Food Depositors- Meal Lines- Filling Machines Submit your Inquiry

Food Depositors- Meal Lines-Filing Machines

"Most of the meal lines contain combination of Volumetric Fillers, Weight fillers or specialized customized fillers made basis product requirements. Meal lines usually have tray sealing machines, thermoformers, Labellers, Inspection & Printing Equipment, Processing Equipment, Conveyors & Distribution systems, automation & integration of all these equipment to have a productive operation.

Volumetric Fillers measure the volume of the product rather than the weight. So, in case of volumetric fillers the product density and constant product head are very critical for getting the consistent and reliable output.

Check weighers can be utilized after the volumetric filler & close loop filling control can be easily implemented for better reliability. For weight based filling, multi head weighers, linear weighers etc. can also be used for filling trays, containers etc.

Pre-prepared food is big business in a modern society where demanding work and social activities have put the squeeze on meal times. For ready meal producers, product integrity and aesthetics is key to success in this market. Consumers demand first class appearance, even spread of ingredients and product integrity and, according to many producers, a smashed up & ready meal is the biggest driver of lost custom.

A ready meal line can be made up of many processing and packaging options as the diverse range of ingredients, either fresh or frozen, are handled and then presented to the consumer. In terms of processing, pumps can be deployed for operations such as transfer and mixing to produce powerful suction with low shear, low pulsation and gentle handling for such products as mashed potato. Also, depositors have to cope with filling multi-component meals and deposit precise portions of product into trays, cartons or pouches. Browning grills can then be used to give a baked-like finish to ready meals.

In terms of packaging, the tray as been one of the most popular formats for ready meals which use either a modified atmosphere or gas flushing on fresh ingredients. Once the trays have been filled, they are sealed and then tested for any leaks to ensure product integrity at all times. Many meals are then placed in cartons to provide optimum shelf impact.

In recent times, there has been a plethora of other packaging formats used for fresh meal kits including pouches and rigid plastics pots but the traditional, more high volume ready meal continues to be packed in trays.

A line can compose of tray denesters that feed trays to single or twin lane conveyors and arrive at a volumetric filler which can be used for bulky ingredients such as rice and pasta. Filled trays can then move to another filling station which applies a pre-mixed sauce.

Trays are then vibrated, to help settle the contents, before moving on to the distribution system below a multiheadweigher, through which the most costly ingredients are generally added. These are often the main protein content of the meal such as meat, poultry or seafood.

Trays can then pass on to other ingredient adding stations or straight to the tray sealer, where they are sealed under vacuum before then being check weighed. Often, trays then proceed to an autoclave for retorting to provide a shelf life of few months.


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  • Sam Tripodi
    Sam Tripodi

    Setting up a new meal line requires deep understanding of food safety, processes, equipment and work flow. We have got extensive experience of setting up automated meal lines and we can help in designing the right solution for you. Give us a call and let us talk.


The MPFMP-060 is ideally suited for lower speed production lines, research and development...


The product is loaded into the hopper and a conveyor meters the product to the filling hea...

Model 1000 Depositors & Filling Machines >> Micro-Fill Depositor

Deposit range of 3ml - 80ml per cycle
15 or 25 litre hopper with 1 tri-clover outlet Details