At the end of each year, we celebrate the holidays with a traditional family feast, with the main course often being a holiday ham. The tradition of preparing a ham for the holidays started in the middle ages in Norse mythology. A magical golden boar named Gullinbursti was sacrificed during a feast for the Norse god Freyr. Because of the boar’s special powers, eating a ham was thought to bring good luck to those that ate it, and the tradition of the holiday ham was born!
Americans alone buy over 300 million pounds of ham around the holidays. Packaging all of this meat requires clean oil-free compressed air to power many of the industrial machines used in the process.
One of FS-Elliott’s P400+ installations helps a large global producer of pork products with the packaging of all of their meats, including spiraled hams for holidays! They use our ISO 8573-1 Class 0 oil-free air from this P400+ to ensure the cleanest air is used in their factories.
The packaging process begins when fresh pork arrives at the factory from local farms. From there, compressed air guides the pork down a conveyor belt and powers the sorting blades that push the meat into separate bins by pork size. After the pork has been sorted and trimmed, workers make the ham curing recipe, a solution made of water, sugar, salt, and secret ingredients that will give the pork the final ham flavor and pink color.
The next machine used in the packaging process uses compressed air to shoot each ham into a heat resistant cotton sock, and then the hams are hung inside an industrial oven to slow cook for 12 hours.
To do the final packaging, the hams are placed inside a special plastic enclosure and attached to an automated vacuum sealer where the air is removed, excess plastic is cut, and the bag is then tightly sealed with heat. Finally, the hams are bulk packed and shipped out to grocery stores locally and worldwide for all of us to enjoy!
With the help of the oil-free compressed air and the quality of the airtight plastic packaging, the hams will stay fresh in your refrigerator for three months and ready for your next holiday meal.
As we enter the final holiday season of the year, we would like to again give thanks to the hard-working farmers, and factory workers who ensure our foods are packaged in a clean and safe environment.
Happy Holidays to all of our Channel Partners, co-workers, family, and friends worldwide!