With demand high and profit margins slim in the meat processing industry, the need for precision has never been greater. It is a huge challenge for manufacturers to keep a business viable, and it is a challenge the majority of consumers do not realize exists – meaning there is little tolerance for hikes in price. Squeezing the very last cent of profit out of raw materials is vital, and it is no longer ideal to rely on the human eye to formulate batches or recipes. Least Cost Formulation (LCF) is starting to become more commonplace, and with good reason.
How Least Cost Formulation can help meat processors to increase bottom lines
Least Cost Formulation enables meat processors to produce a recipe or formula at the lowest possible cost or expense, whilst ensuring that product meets the technical parameters as defined in the recipe and considering any constraints around its production. Where there is flexibility in ingredient use to meet those parameters it may be possible to use alternative raw materials at a lower cost, for example, or to make better use of what is already in stock. In short, it offers greater flexibility through increased options.
Exact measurements are key to determine the number of options available, and inline fat analysis systems make this possible – whilst at the same time adding value across a number of different quality control areas, such as mass measurement and, of course, contaminant detection. It is the ability to measure fat content or Chemical Lean (CL) accurately, though, which is one of the key enablers to Least Cost Formulation.
By combining Chemical Lean (CL) measurements as accurate as +/-1CL or better with the latest blend control software, it is possible to use the data collected to determine the optimum manner in which raw materials should be combined in real time to produce each batch. Easy-to-follow instructions can be entered via a user interface, ensuring the correct amount of raw product is added to ultimately achieve optimum final target recipes.
By running Least Cost Formulation via the latest advanced inline fat analysis systems and software, red meat processors not only ensure maximum yield from raw materials, they also reduce waste and streamline processes to improve productivity. Add to this the ability to check 100% of products for physical contaminants inline and the benefits are even clearer. Capital investments can be recovered very quickly, and the commercial advantages over those using alternate methods are indisputable.
For meat processors using inline fat analysis systems, in conjunction with a recipe management system with LCF capabilities, final product can be produced at the lowest possible cost, as they can be sure they are making best possible use of their raw materials. This maximizes yields and gives processors the best possible return on investment.