29/024Opening, shelling or peeling shellfish
    • A22C29/025Mechanically opening and shelling crabs, lobsters or other hard-shelled crustaceans
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A22BUTCHERING; MEAT TREATMENT; PROCESSING POULTRY OR FISH
    • A22CPROCESSING MEAT, POULTRY, OR FISH
    • A22C29/00Processing shellfish or bivalves, e.g. oysters, lobsters; Devices therefor, e.g. claw locks, claw crushers, grading devices; Processing lines
    • A22C29/02Processing shrimps, lobsters or the like ; Methods or machines for the shelling of shellfish
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; TREATMENT THEREOF, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A21D OR A23B-A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L17/00Food-from-the-sea products; Fish products; Fish meal; Fish-egg substitutes; Preparation or treatment thereof
    • A23L17/40Shell-fish

Abstract

There is provided a method of processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products comprising separating the crab into component parts prior to cooking the crabs for specified periods of time and thereafter separately processing the individual components in an optimum manner. In particular, the meat from the body portion of the crab is improved by separating the natural juices (in centrifuge 33) from the crab prior to a shredding process (43, in de-meating machine 41) and then re-combining the juices to the shredded crab (in mixer 73) prior to freezing (in freezer 75). The separate claws, legs and purse have different cooking times to provide a more satisfactory product with improved look and taste characteristics than would have otherwise been achieved by cooking the whole crab.

Description

"A method of processing whole crabs"
Introduction
This invention relates to a method of processing whole crabs and in particular to a method of processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products.
Over the last number of years, crab meat has become increasingly popular with consumers. This increased popularity has resulted in a greater demand for crab meat and accordingly the producers of crab meat consumable products have attempted to provide improved methods of processing the whole crab in order to provide a more satisfying end product for the consumer, while at the same time being efficient and providing a reasonable profit for the producer.
Heretofore, the most common methods of processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products comprised cooking the whole crab for approximately 20 minutes until the meat of the crab was cooked throughout and thereafter shredding the cooked crabs before separating the meat from the shell and other materials before packaging the crab meat. In certain instances, valuable parts of the crab such as the claws were removed after cooking and prior to shredding and sold separately. The advantage of such a system is that the minimum human interaction was required and therefore this was seen as a cost effective way of producing the product for the producer. However, there are numerous problems with this approach to processing whole crabs.
First of all, the main problem with the known system was that the entire crab was cooked for 20 minutes or so in order to ensure the entire crab was cooked throughout. This was necessary for health and safety reasons. After 20 minutes, the meat inside the body of the crab would be fully cooked and therefore fit for human consumption. However, other parts of the crab which are highly valuable, such as the legs and the claws, required far less time to cook and as a direct result, these valuable parts of the crab are often overcooked. This significantly reduces the organoleptic properties of the meat in the claws and legs and reduces the commercial value of the end product. Furthermore, having cooked the crab meat for 20 minutes, the crab meat contained in the body of the crab, commonly referred to as the crab purse, often turns a greyish colour which can be off-putting to the consumer, thereby further reducing the value of the product. In addition to the greyish colour, the crab meat contained in the purse often becomes relatively tasteless after being cooked for this length of time and therefore this meat which accounts for up to 50% of the total meat contained in the crab is often of very low commercial value.
It is an object therefore of the present invention to provide a method of processing whole crabs that overcomes at least some of the difficulties with the known methods.
Statements of Invention
According to the invention, there is provided a method of processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products, the method comprising the steps of: dismembering the whole crabs and separating the dismembered crabs into three crab components, crab claws, crab legs and crab bodies; individually inspecting the crab components for suitability and discarding any unsuitable components; pre-processing the crab bodies, the pre-processing stage comprising the steps of: breaking a shell of each of the crab bodies; extracting a crab purse from each of the crab bodies; discarding the crab shell; removing any further unwanted additional material from the crab purse and discarding the additional material; the method comprising the further steps of cooking the crab purses and the crab claws separately from the crab legs in boiling water for a first predetermined period of time; cooking the crab legs separately from the crab claws and the crab purses in boiling water for a second predetermined period of time; cooling the cooked crab purses, crab claws and crab legs by spraying the crab purses, crab claws and crab legs with chilled water at a temperature below 5°C, for a period of the order of 20 minutes; further processing the crab purses, crab claws and the crab legs separately, the steps of further processing the crab purses comprising: placing the chilled crab purses in a centrifuge and spinning the crab purses for a period of time sufficient to draw the juices from the crab purses, and storing the juices for subsequent use; shredding the crab purses and separating the crab purse meat from any residual crab shell or cartilage; re-salinating the purse crab meat by placing the purse crab meat into a brine tank having a saline solution therein; removing the re-salinated purse crab meat from the brine tank and pressing the purse crab meat to remove any excess water from the purse crab meat; re-introducing the juices removed from the crab purses in the centrifuge to the pressed crab meat; re-chilling the purse crab meat in a refrigeration unit, packaging and thereafter freezing the packaged purse crab meat in a blast freezer prior to distribution; the steps of further processing the crab claws comprising: removing a knuckle portion and a shell from each of the crab claws leaving a pincer and thigh portion crab claw; discarding the knuckle portion and the shell; re-chilling the remaining crab claws in the refrigeration unit, packaging and thereafter freezing the packaged crab claws in a blast freezer prior to distribution; the steps of further processing the crab legs comprising: removing an extremity foot portion from each of the crab legs and discarding that extremity foot portion; cutting one end off the remaining crab leg and removing the meat from the remaining crab leg shell; discarding the crab leg shell; and re-chilling the crab leg meat in the refrigeration unit, packaging and thereafter freezing the packaged crab leg meat in a blast freezer prior to distribution.
By having such a process, each of the individual components of the crab is cooked for a length of time sufficient to ensure that it is cooked throughout. By separating the purses from the crab bodies, the purses may be cooked in a significantly shorter period of time than was heretofore the case which has the twin benefits of ensuring the meat contained in the purse does not turn a greyish colour and secondly that it retains many of its taste properties thereby providing a more satisfactory end product for the consumer. Furthermore, by separating out the juices in a centrifuge and re-adding those juices subsequent to shredding the meat contained in the crab purse, a superior crab meat consumable product with enhanced organoleptic properties is produced. The resulting crab meat consumable product can therefore demand a higher price. Furthermore, by carrying out the separation and pre-processing steps, the meat may be extracted more easily from the crab once cooking is complete. Furthermore, due to the fact that the crab claws and legs are separated prior to cooking and shredding, these items may be cooked for appropriate times also, thereby improving the organoleptic properties of these components. Therefore, it is possible to charge a higher price for these goods than was heretofore the case. In addition to that, these items may be sold separately or used with the remaining meat to provide a high value product.
In another embodiment of the invention, the first predetermined period of time for cooking the crab claws and the crab purses is between 6 minutes and 9 minutes.
Preferably, the first predetermined period of time for cooking the crab claws and the crab purses is between 7 minutes and 8 minutes. This is seen as a sufficient amount of time to adequately cook the crab claws and crab purses meat throughout without adversely affecting the appearance or taste of either the meat of the crab claws or the crab purses.
In one embodiment of the invention, the second predetermined period of time for cooking the crab legs is between 1 minute 30 seconds and 3 minutes 30 seconds.
Preferably, the second predetermined period of time for cooking the crab legs is between 2 minutes and 3 minutes. Due to the fact that the crab legs are relatively thin, they will cook in a relatively short space of time. By cooking the legs for this length of time, they will not lose all of their taste and a more valuable product is provided.
In a further embodiment of the invention, the method comprises the intermediate step of adding unpackaged crab leg meat to the unpackaged crab purse meat prior to packaging. This is seen as a particularly useful aspect of the present invention as the purse meat has not been cooked for a very long period of time, as was the case with the prior art methods, it will have an improved taste characteristic. This may be even further improved by adding the meat from the crab leg which is of higher taste quality.
This will further improve the taste of the purse meat, allowing for a higher price to be demanded for the purse meat.
In another embodiment of the invention, the cooling water is chilled to between 2°C and 4°C. By spraying the crab components, after they have been cooked, with chilled water at this temperature, the cooked crab components will cool relatively quickly to a suitable temperature for further processing without the development of harmful bacteria.
In one embodiment of the invention, the step of spinning the crab purses for a period of time sufficient to draw the juices from the crab purses further comprises spinning the crab purses in the centrifuge for 45 seconds at 500 rev/minute. By spinning the crab purses in the centrifuge for 45 seconds, it is possible to remove the juices from the crabs without damaging the produce. Again, this provides a more valuable end product.
In a further embodiment of the invention, the step of removing the meat from the remaining crab leg shell comprises passing the legs with the ends cut off past a blower and using a jet of air to separate the crab leg meat from the crab leg shell.
In another embodiment of the invention, the step of shredding the crab purses and separating the crab purse meat from any residual crab shell or cartilage further comprises passing the crab purses through a shredder and thereafter delivering the shredded crab purses to the interior of a rotating cylindrical drum having a plurality of apertures spaced evenly about its surface, spraying the exterior of the rotating drum with water using a plurality of jets located along the length of the drum, the crab meat passing through the apertures of the drum for collection and the shell and cartilage remaining on the interior of the drum for subsequent removal.
In one embodiment of the invention, the additional intermediate step is performed of drying the crab purse meat after it has been separated from the crab purse shell and cartilage and prior to re-salinating the crab purse meat.
In a further embodiment of the invention, the step of drying the crab purse meat further comprises passing the crab purse meat and water through a baffle tank having a number of transverse baffle plates arranged therein and thereafter delivering the crab purse meat and water to a first panning tray having a plurality of apertures therein and moveable in a see saw motion whereby the crab purse meat and water mixture are further separated, and thereafter the remaining crab purse meat and water mixture is delivered to a second panning tray having a plurality of apertures therein, the second, inclined, panning tray being vibrated vigorously to remove any additional water from the crab purse meat.
In another embodiment of the invention, the step of discarding the shell further comprises passing the shell directly to a shredder and shredding the shell.
In one embodiment of the invention, the step of discarding any additional material other than shell further comprises adding the material to the shredded shell prior to discarding the material and shredded shells.
In a further embodiment of the invention, the brine tank has a saline solution with 2.5 Kg of salt per 100 litres of water therein. This is seen to provide the best quality crab meat product. Some of the salt will be lost by the crab meat during the shredding process of the purses. This may be gradually reintroduced into the crab meat through the use of the brine tank with the saline solution. The amount of salt will effect the end taste of the product and 2.5 Kg of salt per 100 litres of water is seen as ideal for re-salinating the crab meat to a suitable level.
In another embodiment of the invention, the juice taken from the centrifuge is added to the crab purse meat in a ratio of 1:9. Again, it is envisaged that approximately 0.5Kg of crab meat juices will be re-added for every 4.5 Kg of crab meat and this will provide a highly satisfactory end product that is agreeable to the consumer.
Detailed Description of the Invention
The invention will now be more clearly understood from the following description of some embodiments thereof, given by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of the initial general stages in the method of processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products according to the present invention; Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic representation of the apparatus used for processing crab purses according to the present invention; Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic representation of an apparatus for processing crab legs according to the present invention; and Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic representation of the apparatus used for processing crab claws according to the present invention.
Referring to the drawings and initially to Fig. 1 thereof, there is shown an apparatus for processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products, indicated generally by the reference numeral 1, in which the method according to the invention is carried out. The apparatus 1 comprises a separation station 3, a claw inspection station 5, a leg inspection station 7 and a body inspection station 9. The apparatus further comprises a body pre-processing station, indicated generally by the reference numeral 11, a cooking stage 13 comprising a plurality of cookers 15 and a cooling station 17. The cooling station 17 further comprises a twin shelf roller conveyor having a plurality of spray nozzles located above the top shelf from which chilled water is sprayed upon the cooked crab below. The body pre-processing station 11 in turn further comprises a plurality of de-shelling stations 19a, 19b, 19c and 19d and a plurality of cleaning stations 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d. Each of the de-shelling stations 19a-19d inclusive, is paired with a cleaning station 21a-21d inclusive. Each of the de-shelling stations 19a-19d is serviced by a sewer channel 23 through which water flows for carrying pieces of shell away from the de-shelling station. Furthermore, each de-shelling station 19a-19d is provided with a shelling device 25a-25d respectively, to allow cracking of crab shells. A hopper 27a-27d is provided between each de-shelling station 19a-19d and each cleaning station 21a-21d. Each cleaning station 21a-21d is provided with a cleaning device which in turn comprises a rotating brush unit 29a-29d and the cleaning units 21a-21d are serviced by a separate sewage channel 31 for carrying additional unwanted material away from the cleaning station. Finally, there is provided a conveyor 32 for carrying wasted pre-processed bodies to a collection point.
In use, a shipment of crab is brought to the separation table 3 where employees separate the crab into the component parts, the crab claws, the crab legs and the crab body. Once separated, the component parts are provided to the inspection tables 5, 7, 9 where the claws, legs and bodies are inspected individually. Any inferior quality components are discarded at that point. The remaining components from the claw inspection table 5 and the leg inspection table 7 are passed to the cooking pots 15 in the cooking stage 13. The crab bodies that pass the inspection are passed from the inspection table 9 to the body pre-processing stage 11. In the body pre-processing stage 11, employees at each of the de-shelling stations 1 9a-1 9d inclusive, crack the crab bodies against one of the shelling devices 25a-25d and peel the shell away from the crab bodies, leaving the crab purse and the entrails which they place in one of the hoppers 27a-27d. The shells are dropped into the sewage tray 23 from where they are taken by a constant flow of water through the sewage drain to a crusher (not shown).
At the same time, the employees at the cleaning stations 21a-21d remove the crab purses with entrails from the hoppers 27a-27d and clean the crab purses using the rotation brush cleaners 29a-29d. The entrails of the crab, such as the lungs, are brushed off the crab purses and these entrails are taken away in the sewage channel 31 by a flow of water through the sewage channel 31 to a suitable storage container for subsequent addition to the shredded shells. It is important to note that the entrails such as the lungs are not passed through the shredder due to the fact that these items could cause clogging of the shredder and therefore a separate drainage channel is necessary to the drainage channel used by the de-shelling stations. Once cleaned, the crab purses are placed on the conveyor 32 from which they are brought to a cooking pot 15 in the cooking stage 13. The crab purses and the crab claws are each cooked for between 7 and 8 minutes so that they are fully cooked throughout.
The crab legs, however, are cooked for between 2 to 3 minutes until they are fully cooked. The water in the cooking pot 15 is referred to as boiling water but it will be understood that this may not necessarily be at precisely 100°C but instead may be relatively close thereto, however, in any event, it is envisaged that the temperature of -10 -the water will be above 90°C for cooking and when the phrase "boiling water" is used, it will be understood to mean water above 90°C.
Once the crab meat in the crab legs, crab claws and crab purses, has been cooked, it is removed from the cooking pots 15 and placed on the cooling station 17. The cooling station comprises a roller conveyor having a number of spray nozzles positioned above the roller conveyor. The spray nozzles spray chilled water at a temperature below 5°C, and preferably between 2-4°C, down onto the cooked crab meat components below. The chilling station 17 preferably comprises a twin layer of shelves, one on top of the other, so that water drips through the first layer of cooked crab meat components through the shelf and down onto the second layer so that twice the amount of crab components may be chilled at the one time. Preferably, the cooked crab components will be left on the shelves of the chilling station for approximately 20 minutes so that they are adequately chilled for further processing.
Referring now to Fig. 2 of the drawings, there is shown a diagrammatic representation of the apparatus used in the processing of the crab purses according to the present invention. Once chilled adequately, the crab purses are placed in a centrifuge 33 for 45 seconds are the juices are drawn off the crab purses and stored separately in a container 35. After spinning, the purses are removed from the centrifuge 33 and placed in a hopper 37 from which they are loaded onto a conveyor 39 and delivered to a de-meating machine 41. The de-meating machine 41 in turn comprises a shredder 43 and a separator 45. The separator 45 in turn comprises a rotating drum 47 having a plurality of holes 49 arranged about its surface and a plurality of spray nozzles 51 are provided to spray water onto the exterior of the rotating drum 47. The rotating drum feeds an outflow tray 53 from which shell and cartilage is removed and the separator 45 also feeds a water tank 55 having a plurality of baffle plates 57 contained therein. The water tank 55 feeds a first panning tray 59 comprising a reservoir 61 and a perforated tray 63. The first panning tray 59 feeds a second panning tray 65 from which crab meat is dried and placed in the container 67. The apparatus further comprises a brine tank 69, a press 71 and a mixing station 73. In addition to this, the apparatus further comprises a refrigeration unit 75, a packing unit 77 and a freezer 79.
In use, crab purses are delivered to the centrifuge where they are spun for 45 seconds at 500 revolutions per minute. Juice is extracted from the centrifuge and stored in the container 35. The de-juiced purses are transferred from the centrifuge 33 to a hopper 37 from which they are placed onto a conveyor 39 and delivered to the de-meating machine 41. When entering the de-meating machine 41, the purses are first applied to a shredder 43 whereby the purses are shredded to fine pieces and then delivered into a separator 45 which comprises a rotating drum 47 having a plurality of apertures arranged in the surface thereof. The shredded meat is placed in the centre of the rotating drum and the meat works its way through the holes in the rotating drum, whereas shell and cartilage remains on the interior of the rotating drum. Spray nozzles 51 continuously spray the exterior of the rotating drum to ensure that the apertures 49 do not become clogged. The shell and cartilage is driven out of the rotating drum into a lead-off tray 53 where it is removed for shredding, if desired. The remaining water and crab meat from the de-meating machine 41 that has passed through the apertures in the rotating drum is passed into a water tank 55 having a plurality of baffle plates 57 arranged therein. The baffle plates 57 slow the progress of water through the water tank, allowing the meat and water to settle and the crab meat rise to the top.
The crab meat and portion of the water is then led into the first panning tray which comprises a tray which moves in a see-saw motion about a transverse horizontal axis, further separating the meat from the water. Excess water is sent from the panning tray 63 into a reservoir 61 and discarded. The remaining crab meat and water is transferred from the panning tray 63 to the second panning tray 65 which comprises an inclined vibrating table having a number of perforations therein for a through passage of water. After vibrating the crab meat on the second panning tray for a period of time, the water escapes through the perforations and the meat travels down the inclined vibrating table 65 into a container 67. Once full, the container is then transferred to a brine tank 69 which contains a saline solution of 2.5 Kg of salt per 100 litres of water. The crab meat is left in the saline solution for of the order of seconds and it is stirred while in the saline solution. Once the crab meat has been re-salinated, it is removed from the brine tank 59 and put into a press 71 where the crab meat is squeezed and any excess water is removed. After the press, the de-watered crab meat is brought to the mixing station where the juice from the centrifuge -12-is re-added to the dried crab meat. The crab meat is then refrigerated prior to packaging and then is placed in a blast freezer at -32°C for at least four hours prior to distribution.
Referring to Fig. 3 of the drawings, there is shown a diagrammatic representation of the apparatus used in processing crab legs according to the present invention. Once the crab legs have been cooled sufficiently in the cooling station 17 after cooking, the crab legs are brought to a leg processing table. Here, the extremity foot portions of the legs are removed by hand. The extremity foot portions are sent for shredding, while the remainder of the leg is passed to the meat extraction unit 83. The meat extraction unit 83 comprises a conveyor 85 which feeds a cutting device 87 and in turn a blower 89. There is further provided a refrigeration unit 75, a packaging unit 77 and a freezer 79. In use, the tips of the legs are removed at the leg processing tip removal stage 81 and the remaining legs are placed in the meat extraction unit 83.
The conveyor 85 has a number of channels (not shown) suitable for reception of a crab leg. The crab legs progress along this conveyor to the cutting unit 87 whereby one end of the crab leg is cut off and then as the remaining crab leg is passed to the blowing unit 89, the jet of air is forced through the crab leg causing the meat to exit the crab leg into a suitable container (not shown) and the shell may be then discarded in another container. The shell may thereafter be shredded in a shredder (not shown). The meat is then chilled to a suitable temperature prior to packaging and then it is frozen in a blast freezer.
Finally, referring to Fig. 4 of the drawings, there is shown a diagrammatic representation of the apparatus used in the method of processing crab claws according to the present invention. The apparatus further comprises a claw processing table 91, a refrigeration unit 75, a packing unit 77 and a freezer 79. In use, claws that have been cooked and chilled to a suitable temperature are placed onto the claw processing table where employees remove the knuckle using a spoon or other suitable implement and then crack the shell surrounding the thigh portion of the crab claw leaving a pincer portion connected to a thigh portion which is the meaty part on the crab claw. The knuckle and the shell are sent for shredding, if desired, and the crab claw containing the pincer portion and the thigh portion is passed to a refrigeration unit where it is chilled prior to packaging and blast freezing at -32°C for -13-at least four hours prior to distribution.
In a further embodiment, it may be desirable to increase further the organoleptic properties of the meat extracted from the crab purses, in which case it is envisaged that crab leg meat taken from the meat extraction table 83 in Fig. 3 may be added at the mixing station 73 to the pressed crab purse meat and the juices may be added to the crab purse meat and the crab leg meat in order to provide an even further superior product. This is seen as particularly useful.
By using the present invention, an improved crab purse product is provided which accounts for approximately 50% of the total meat in the crab and therefore a far greater yield is possible from the crabs. Furthermore, an improved crab claw and crab leg product may also be achieved due to more appropriate cooking times.
In the specification the terms "comprise, comprises, comprised and comprising" and the terms "include, includes, included and including" are all deemed totally interchangeable and they should all be afforded the widest possible interpretation.
This invention is in no way limited to the embodiment hereinbefore described, but may be varied in both construction and detail within the scope of the claims.

Claims (17)

  1. CLAIMS1) A method of processing whole crabs to provide crab meat consumable products, the method comprising the steps of: dismembering the whole crabs and separating the dismembered crabs into three crab components, crab claws, crab legs and crab bodies; individually inspecting the crab components for suitability and discarding any unsuitable components; pre-processing the crab bodies, the pro-processing stage comprising the steps of: breaking a shell of each of the crab bodies; extracting a crab purse from each of the crab bodies; discarding the crab shell; removing any further unwanted additional material from the crab purse and discarding the additional material; the method comprising the further steps of cooking the crab purses and the crab claws separately from the crab legs in boiling water for a first predetermined period of time; cooking the crab legs separately from the crab claws and the crab purses in boiling water for a second predetermined period of time; cooling the cooked crab purses, crab claws and crab legs by spraying the crab purses, crab claws and crab legs with chilled water at a temperature below 5°C, for a period of the order of 20 minutes; further processing the crab purses, crab claws and the crab legs separately, the steps of further processing the crab purses comprising: placing the chilled crab purses in a centrifuge and spinning the crab purses for a period of time sufficient to draw the juices from the crab purses, and storing the juices for subsequent use; shredding the crab purses and separating the crab purse meat from any residual crab shell or cartilage; re-salinating the purse crab meat by placing the purse crab meat into a brine tank having a saline solution therein; removing the re-salinated purse crab meat from the brine tank and pressing the purse crab meat to remove any excess water from the purse crab meat; re-introducing the juices removed from the crab purses in the centrifuge to the pressed crab meat; re-chilling the purse crab meat in a refrigeration unit, packaging and thereafter freezing the packaged purse crab meat in a blast freezer prior to distribution; the steps of further processing the crab claws comprising: removing a knuckle portion and a shell from each of the crab claws leaving a pincer and thigh portion crab claw; discarding the knuckle portion and the shell; re-chilling the remaining crab claws in the refrigeration unit, packaging and thereafter freezing the packaged crab claws in a blast freezer prior to distribution; -16 -the steps of further processing the crab legs comprising: removing an extremity foot portion from each of the crab legs and discarding that extremity foot portion; cutting one end off the remaining crab leg and removing the meat from the remaining crab leg shell; discarding the crab leg shell; and re-chilling the crab leg meat in the refrigeration unit, packaging and thereafter freezing the packaged crab leg meat in a blast freezer prior to distribution.
  2. 2) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in claim 1 in which the first predetermined period of time for cooking the crab claws and the crab purses is between 6 minutes and 9 minutes.
  3. 3) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in claim 1 or 2 in which the first predetermined period of time for cooking the crab claws and the crab purses is between 7 minutes and 8 minutes.
  4. 4) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the second predetermined period of time for cooking the crab legs is between 1 minute 30 seconds and 3 minutes 30 seconds.
  5. 5) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the second predetermined period of time for cooking the crab legs is between 2 minutes and 3 minutes.
  6. 6) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the method comprises the intermediate step of adding unpackaged crab leg meat to the unpackaged crab purse meat prior to packaging. -17-
  7. 7) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the cooling water is chilled to between 2°C and 4°C.
  8. 8) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the step of spinning the crab purses for a period of time sufficient to draw the juices from the crab purses further comprises spinning the crab purses in the centrifuge for 45 seconds at 500 rev/minute.
  9. 9) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the step of removing the meat from the remaining crab leg shell comprises passing the legs with the ends cut off past a blower and using a jet of air to separate the crab leg meat from the crab leg shell.
  10. 10) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the step of shredding the crab purses and separating the crab purse meat from any crab shell or cartilage further comprises passing the crab purses through a shredder and thereafter delivering the shredded crab purses to the interior of a rotating cylindrical drum having a plurality of apertures spaced evenly about its surface, spraying the exterior of the rotating drum with water using a plurality of jets located along the length of the drum, the crab meat passing through the apertures of the drum for collection and the shell and cartilage remaining on the interior of the drum for subsequent removal.
  11. 11) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in claim 10 in which the additional intermediate step is performed of drying the crab purse meat after it has been separated from the crab purse shell and cartilage and prior to re-salinating the crab purse meat.
  12. 12) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in claim 11 in which the step of drying the crab purse meat further comprises passing the crab purse meat and water through a baffle tank having a number of transverse baffle plates arranged therein and thereafter delivering the crab purse meat and water to a first panning tray having a plurality of apertures therein and moveable in a see saw motion whereby the crab purse meat and water mixture are further separated, and thereafter the remaining crab purse meat and water mixture is delivered to a second panning tray having a plurality of apertures therein, the second, inclined, panning tray being vibrated vigorously to remove any additional water from the crab purse meat.
  13. 13) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the step of discarding the shell further comprises passing the shell directly to a shredder and shredding the shell.
  14. 14) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the step of discarding any additional material other than shell further comprises adding the material to the shredded shell prior to discarding the material and shredded shells.
  15. 15) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the brine tank has a saline solution with 2.5 Kg of salt per 100 litres of water therein.
  16. 16) A method of processing whole crabs as claimed in any preceding claim in which the juice taken from the centrifuge is added to the crab purse meat in a ratio of 1:9.
  17. 17) A method of processing whole crabs substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB0809148.0A 2008-05-20 2008-05-20 A method of processing whole crabs Expired - Fee Related GB2470342B (en)

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Cited By (3)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN104222250A (en) * 2014-09-28 2014-12-24 南通宝泰机械科技有限公司 Shrimp shell removing production line and shrimp meat processing technique
CN108056148A (en) * 2017-11-14 2018-05-22 马鞍山市海滨水产品生态养殖专业合作社 A kind of wine preserved crab device
FR3100106A1 (en) * 2019-09-02 2021-03-05 BRIERE Axel Method and system for valuing shellfish farming products

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US4494277A (en) * 1980-07-15 1985-01-22 Sea Savory, Inc. Crab holder for processing machine
US4503586A (en) * 1983-01-21 1985-03-12 Lockerby W Lee Apparatus and method for processing crabs
US4715093A (en) * 1985-09-16 1987-12-29 The Laitram Corporation Trimming and cutting apparatus for the preparation of crabs for meat extraction
US4752988A (en) * 1984-03-23 1988-06-28 Guglielmo Alfred R Process for extracting crab meat
US5401207A (en) * 1994-05-12 1995-03-28 Flohr Metal Fabricators, Inc. Crab butchering machine
WO2001006870A2 (en) * 1999-07-16 2001-02-01 Gallant Cyril G Methods for the processing of hard-shelled crustaceans

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US3962752A (en) * 1969-10-22 1976-06-15 Innovative Seafood Systems, Inc. Method and apparatus for removing meat from crabs
US4494277A (en) * 1980-07-15 1985-01-22 Sea Savory, Inc. Crab holder for processing machine
US4503586A (en) * 1983-01-21 1985-03-12 Lockerby W Lee Apparatus and method for processing crabs
US4752988A (en) * 1984-03-23 1988-06-28 Guglielmo Alfred R Process for extracting crab meat
US4715093A (en) * 1985-09-16 1987-12-29 The Laitram Corporation Trimming and cutting apparatus for the preparation of crabs for meat extraction
US5401207A (en) * 1994-05-12 1995-03-28 Flohr Metal Fabricators, Inc. Crab butchering machine
WO2001006870A2 (en) * 1999-07-16 2001-02-01 Gallant Cyril G Methods for the processing of hard-shelled crustaceans

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN104222250A (en) * 2014-09-28 2014-12-24 南通宝泰机械科技有限公司 Shrimp shell removing production line and shrimp meat processing technique
CN108056148A (en) * 2017-11-14 2018-05-22 马鞍山市海滨水产品生态养殖专业合作社 A kind of wine preserved crab device
CN108056148B (en) * 2017-11-14 2020-04-03 马鞍山市海滨水产品生态养殖专业合作社 Wine-soaked crab device
FR3100106A1 (en) * 2019-09-02 2021-03-05 BRIERE Axel Method and system for valuing shellfish farming products

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GB2470342B (en) 2012-05-16

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