Case Study: Microwave Up-Tempering

Magnavale is home to Europe’s largest microwaving up-tempering facility, with two state of the art microwave tunnels allowing for the controlled up-tempering of up to 100 tonnes of frozen products over a 24 hour period, currently at our Chesterfield site.

High-frequency electromagnetic waves, generated by a tube called a magnetron, cause water molecules within the food to vibrate and generate heat which is transferred through the food. Microwave energy penetrates the material core and skin simultaneously, subsequently generating a consistent and uniformed defrosting process when compared to traditional tempering methods, whereas energy is passed by heat conduction to the first available surface thus thawing from the outside in, resulting in uneven thawing and the potential for the temperature abuse of the stock.

Microwave defrosting can reduce the temperature of a frozen product from -18 degrees to between -5 and -2 degrees withing two to three minutes compared to several days using traditional methods. Tempering the stock to a few degrees below the melting point minimises drip loss and thus reduces product quality deterioration. 

Drip loss is categorised as the manifestation of the leakage of microfibers along with increased loss of water, nutrients, and proteins from meat. This also has significant financial implications as well as effects on the palatability and the overall quality of meat including the loss of valuable of vitamins and minerals. When compared with the traditional natural defrost thawing, microwave defrosting has the advantages of short time, uniform internal and external heating, and a significant decrease in drip loss up to 5% of the overall weight of the product when compared to traditional methods.

Based on a 500kg pallet, Microwave defrosting compared to traditional thawing methods could constitute a retention of approximately 25kg in product weight and value.  A customer microwave defrosting 10 x 500kg pallets per week over a year, could retain in the region of 13,000kg of product weight which translates into approximately 26 x 500kg pallets worth of product weight and yield.

If you’re interested in Microwave up-tempering call 01246 854999 or visit 

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Magnavale Ltd, Park Road,
Holmewood Industrial Park,
Chesterfield, S42 5UY

01246 854999