Australian-invented technology tackles odours at meat processor

Thursday, 12 March, 2015 | Supplied by: BioGill Operations Pty Limited

When producing specialty meat products and fresh food it is common for odours to be generated in the production cycle. This was the case at the Illawarra Meat Company where hams, sausages and other smallgoods are processed. The business is now using an Australian-invented technology to reduce odours and enjoying the sweet smell of a new kind of success.

“Being located in an industrial estate, we were determined to take responsibility, be a good corporate citizen and address any odour concerns,” explained Richard Hutton, managing director at Illawarra Meat Company.

Two years ago, Hutton went into ‘research mode’ looking for a technology to tackle odour. His search led him to the technology called BioGill, which is used for the biological treatment of wastewater. The technology was developed in the research laboratories at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), which is based in southern Sydney.

BioGill produces above-ground, non-submerged bioreactors that deliver a low-cost, low-energy solution for treating wastewater from food processing. The bioreactors effectively provide the ideal habitat for microorganisms, nature’s best recyclers, to consume nutrients out of the waste stream and quickly deal with the fatty acids and sulfur compounds that cause odours.

Biogill newly manufactured nano ceramic membrane (left) and membranes colonised with biomass (right).

“We’ve just come through our peak production time prior to Christmas and I am pleased to report the BioGill technology performed exceptionally well.

“Using BioGill bioreactors has been a win-win situation with the technology being good for the local vicinity, good for the environment by halving our use of chemicals and good for the bottom line with the subsequent savings in chemical costs,” explained Hutton.

The company plans to install more BioGill units this year to further improve the quality of its wastewater.

The Illawarra Meat Company, located near Wollongong in NSW, began in 1921 and remains a family business, owned and operated by third- and fourth-generation descendants of the founder, Gordon Hutton. The business has evolved through many changes and responded to challenges such as the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Second World War when meat was rationed and the 1990s Supermarket Shopping Centre Revolution.

Phone: 02 9737 0741
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