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As delicious as a juicy kebab may be, it is not best known as a quality product. At least it did not use to be until Meetab started making premium kebab meat in Linköping, Sweden.
“Unfortunately, a lot of kebab meat is made from waste products from the slaughterhouse that are ground down and pressed onto a spit. But we use only certified premium beef brisket – which is leaner and healthier than the veal typically used for kebabs,” explains Gabi Hakim, founder of Meetab.
Meetab is one of few kebab meat producers to have been certified according to the FSSC 22000Scheme for Food Safety Management Systems. Moreover, it works exclusively with carefully selected European farms and slaughterhouses.
At Meetab’s production facility, the meat is ground down, spiced and grilled on spits – each weighing in at over 200 kg – using a gas burner and state-of-the-art robots.
Once the meat is cooked, the robots slice thin shavings off the giant rotating spit, which are fed directly into a CRYOLINE® cryogenic freezer from Linde. The freezer, which has the capacity to process 500kg of meat per hour, shock freezes the meat before it is packaged using atmospheric packaging with nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas – also from Linde.
Cryogenic freezing allows for fast in-line freezing and cooling, thus preserving flavour and delivering a higher quality frozen product compared with slower methods. It also ensures less drip loss on defrosting, and significantly reduces dehydration, resulting in a higher yield.
“Cryogenic shock freezing and atmospheric packaging has enabled us to preserve all the freshness, flavour and the texture of our product, while killing any harmful bacteria,” explains Hakim, who says the investment in Linde’s CRYOLINE® technology also enables Meetab to freeze each piece of meat individually, thus preventing it from lumping together.
“The team from Linde put in a gigantic effort to create the perfect solution for us,” admits Hakim, adding that his CRYOLINE® freezer was custom designed by Linde in accordance with Meetab’s specific temperature and volume requirements.
“They tested our process and analysed our product before identifying the optimal freezing temperature and creating an energy-efficient solution that integrates seamlessly with our production line,” Hakim continues, concluding: “For the end customer, this translates into a bag of thinly sliced, premium-quality kebab meat that tastes like it has just been freshly cooked on a rotisserie.”
Although Meetab’s product is on average 20 per cent more expensive than other kebab meat sold in Sweden, it has captured close to one-quarter of the market share. This equates to some seven to eight tonnes of kebab meat a day, sold just on the Swedish market. That’s not all. In the coming three to four years, Meetab predicts its turnover on the retail market will increase up to fourfold – proving yet again that quality really does pay off.
Headquartered in Linköping, Meetab is a Swedish meat producer that makes high-quality kebab meat from premium, grass-fed Irish and Austrian beef. Delivering seven to eight tonnes of kebab meat a day to the Swedish market, it employs 22 people and has an annual turnover of approximately EUR 12 million (SEK 120 million).