Data Collection in Food Processing: Creating Better Processes for a Better Product

Data collection is often an overlooked part of food processing.

Removing or changing ingredients to create a cleaner label can exasperate or expose flaws in the processing of your product.

Creating adequate process controls helps eliminate those flaws but requires you to have sufficient data collection.

Numbers don’t lie — they help track your product’s performance over time. They can help fine-tune your process by identifying production flaws that lead to product quality issues or production failures.

In this article, we’ll look at how and where to collect data so you can create better process controls and, ultimately, a better product.

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end of year donation vote

2023 End of Year Donation Vote

December at Fusion Tech means one thing: It’s time for our annual End of Year Donation Vote!

Since 2017, we stopped sending out Christmas cards (that always end up in the trash anyway) and gave that money to a charity making a difference in the world.

Charities are helped. Trees are saved. And lives are changed.

But we don’t just randomly throw a dart to choose the charity.

Instead, we invite our customers, employees, and the local community to vote on which charity receives the donation!

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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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