To maintain profitable margins on any kind of product there are two things that must happen consistently. Production costs need to be minimised, and the product needs to be sold at a fair price.
This can be a real challenge when working with organic products – like meat – where some natural variation is expected and, to an extent, unavoidable.
The range of variation that can occur in meat or a meat product’s shape, size, weight and especially its fat content can make it extremely difficult for meat processors and suppliers to understand the quality or content of their product. In turn, this means meat suppliers often struggle to keep production costs consistently low or set fair selling prices.
The bottom line is: not understanding the fat content (or Chemical Lean calculation) impacts suppliers’ ability to produce and sell their meat profitably.
Meat Fat Analysis
But by incorporating the right food inspection technology like the Eagle FA3 Series into their production processes, suppliers can accurately measure the weight and fat content of their products in real time.
Eagle Fat Analysis systems use Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (or DEXA – the same technology used for bone density scans in medicine) to determine fat content in real time. The systems analyse the amount of X-Rays that are absorbed by the fat in the meat to systematically and consistently obtain a highly repeatable and precise fat analysis.
While other methods of fat analysis are limited to boneless, ground meat, systems like the FA3 Series and the FA720 PACK or BULK can also inspect fresh, frozen, bulk, blended meat or meat packaged in cartons. Eagle’s X-Ray technology is not affected by freeze and thaw plant conditions, foil or metallised film packaging or meat conductivity.
A fat analysis system helps meat suppliers ensure product quality and profitability in three main ways:
Accurate Fat Content Analysis
Fat content percentage is the most important factor in determining the true value of meat products. Being able to accurately measure an item’s fat content enables suppliers to sell it for its true value.
The results of the fat analysis are presented as a simple Chemical Lean value. This number represents the crude fat content of the meat and is determined by subtracting the fat percentage of the meat from 100. Meat with a fat percentage of 12 has a CL value of 88.
This number can be used to negotiate fair selling prices with retailers and communicate product quality to consumers.
Ensures Consistent Weight
All Eagle Fat Analysis systems are also capable of verifying product weight. Accurate produce weight measurements are essential to ensuring the right amount of meat is delivered to consumers.
Delivering meat that’s too heavy impacts profitability because it increases material and production costs per item.
At the same time, delivering meat that’s too light can also cause issues, eroding customer satisfaction, lead to fewer sales, higher possibility of returns and at worse can strain relationships with retailers and distributors.
Assisted Recipe Management
When installed as part of a complete recipe management solution, fat analysis systems allow meat producers to precisely control the weight and fat content of their products to create batches of meat with specific Chemical Lean values to meet targets for their recipe.
Improving Your Bottom Line
Given the importance of product weight and fat content in determining production costs and the prices meat can be sold at, accurate weight and fat content analysis is absolutely essential to reducing costs and maximising profit margins.
In addition, by understanding the weights and CL values with the greatest profitability, and then measuring products against those values, meat manufacturers can optimise their production processes and output for the best cost-to-profit ratio.
To learn more about how Eagle Fat Analysis systems can improve your business’s profitability, please see our Fat Analysis equipment page or contact us for a quote today.