US 3811148 A
In order to cleanse scallops of dirt, barnacles and the like, and kill bacteria, scallops, still in their shells, are conveyed into a hopper. The hopper is in communication with a screw conveyor inside a perforated cylinder which conveys the scallops to further processing apparatus. The speed of rotation of the conveyor is controlled by a variable speed hydraulic motor. Steam, at a temperature from 215 DEG to 240 DEG F. is piped into an insulated jacket which surrounds a cylinder having holes uniformly disposed about its surface. The perforated cylinder, in turn, surrounds the screw conveyor which permits the steam to contact the scallops in a 360 DEG pattern and thus effectively perform the intended cleansing and sanitizing functions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Martin SCREW CONVEYOR STEAMER FOR SCALLOP PROCESSING  Inventor: Roger C. Martin, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
 Assignee: Edgar E. Griffis, Brevard County,
Fla. a part interest  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,317,898 10/1919 Shepard 134/132 1,435,285 11/1922 Foster et a1 134/65 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 489,668 l/l930 Germany 134/132 May 21, 1974 468,184 3/1969 Switzerland 134/65 Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Herman, Bishoff & Platt [5 7] ABSTRACT In order to cleanse scallops of dirt, barnacles and the like, and kill bacteria, scallops, still in their shells, are conveyed into a hopper. The hopper is in communication with a screw conveyor inside a perforated cylinder which conveys the scallops to further processing apparatus. The speed of rotation of the conveyor is controlled by a variable speed hydraulic motor. Steam, at a temperature from 215 to 240 F. is piped into an insulated jacket which surrounds a cylinder having holes uniformly disposed about its surface. The perforated cylinder, in turn, surrounds the screw conveyor which permits the steam to contact the scallops in a 360 pattern and thus effectively perform the intended cleansing and sanitizing functions.
2 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures SCREW CONVEYOR STEAMER FOR SCALLOP PROCESSING This invention relates generally to food processing and more generally relates to the processing of scallops or other bivalves or mollusks.
It has been found that in order to efficiently process scallops as they are brought to dockside from boats, it is necessary to provide a way of removing dirt, bamacles and the like from the outer surface of the shellfish while at the same time killing the bacteria which could lead to harmful contamination. At the present time, no known commercial scallop processing apparatus effectively provides such a cleansing and sterilizing operation.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus for effectively cleansing and sterilizing the outer surface of shellfish.
A further and more specific object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for effectively cleansing and sterilizing the outer surface of shellfish while at the same time conveying the shellfish to further processing apparatus.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus of the character described wherein the loosened debris is efficiently carried away from the processing apparatus so that it will not further contaminate the system.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated from the following detailed description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the screw conveyor steamer of the present invention, partly in section, to illustrate the overall arrangement of the parts thereof;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, looking in the direction of the arrows 22 in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view taken on the line 3-3 in FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate like parts throughout the several views thereof, there is illustrated the screw conveyor steamer of the present invention generally designated by the reference character 10. Scallops, still in their shells, may be conveyed via a conveyor belt 11 from a measuring device or the like into hopper 12 which is in direct communication with the interior of the screw conveyor steamer.
The screw conveyor steamer comprises an outer jacket 13 of generally cylindrical shape, having disposed therewithin and coaxially therewith an inner jacket 15 having symmetrically, circumferentially disposed orifices 15a in its surface. Orifices 15a are large enough to permit the usually encountered debris to pass therethrough but not large enough to pass a fullsized scallop. Extending coaxially with outer jacket 13 and inner jacket 15, is screw conveyor which is driven by variable speed hydraulic motor 16 and driving member 17. As screw conveyor 20 rotates, scallops fed to the conveyor by hopper 12 will be conveyed upwardly and to the right, as viewed in FIG. 1, at a speed determined by the prevailing conditions, such as scallop size, relative cleanliness and the like.
In communication with outer jacket 13 are steam lines 14 for forcing steam under pressure through orifices 15a and into contact with the outer surfaces of the scallops as they are conveyed along by conveyor 20. The steam, which is conventionally controlled to be at a temperature between 215 and 240 F., thus is applied to the outer surface of the scallops in a substantially 360 pattern, insuring that all the dirt, bamacles and the like are removed from the surface of the scallops and the bacteria is killed. The tumbling action induced by the screw conveyor as the scallops pass along the length of inner jacket 15, also insures that the cleansing and sterilizing action is thorough, since a different surface of the scallop shell is constantly being presented to the steam entering through orifices 15a.
The end wall, shown at the left in FIG. 1, of the screw conveyor steamer is closed by plate 23 held in place by reinforcing ribs 21. Exit orifice 22 is provided in plate 23 to permit the debris to be washed out and away by the steam condensate on the inner walls of outer jacket 13. Since the screw conveyor steamer is downwardly inclined toward the left, as viewed in FIG. 1, the debris will naturally be carried away from the system.
Cleaned and sterilized scallops will exit through chute l8 and on to further conveyor 19 for additional processing.
While a specific embodiment of the invention has been described, those skilled in the art will readily perceive other veriations which may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims appended hereto.
1. A cleaning conveying apparatus for shellfish comprising anouter jacket, an inner jacket, means for applying steam from the exterior of the outer jacket to the interior of the inner jacket, conveying means disposed within the inner jacket, and means for feeding shellfish to the interior of the inner jacket, wherein said conveying means comprises a screw conveyor and means for driving said screw conveyor, wherein said inner and outer jackets are substantially cylindrical and coaxially mounted and said screw conveyor is axially mounted with respect to said jackets, wherein said means for applying steam includes a plurality of orifices in said inner jacket, wherein said jackets and conveyor are disposed at an angle to the horizontal to facilitate the removal of debris, and wherein said outer jacket has an end wall at its lower end, said end wall having an exit orifice at its lower portion to permit debris to be washed out and away by the steam condensate forming on the inside wall surface of the outer jacket.
2. The cleaning and conveying apparatus set forth in claim 1, further including means for removing said shellfish from said inner jacket after they have traversed the length of said screw conveyor.