Double-digit yield improvement possible with portioning process

Finished chicken product

It is more important than ever for processors to maximize poultry portion yield — both to increase profitability and fulfill changing requirements from their customers. Companies may feel they have exhausted their yield improvement efforts, but a new portioning technology from JBT FoodTech provides opportunities for double-digit yield improvement. The DSI Adaptive 3D Portioning™ system combines vertical waterjet portioning technology with intelligent horizontal slicing to achieve three-dimensional portioning. This system maximizes yield by slicing intelligently and only when necessary.

More portions, less waste

“Since today’s chicken producers are growing larger birds for feed cost efficiencies, processors need to be prepared to handle larger breast meat,” said {reference1}, DSI marketing and business development manager for JBT FoodTech.

Compounding the importance of optimal portioning is the trend by some restaurants toward lighter and thinner portions with large area or plate coverage requirements. The new system from DSI makes it possible for processors to operate profitably under these challenges.

The patented new DSI system can create two, four, six or more breast meat pieces per poultry butterfly, plus nuggets or strips. Only the portion is sliced, leaving the rest of the meat at full thickness for high quality nuggets or strips. One-time handling of the poultry meat delivers high labor productivity and cost efficiencies.

How it works

The DSI system improves yield by vertically and horizontally cutting optimal portions out of irregularly shaped meat better than other systems. The system scans incoming meat and sophisticated software determines the most profitable use for each piece of meat. Instructions are sent to waterjet cutters to create a main portion shape as well as nuggets or strips. Then, the resulting main portion is scanned and sliced with a precise horizontal band saw which adjusts height for each incoming piece and creates an upper and lower portion of desired shape and weight.

Changing on the fly

Since bird sizes vary more now than ever, having easily adaptable portioning equipment is essential. The system achieves high yields across a wide range of input product size, eliminating the need for upstream sorting.

4 portions per butterfly

4 portions per butterfly

“With the new DSI system, operators can run multiple products simultaneously to improve yield and they can change portioning size, shape and weight with just a touch of a button,” Hocker said. “Our latest software automatically places the portions in the optimal location on each piece, enhancing yield and product quality in an easy-to-use format.”

Testing proves double-digit yield increase

Many processors have been skeptical of the claim that the new portioning system can achieve double digit yield improvement. To prove the system’s effectiveness, JBT FoodTech has installed systems into labs for testing and numerous factories for production. Feedback has been enthusiastic and has confirmed that there is a solution to further enhance yield in today’s highly competitive market.

“JBT FoodTech installed a DSI system into a chicken processor’s lab for testing. After seeing yield increase by more than 10 percentage points, the processor immediately moved the equipment onto the line in the plant,” Hocker said. “We have found that return on investment can vary from application to application, but the DSI system most often pays for itself in well under a year.”

The result is repeatable, consistent portions produced profitably and with minimal trim, according to Hocker, “Many processors want to be able to say they have truly maximized yield. The DSI system helps them achieve it.”

For more information about the DSI Adaptive 3D Portioning system, visit the JBT FoodTech website.

Learn more about the importance of consistent horizontal slicing from the Volume 6, Issue 3 of FoodTech Report.


DSI Adaptive 3D Portioning™ system is a trademark of JBT Corporation.

©2011 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.

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About JBT
JBT (NYSE: JBT) is a leading technology solutions provider to the food processing and air transportation industries. We design, manufacture, test and service technologically sophisticated systems and products for regional and multi-national industrial food processing customers through our JBT FoodTech segment and for domestic and international air transportation customers through our JBT AeroTech segment. For more information please visit