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Water Recycling Project Tested in Turkey Plant

A team effort by university researchers and two companies has resulted in application of a more efficient way to use the massive amounts of water required to process turkeys. The new system uses ozone, a highly reactive form of oxygen, to recycle water in the plants.

The Cargill, Inc., Honeysuckle White turkey processing plant in Springdale, Ark., is the site of the procedure that has been developed with Food Safety Consortium researchers at the University of Arkansas and engineers at American Water Purification, Inc., of Wichita, Kan. Water is used to chill turkey carcasses at the plants. Chill water quickly lowers the body temperature of processed turkeys, so quickly that microorganisms have limited opportunities to grow.

One gallon of water is required to process each turkey going through the chill water processing. With turkeys going through the process all day long and new water replacing the water that is discharged after chilling, a turkey plant can use a tremendous amount of water.

Recycling the water obviously saves water. In addition, the system allows the user to save on energy, sewer and pretreatment costs, explained Mark Baldwin of AWPI. When the water makes its first entry into the system, it must be chilled to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the outdoor air temperature, the water temperature could initially be from the lower 50s to the 70s, thus requiring a major expenditure of energy to cool the incoming water. Recycled water has already gone through the initial major cooling process and needs only to be reduced by a couple of degrees as it makes subsequent trips through the process.

Once a supply of water has been used, it passes through a mechanical pretreatment and then four ozonation cylinders. Ozone gas is pumped into the cylinders to further clarify the water and kill microorganisms. Ozone kills bacteria 3,000 times faster than chlorine. Depending upon the quality of incoming water, the processors adj
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Contact: Dave Edmark
dedmark@comp.uark.edu
501-575-5647
Food Safety Consortium
15-Jul-1996


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