We had a talk with Birchwood Foods, USA about his experience with their new MeatMaster™ II.
The whole interview can be seen in the video, or read it below in our transcription.
How do you use MeatMaster II at Birchwood Foods?
Ricky Granger: We use the MeatMaster II to analyse the fat content of our raw materials. The raw materials we use here are beef trimmings. We use both fresh and frozen beef trimmings. We insert the MeatMaster II directly after our initial grinding process. So we'll grind our raw materials, then pass them through the machine. Once the materials pass through the machine, we can we get very reliable readings on the fat content and the total weight.
Using the MeatMaster II, we're able to target a fat percentage for our batches, and we find that the MeatMaster II is very accurate in determining the fat percentage of those batches. Therefore, since we're able to set a target and hit it consistently, it's improved our yield, which is our lean point, tremendously, and improved our efficiencies because we're able to batch to that target, and then release the batches once we've hit it without any verification afterwards.
How has the MeatMaster changed your production flow?
The accuracy of the MeatMaster when it comes to determining the lean point of our batches is critical in improving our efficiency. We are now able to rely on the data that the MeatMaster gives us when determining whether or not the batch is in spec. As long as we hit our targeted fat percentage and weight based on the data that the MeatMaster gives us, we will release that batch and run it into production.
In the past, our standard was the lab analysis of the batch. We would have to take a sample of the batch, bring it to a lab, test it in the lab, and provided the test came out in spec in the lab, then we would release that batch and run it into production. Today, we're able to simply go by the MeatMaster, basically using it like a batch and go system.
We do use the FoodScan™ in the lab to verify our batches and compare them to the MeatMaster, simply for verification reasons throughout the day on a random basis.
The results that we get on the FoodScan compares very favorably to the MeatMaster, they’re very close. As a matter of fact, we've done our own analysis in-house, and over the course of about 500 samples, we found that the average difference between the FoodScan and the MeatMaster was negligent, literally 0.00 on average.
That’s not to say there was never a difference because there is some variation. We found that variation to be 0.5%. Again, very close and that was what we wanted, and what we asked from FOSS was a 0.5% variation. Utilising the MeatMaster II, we've been able to increase our efficiency, improve our lean point difference, which is our yield, and improve our product consistency.
What is your experience with FOSS as a partner?
Our experience with FOSS has been excellent. We utilise the FossCare™ Premium program, which grants us two visits from a FOSS tech yearly, and they come in and do preventative maintenance on our machines. On top of that, FOSS has been very helpful in training our production crews, as well as our maintenance crew, and preventative maintenance on the machine, which we can do on a daily basis.
After that, all we have to do is make sure that we take care of the machine when we set it up, operate it, and then tear it down for cleaning. The setup process and the teardown process are very simple, and both can be done in about 15 minute’s time. There are not a lot of moving parts on the MeatMaster II, so it’s easy to set up, easy to take apart, and easy to clean.