US 9,808,019 B2
Method and system for harvesting knee meat together with thigh meat from a poultry leg
Heinze Annema, Gemert (NL); Richard Gerard Johan Drabbels, Venray (NL); Roger Pierre Hubertus Maria Claessens, Nijmegen (NL); and Stefan Christianus Wilhelmus Martinus Van Den Heuvel, Oeffelt (NL)
Assigned to MAREL STORK POULTRY PROCESSING B.V., Boxmeer (NL)
Appl. No. 15/319,783
Filed by MAREL STORK POULTRY PROCESSING B.V., Boxmeer (NL)
PCT Filed Jun. 11, 2015, PCT No. PCT/NL2015/050430
§ 371(c)(1), (2) Date Dec. 18, 2016,
PCT Pub. No. WO2015/194945, PCT Pub. Date Dec. 23, 2015.
Claims priority of application No. 2013017 (NL), filed on Jun. 18, 2014; application No. 2013018 (NL), filed on Jun. 18, 2014; and application No. 2013019 (NL), filed on Jun. 18, 2014.
Prior Publication US 2017/0142989 A1, May 25, 2017
Int. Cl. A22C 21/00 (2006.01)
CPC A22C 21/0092 (2013.01) [A22C 21/0023 (2013.01); A22C 21/0053 (2013.01); A22C 21/0076 (2013.01)] 24 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method for harvesting knee meat together with thigh meat from a defeathered whole leg poultry product, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a defeathered whole leg poultry product comprising:
a thigh comprising at least thigh meat;
a drumstick comprising at least a tibia bone and drumstick meat, wherein the tibia bone has a knee side end and a tarsal joint side end; and
a knee joint comprising at least knee meat, the knee cap and a connection between the thigh and the drumstick, the defeathered whole leg poultry product having a front side, which is the side on which the knee cap is located, and a rear side, which is the side opposite to the front side, wherein in the defeathered whole leg poultry product, a transverse cut has been provided at the knee joint that extends generally in a direction transverse to the tibia bone, the transverse cut extending from the rear side of the defeathered whole leg poultry product to a cut end located adjacent to the rear side of the knee cap so that the thigh and the drumstick are connected to each other and the knee cap is intact, by which transverse cut a drumstick side cut plane and a thigh side cut plane are created;
arranging the defeathered whole leg poultry product in a poultry product carrier of a poultry products conveyor, wherein the defeathered whole leg poultry product is suspended from said poultry product carrier and wherein the poultry product carrier engages the defeathered whole leg poultry product at or adjacent to the tarsal joint side end of the tibia bone;
providing a knee meat scraper device comprising a knee cap scraper and a counter element, the knee meat scraper device having an open state and a closed state, wherein in the open state the knee cap scraper and the counter element are spaced apart from each other, so as to allow the knee joint of the defeathered whole leg poultry product to be introduced between the knee cap scraper and the counter element;
while the defeathered whole leg poultry product is suspended from said poultry product carrier and the knee meat scraper device is in the open state, arranging the defeathered whole leg poultry product adjacent to the counter element, with the drumstick side cut plane facing the counter element;
bringing the knee meat scraper device in a closed state in which the knee cap scraper engages the defeathered whole leg poultry product at the front side adjacent to the knee cap on the drumstick side of said kneecap and in which the counter element engages the defeathered whole leg poultry product at or adjacent to the rear side of the knee cap,
performing a scraping step in which the drumstick and the knee cap scraper are moved away from each other, thereby moving the knee cap past the knee cap scraper while the counter element engages the defeathered whole leg poultry product at or adjacent to the rear side of the knee cap, therewith scraping the knee meat from the knee cap while leaving the knee meat connected to the thigh, so that after the scraping step the knee meat and thigh meat are present on a first side of the knee cap scraper and the knee cap is present on a second side of the knee cap scraper.