Poultry Processing

Poultry processing consists of several operations: live bird holding, hanging, slaughtering, scalding, defeathering, eviscerating and chilling, grading, cutup, and packaging. All processes require some energy either as fossil fuel or electricity. Electricity is used for conveyors, refrigeration, lighting, air-conditioning, pumps, and the mechanical drives. Fossil fuels are used for space heating, production of steam or hot water, and feather singeing. The electrical demand for three selected poultry processing plants indi cates that the refrigeration and other mechanical drives account for more than 80% of the total calculated electrical use. Lighting requires 6.8% and fans 7.8% of the total electricity. The rest of the total electrical energy is used for heating and air-conditioning of the plants (24). Calculating the electrical use by major area in those three processing plants, the average electrical use in the eviscerating and chilling areas together is 6.7% of the total. This percentage does not include electricity used for ice making and water chilling. Packing and shipping uses 1.6% of the total electricity, which is about 3.8 kWh/1,000 head (total electricity consumption is 237.5 kWh/1,000 head); but this does not include refrigeration for storage areas. Offal and waste handling equipment and waste treatment use 12.7% of the total electricity, and shops and services account for 11.9% of the total electricity use (24).

In another study (25), the electrical energy use per 1,000 broiler equivalents processed was 212 kWh. The cost of ice making, used for a water chiller, and in transportation accounted for approximately 45% of the total electricity consumption. It was noted that 7.2% of the electricity was used in clean-up operations.

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