How to Tighten Process Controls for a Cleaner Food Label

Replacing functional ingredients with natural alternatives can cause serious product quality issues without the right process controls.

Many processors are replacing, reducing, or removing functional ingredients to create a cleaner label, but don’t fully understand the impact those replacements can have on product quality.

Last month, we shared 9 natural alternatives that were the best to use if you wanted to avoid product quality issues.

But ingredients are only part of the equation.

Having a tight process control can have a significant impact on improving yields, consistency, quality, and food safety.

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Natural Ingredients

9 Natural Ingredients to Use in Cleaner Label Products

Over the last 10-15 years, the food industry has made a shift to create products with “cleaner labels” or natural ingredients.

This trend stemmed from consumers demanding healthier options.

Think back to Panera Bread’s “No-No” List that pushed the demand to remove chemical-sounding ingredients from their products.

Ingredients containing “-ites” and “-ates” in their name, such as sodium lactate, sodium phosphate, and sodium nitrite were considered bad, but found in the normal consumer’s pantry.

Replacing these ingredients for more natural ingredients created a myriad of product quality and yield issues, as “-ite” and “-ate” ingredients are considered functional ingredients.

Before you start making the switch, it’s important to understand these functional ingredients and the proper alternatives to use.

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thermal mapping

How to Perform Thermal Mapping and Balancing of Your Industrial Oven

Thermal mapping of an industrial oven is an important procedure to enhance your product in the cooking cycle.

Mapping and balancing your oven will help you troubleshoot product issues and improve product consistency, yields, and throughput.

It’s the not-so-secret step to ensuring your industrial oven produces the results you want.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to conduct thermal mapping and balancing of your ovens.

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Your Guide to Purchasing the Right Vacuum Tumbler for Your Process

Purchasing a vacuum tumbler can be a daunting task.

Do a quick Google search for “vacuum tumbler” and you will find thousands of options to choose from — all claiming to be the best on the market.

So how do you know which vacuum tumbler is right for YOUR specific meat product?

We laid out a new process below to help you choose. Read more

batch oven performance

Understanding How Temperature, Humidity, and Airflow Affect Batch Oven Performance

Improving the performance of your batch oven is essential for improving product yields and consistency, as well as process efficiency.

When trying to improve your batch oven, there are three points of control to look at:

  • Temperature (dry bulb)
  • Humidity (wet bulb)
  • Airflow/Breakpoint

Making these three points of control work together will help refine your process.

We’ll walk you through how in this article.

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Starter Cultures

Starter Cultures for Making Fermented Sausages

Starter cultures are a key element in the production of fermented sausages at scale.

They create a desirable environment for good bacteria to grow, aid in producing the sausage’s flavor, texture, and color, and can shorten the fermentation process by weeks if not months.

Getting the right results, though, can be tricky.

In this article, we’ll explore what starter cultures are, how to choose the right starter culture for your product, and give you a breakdown of the various cultures and the flavor they produce.

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food scientists

Why You Should Buy Equipment from Food Scientists

Purchasing equipment for your food processing facility is an investment — one you hope is being made with a level of expertise and insight into your challenges and needs.

You need this equipment to solve a specific problem, produce a specific outcome, and integrate seamlessly into your operations.

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single-wide vs double-wide oven

Single-Wide vs Double-Wide Ovens: Which is Better for Throughput, Labor, and Yields?

If you are in the meat processing business, you know that cooking and smoking meat is an essential step in producing high-quality products. But when it comes to choosing the right smokehouse, the options can be overwhelming.

One of the biggest decisions in this regard is whether to opt for a single-wide or double-wide oven.

Most larger processors immediately opt for a double-wide oven — double the capacity means you’ll make more product, faster, right?

Not necessarily.

There are other factors to consider, such as the difference in throughput, labor, and yields between a single-wide and double-wide oven.

Often, a double-wide oven is going to slow production and decrease yields.

We’ll explain why that is in this article.

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water activity level in beef jerky

How to Measure Water Activity in Beef Jerky

Beef jerky has become a staple product in the American diet.

According to research done by the Simmons National Customer Survey (NHCS) in 2019 and the U.S. Census, approximately 50% of the U.S. population, which is nearly 160 million people, eat meat snacks and beef jerky regularly.

This is mainly due to the taste, texture, convenience, and long shelf life of beef jerky.

One way to ensure your beef jerky is high-quality (taste, texture, long shelf life) and safe is by understanding and achieving the right water activity level.

We explain more below.

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Conveyor Maintenance

How to Schedule Maintenance for Longer Conveyor Life

Conveyor systems are a big investment that requires regular and ongoing maintenance to ensure they run smoothly for years to come.

Most manufacturers provide instructions to inspect and maintain their conveyors. However, in most food processing facilities, those instructions get stuck in a drawer somewhere and are inaccessible to maintenance personnel.

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