COVID-19 Hitting Reset on the Fast Food and Ready to Eat Sector of the Poultry Industry

Labour reducing automation has always been one of the main ROI’s for implementation, until now! Our customers have been faced with the fact their food production plants could come to an immediate halt threatening their very livelihoods by a minuscule virus, that has threatened the whole worlds food security programs.

Currently to date there are food safety quality control systems such as metal detectors and x-rays we rely on as part of the everyday protection of the food we consume. These systems protect us from glass, metal and other foreign materials that could cause a risk to our health. The next step is brand protection, to ensure the products arrives to the customer as we intend it to. Historically a lot of this quality inspection is carried out by manual intervention and human visual inspection. Flawed in many ways as fatigue reduces the accuracy over time, plus that concerning factor of human contact. Other quality impacting factors such as freshness, bacterial growth and non-visible chemical changes in products are not visible to the human eye, so high speed non-contact systems are being developed to ensure what we eat is safe and to the same exceptional quality we expect every time from the brands we trust.

The pre-prepared / ready to cook and fast food sector of the poultry industry, takes chicken from the farm to the bun almost without any human contact. High speed automation ensures we have nutritious safe food at a price the consumer can easily afford. But with the reduction in human intervention sometimes quality can suffer with small non-conformances making it to the plate such as small bone fragments, blood spots, woody breast meat, fat, skin and other foreign matter. Automate and Control LTD have developed a system to remove these non-conformances to ensure brand protection, one of the more complex non-conformances Woody Breast has been the most challenging.  

The muscle syndrome woody / wooded breast impairs quality of chicken fillets and is a challenge to the modern poultry meat industry. The need for online detection of affected fillets for automatic quality sorting in process, is one that our customers in the poultry industry have brought to our attention.

Tests carried out using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and crude chemical composition could estimate protein in the fillets with an extremely accuracy. This shows that there was a larger share of free water in Woody Breast fillets.

Our non-contact QIS-4P inspection system can successfully discriminate between Woody Breast and normal fillets by measuring both protein content and degree of water binding in the muscle, both established markers for Woody Breast.

Our system QIS-4P inspection includes the detection of small bone fragments, blood spots, fat, skin and other foreign matter, the chicken fillets with woody breast that are still fit for human consumption can also grade on severity of Woody Breast, so the meat can be reclassified for final use ensuring the best use for your produce maintaining profit margins.

For more information contact Automate and Control LTD –  sales@automateandcontrol.co.uk

QIS-4P meat and poultry inspection systems

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