Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 49

events, outdoor festivals and warm weather
gatherings keep people eating and drinking
together. This year, the normal bump in
demand did not happen and more CO2 was
available for food processors.
According to Joel Brandenberg, president
of the NTF, no turkey companies had
production disruptions as a result of the
CO2 shortage, but it was a wake-up call for
NTF members.
" I think this will become a regular part of
our nature, monitoring for issues that could
affect CO2 capture and periodically checking
with our members to make sure they are not
having supply issues, " Brandenburg said.
" People started driving again, " said
Rich Gottwald, president and CEO of the
Compressed Gas Association - one of the key
stakeholders in the coalition. " We began to
learn to live with COVID a little bit. "

VACCINE APPLICATIONS
Although the crisis was averted for most
companies, shortages were reported as an
obstacle to production among operators of
small and medium-sized plants participating in a
survey conducted by Cypress Research, Kansas
City, Mo., on behalf of MEAT+POULTRY in
late summer. And, in fact, CO2 production did
go down by as much as 35% this past year,
according to Gottwald. The recent rollout
of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in
December put the CO2 coalition on alert again
because dry ice - the solid form of CO2 - is
necessary for transporting the vaccine at very
low temperatures.
After talking to food and beverage
companies, representatives at Pfizer,
government officials and dry ice
manufacturers, Gottwald became confident
that there would continue to be enough
CO2 available.The three major applications
for commercial CO2 are food (about 47%),
beverages (15% to 16%), and dry ice (15%),
Gottwald said.
" Of that dry ice, an additional 5% will be
needed to move these vaccines around. So, it's
not a whole lot, " he said
In meat processing, CO2 is required in
some stunning systems used by pork and
poultry slaughtering operations before they are
processed. In these applications, animals are
lowered into a CO2-rich chamber that quickly

renders the animals unconscious.
Large operations also use CO2 to cool the
grinders and blending machines so ground
meat doesn't overheat while it is being
processed. There is also a smaller proportion
of CO2 that is used for cryogenically, flashfreezing steak cuts, ground meat patties, and
other meat products.
When there is a shortage, there are limited
alternatives of CO2 for meat processors.
Nitrogen can be used for freezing and cooling
but it is less effective and more expensive.
" As far as hog stunning is concerned,
you have to go back to the old style of using
electricity, " said Keith DeHaan, managing
principal for Food and Livestock Planning Inc.
" It's not as effective and it's slower, but it can
be used. "
It can be cost-prohibitive to pivot to a
different method of stunning. It is not easy to
quickly change a major operation; especially
because CO2 stunning and using electricity
require different equipment and processes to
render animals unconscious.
For the time being - when CO2 production
decreases - processors will just have to absorb
the costs and/or charge more for the finished
product, DeHaan said. If CO2 continues to

Patties frozen from blasts
of CO2 are stacked and
ready for packaging.

www.meatpoultry.com | 02.21 | MEAT+ POULTRY

49


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Meat+Poultry - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - February 2021

Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 2
Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 3
Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 4
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Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - vdg - 1
Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - vdg - 2
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http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2021_02_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2021_01_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_12_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_11_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_10_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_09_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_08_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_07_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_06_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_05_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_04_01
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2020_03_01
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http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_07_11
http://digital.meatpoultry.com/sosland/mp/2019_06_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2016_12_01
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