All Watched Over by Machines of Slicing, Dicing, Chopping, Mixing and Sorting Grace
September 7, 2009 11:54 PM   Subscribe

They slice. They dice. They make tempura shrimp. I'm not exactly sure who or what PF Max Company is, but this collection of YouTube videos -- featuring factory machines designed to cut, slice, sort, and do unspeakable things to fish -- is fascinating to watch. There are dozens of videos; these were selected for their toe-tapping (rolling out imitation crab & scallop) musical accompaniment (shredding fish to make Surimi). ⚠Warning: these videos depict bad things happening to (dead) fish so if that upsets you, don't watch.

For those of you who like a little more explanation with your weird machines, enjoy this narrated video featuring a machine that decapitates fish, guts them, and separates out the roe (you've totally been warned). (found via Cracked, I'm ashamed to say)
posted by Deathalicious (49 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
needs more bung dropping.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:10 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I should note that for people who are squeamish about the fish, the "Slice" and "Dice" videos above merely depict the outright destruction and obliteration of a variety of harmless vegetables.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:10 AM on September 8, 2009


needs more bung dropping.

Oh my goodness. It does not.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:12 AM on September 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


So am I right in thinking that every restaurant that serves tempura shrimp has one of these machines out back? Because I cannot for the life or me imagine how else you would make tempura shrimp.

And is it the machines that play the music as well? Can they play other songs, or do they only play the song that matches the food product being sliced, diced etc?

So many questions, so little time for TEMPURA PRAWNS.
posted by awfurby at 12:25 AM on September 8, 2009


Oh jesus the imitation scallop one is just BIZARRE - what on earth are they using to roll out such long long strips of flesh to then roll up into a tube to be sliced into scallop sized chunks?

I mean, I get the tempura shrimp machine - you put the prawns in the slots and then it batters and fries them. At least they are recognisably still prawns. But what is the stuff that makes an artificial scallop?
posted by awfurby at 12:29 AM on September 8, 2009


3 Google-seconds later...

Surimi is the Japanese term for the bland fish protein paste that is the starting material for imitation seafood. In the United States, Alaskan Pollock is usually used to make surimi. The fish is deboned, minced, rinsed, and turned into a paste. The surimi is mixed with salt and sugar to help form protein gels and protect it while frozen for later use when it's combined with all the other ingredients you see on the labels of surimi seafood. These ingredients can include snow crab meat, egg whites, wheat starch, flavorings, and sodium. Each brand and variety of imitation seafood has different nutrient compositions so be sure to read the labels of whatever product you choose. On average, you will see about 90-100 calories, 20-30 mg cholesterol, 150-600 mg of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrate, and 10-15 grams of protein per serving.

(From here.)
posted by awfurby at 12:31 AM on September 8, 2009


PF Max Factory are unsurprisingly a Japanese company that make a range of food preparation machines. They are based in Hiroshima.
posted by gomichild at 12:36 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I got hired to help a friend schlepp a food-grade orange peeling machine from LA to Las Vegas 20-odd years ago. A small Japanese trading company was demoing it for the hotels.

They of course had sufficient kitchen help staff to not really see a need to invest in this expensive equipment.

But yeah, this is what capitalism is at its basis really is, the substitution of machines to enhance the productivity of labor [plus of course the overall superstructure that supports acquisition of said machines and distribution of the profit of their employment].

Unless they start importing manual laborers, the Japanese are going to be needing to do this a lot more, given that their population peaked in 2006 . . . when I was FOB in ~1990 the 15-19 yo cohort numbered 10M peeps; next year they will be 6M and in 2050 down to just ~4M.
posted by Palamedes at 12:59 AM on September 8, 2009


eponysterical
posted by mukade at 1:03 AM on September 8, 2009


PF Max Blue. (okay, someone needed to say it)
posted by milnak at 1:17 AM on September 8, 2009


Damn I want some coleslaw.
posted by Netzapper at 1:29 AM on September 8, 2009


The way you make tempura prawns is to throw a can of cat food into the boiling oil, and then let nature take its course.
posted by qvantamon at 1:57 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great videos - it appears PF Max Company values industrial cinematography and rockin' soundtracks as much as expedient piscine evisceration.

I do have a question though: How are you supposed to keep something like the imitation crab & scallop machine clean? Hose it down? Run some inert material through it? Or just take it apart and have at it with a toothbrush? Maybe PF Max Company makes an imitation crab & scallop machine cleaning machine.

I hope we're talking food-grade clean here, say like your average kitchen counter, not can-almost-see-the-metal-beneath-all-the-grime clean.



Disclaimer: I have been eating processed food all my life and it hasn't killed me yet. I'm not paranoid - just curious.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:59 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


But wait what cleans the imitation crab and scallop machine cleaning machine?
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:12 AM on September 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


that music is unforgivable. I had to watch all of them to know and I just want to state for the record - the music barely makes it to the level of very bad.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:17 AM on September 8, 2009


But wait what cleans the imitation crab and scallop machine cleaning machine?

At the end of the day the machines are all submerged in very large tanks of water that are full of thousands of fish. The fish swim through the submerged machines, eating off the little scaps of processed fish. When the fish are too big to swim through all parts of the machines, they are removed from the tanks and placed in large hoppers that lead directly to ... the machines.
posted by awfurby at 3:09 AM on September 8, 2009 [5 favorites]




imitatioon crab: when imitation crab is too authentic

That, my friends, is the music of soullessness, the music of mechanical alienation of all that is human, the music that tells us we are all obsolete in the face of the machines that will chop their erstwhile human masters into a fine pulp. Not Throbbing Gristle, not Suicide, not Aphex Twin or Autechre, not even Merzbow or the Haters. But this music so bland, so inhuman that nobody would even put their name on it, music that dares to be cheery as it relentlessly turns organic matter into fine consistent shreds of nothing in particular.
posted by idiopath at 3:33 AM on September 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you watch these videos backwards, that's how babies are made.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:43 AM on September 8, 2009


needs more bung dropping.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh..... that's really not nice.

Still, "it's air operated for power!"
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 4:17 AM on September 8, 2009


WTF does one accomplish by ass-raping dead pigs with air-powered handguns?
posted by Shike at 5:22 AM on September 8, 2009


Shike: "WTF does one accomplish"

Hygiene. Specifically, it is a step in keeping poo out of your pork.
posted by idiopath at 5:27 AM on September 8, 2009


That's it. I'm going to start foraging for nuts and berries.

(ix) Pulling of tail and dropping of bung

2.37 The tail was pulled away from the carcass and a circular cut was made around the anus (anus and vulva in female animals). The freed rectum (or bung) was tied with the neck of the bladder and dropped into the pelvic cavity. This prevented faecal matter from escaping and contaminating the carcass.
posted by Shike at 5:38 AM on September 8, 2009


Give me one day with these machines and the contents of my basement.

Note: basement does not contain food items.
posted by orme at 6:03 AM on September 8, 2009


For real chopping productivity, there's the Hobart Cutter Mixer, and my favorite, the old school Hobart buffalo chopper.
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:06 AM on September 8, 2009


How does one get the buffalo into this tiny bowl?
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:11 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


That, my friends, is the music of soullessness, the music of mechanical alienation of all that is human, the music that tells us we are all obsolete in the face of the machines that will chop their erstwhile human masters into a fine pulp. Not Throbbing Gristle, not Suicide, not Aphex Twin or Autechre, not even Merzbow or the Haters. But this music so bland, so inhuman that nobody would even put their name on it, music that dares to be cheery as it relentlessly turns organic matter into fine consistent shreds of nothing in particular.

Lemme guess: vegetarian?
posted by Edgewise at 6:36 AM on September 8, 2009


Conveyor belts hum
To each fish, a bright basket
My Zen waterfall
posted by applemeat at 6:41 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Buffalo chopper is not named for the animal but for the city, because it's obsolete and it fucks up food.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:41 AM on September 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Knife goes in, guts come out, that's what PF Max Company is all about.

I loved the music, but it was confusing without a pizza guy taking his pants off.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:44 AM on September 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this the point where someone drops-in the video of the male chicks going through the shredder at the hatchery, for even greater "mecha-food-chain" effect?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:47 AM on September 8, 2009


Edgewise: "Lemme guess: vegetarian?"

No, the machines are fucking awesome, I was talking literally about the music on the soundtracks. I would have preferred the sounds of the machines alone without that tonal stuff slathered on top.
posted by idiopath at 6:50 AM on September 8, 2009


What happens to those little rejected prawns in the third video? Where do they gooooo?!?!? The poor little things just drop between the ramp and the belt and disappear forever! *cries*
posted by Severian at 7:00 AM on September 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, but I want to see the machine which makes my favorite Yu Wan Mei Miscellaneous Flavor Paste that american consumers can't get enough of.
posted by digsrus at 7:09 AM on September 8, 2009


I would have preferred the sounds of the machines alone without that tonal stuff slathered on top.

Here you go.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:17 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to use looped imagery of mackerels getting their heads sawed off for my next series of self-hypnosis videos.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:52 AM on September 8, 2009


How do you go up the chain to chef without being a food prep guy, chopping until your hands bleed?

No robot mise for me!
posted by Splunge at 7:55 AM on September 8, 2009


Note to self: when meeting Burhanistan, leave mackerel suit at home.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:26 AM on September 8, 2009


The word "roe" makes me salivate. I may be part piniped.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:45 AM on September 8, 2009


I wonder if I could pick up a used tempura prawn machine on craigslist for my garage.
posted by GuyZero at 9:38 AM on September 8, 2009


It's just not the same without music.

Also: ☄ THE END
posted by clearlydemon at 11:36 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Note to self: when meeting Burhanistan, leave mackerel suit at home.

I'm not usually one to judge, but is this really something you need to make a note for?
posted by !Jim at 12:14 PM on September 8, 2009


The eel filleting machine is strangely reminiscent of a robotic dog that has its digestive process reversed.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2009


I don't know what you guys are talking about, the Shrimp music is freaking awesome~~~@! Wait until the awesome guitar solo followed by the singing! Composing the soundtrack to an industrial slicer video is kind of my dream job, no lie.
posted by jake at 12:29 PM on September 8, 2009


No one has said Eponysterical yet?
posted by crataegus at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2009


Composing the soundtrack to an industrial slicer video is kind of my dream job, no lie.

Jake (and/or Capt. Beefheart fans) might like this one too. [no graphic violence]
posted by applemeat at 1:07 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thhhhufferin' Thhhucotash!!!
posted by drhydro at 1:40 PM on September 8, 2009


No one has said Eponysterical yet?
posted by crataegus at 8:46 PM on September 8 [+] [!]



eponysterical
posted by mukade at 9:03 AM on September 8 [+] [!]

posted by awfurby at 10:44 PM on September 8, 2009


I'm not usually one to judge, but is this really something you need to make a note for?

Most mornings I'm running late, so I just run out the door without stopping to worry about which fish I'm dressed as. It's led to some awkward situations, let me tell you.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:32 AM on September 9, 2009


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