At the 2022 Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, MULTIVAC will be presenting its wide range of innovative processing and packaging solutions for the food industry. The focus will be on integrated lines, which enable the widest range of food products to be pro-cessed and packaged cost-effectively and sustainably. Other highlights will be a presentation of the company's digital prod-ucts, as well as its services in the areas of packaging consultancy and after-sales care.

Some of the lines to be shown at the trade fair will be networked, so that they can be used with the digital MULTIVAC Smart Services, as well as being completely controlled from one point via MULTIVAC Line Control.

Meat and alternative proteins

Among the exhibits for the meat industry and manufacturers of alternative proteins, there will be a space-saving, high-output line for the automatic converging, infeeding, packaging, and labelling of vegan burgers on a cardboard tray in a flowpack. A centrifuge converges the burgers into a single line on one transport conveyor, while the cardboard trays are denested onto another conveyor running in parallel. A handling module loads the burgers into the card-board trays, which then run into the packaging machine, where they are packed under modified atmosphere. An inline labeller then applies a label from above to the packs. The flowpacking solution is particularly suitable for quick product changes, and one of its many features is its cost-effectiveness at high output. The use of very thin films and the absence of process-related film trim also contribute to the sustainability of this solution.

A high-output line with slicer and thermoforming packaging ma-chine will also be presented as an example of the automatic slicing, infeeding, packaging and labelling of sliced vegan products. The product is first sliced by the slicer, which then sprays each slice with an interleaving agent (liquid interleaving). The individual portions are subsequently deposited onto a checkweigher. Portions with an incorrect weight are ejected by means of a rocker, so that the weight can be corrected manually. Portions with the correct weight are conveyed onwards on a transport conveyor, before being grouped according to the format layout of the thermoforming packaging machine. The portions then slide into the pack cavities during the machine advance. Thanks to the flat loading angle, the optimum loading results for the product are achieved. After the products have been packed under modified atmosphere, the MAP packs are labelled by cross web labellers on the top and base of the packs. Since modules such as the portion loading conveyor and cross web labellers are completely integrated into the packaging machine, the line offers the facility for optimizing the space requirement. Thanks to the use of the spray system known as MULTIVAC Sustainable Liquid Interleaving, it is not necessary to have paper or film as interleaves. The thermoforming packaging machine also enables the optimum packaging material consumption to be achieved.

A compact and highly flexible portioning line for fresh meat retail packs can also be seen at the trade fair, and this line features the automatic portioning, infeeding and packaging of the product. This inline solution includes a traysealer in the medium-output category. The portioning machine cuts the steaks and lays them in a shingled pattern on a transport conveyor. The trays are denested in parallel with this conveyor and placed onto a second transport conveyor. Both conveyors converge just before the traysealer, and the portions slide into the trays. This single-track product flow of filled trays is then diverged into two tracks by a diverger, since the traysealer is designed as two-track. The trays are packed under modified atmosphere in the packaging machine. The new and compact portioning machine, which was specially developed for the entry-level sector, ensures that the best portioning quality and optimum yield are achieved for the product. Sustainable packaging materials, such as mono films or MULTIVAC PaperBoard, can be used on the traysealer.