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July 13, 2024
Poultry & Livestock Review Africa

X-ray inspection: A critical first step for quality burgers and sausages

How SensorX Magna’s unrivaled bone detection and CL analysis help lay the foundation for superior ground meat products, such as burgers and sausages

In a highly competitive market, processors creating processed meat products, such as burgers, sausages, minced meat and meatballs, need to guarantee the highest levels of quality and consistency. Increasing numbers are using X-ray inspection to verify and control the quality of their incoming meat supply in order to achieve superior results. SensorX Magna is an inline trim inspection system that ensures raw material is always bone-free and the fat to lean ratio is precisely on target. Find out how its unrivaled bone detection and CL analysis make it a crucial part of the meat preparation process and the first step to highest quality end products.

Know exactly what’s in the meat supply

Processors typically buy their meat from multiple suppliers. Unfortunately, they sometimes don’t get the quality that they pay for. This can present enormous challenges when processing high volumes as it’s hard to guarantee consistent raw material will go into the production process.

Monitoring all incoming meat with advanced X-ray inspection equipment helps processors ensure supplies actually meet their specifications. There is also the benefit of ensuring claims can be made for raw material that isn’t up to scratch. In addition, analyzing the meat to get the true CL value and detecting any contaminants, such as bone or metal, gives processors more control over what actually goes into the grinding and mixing process.

Having a clear overview of the exact number of contaminants in each batch received, as well as precise CL levels, also allows processors to benchmark their suppliers and make more strategic, data-driven purchasing decisions. They are able to divert their business based on the quality of the supply.

Eliminate bone before grinding starts

Traditionally, the solution for dealing with bone in a meat supply has been to grind the raw material finely and then use mechanical bone eliminators to remove any remaining bone fragments. However, this method has severe limitations. Most importantly, large pieces of bone are broken up into multiple smaller bones that are almost impossible to reject. There is also a high risk of bone being left behind as mechanical eliminators lack precision and have less than optimal rejection capabilities.

Using X-ray inspection equipment to detect and eliminate bone before grinding starts has an enormous influence, not just on increasing product quality and improving food safety but also on lowering the cost of product conversion. X-ray inspection provides processors with an assurance that bone has been removed. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to use expensive primal meat to guarantee a quality, bone-free end product. Instead, processors can use a more cost-effective trim with the confidence that it will be contaminant-free and give the same quality output.Marel has the right burger patty production line for your needs

At the same time, X-ray inspection can also measure CL before grinding starts, making it possible to hit the right CL target of the final batch from the very beginning of processing. The earlier the CL is measured, the sooner it can be controlled, eliminating the need to take action later in the process, which is both costly and time consuming.

In addition, a bone-free raw material gives processors the unique opportunity to use a coarser grind and develop new products to meet changing consumer demand for products such as gourmet burgers and premium sausages.

Control CL – control quality

Gaining control of the CL of the raw material is an essential step in controlling the quality of the end product. Conventionally, the correct CL has been achieved by mixing and grinding the meat, measuring the CL offline and then adjusting the mix depending on the result. This manual, stop-and-go process is extremely time consuming, and the risk of human error is high.

Using X-ray inspection to measure CL before grinding and mixing begins gives processors a level of control over blending fat and lean meat that was previously just not possible. They can be confident right from the outset that end products will be on spec and that raw material is being used in the most cost-efficient way.

Remove contaminants without destroying yield

Even though suppliers believe they are delivering contaminant-free raw material, in reality, it often contains hard contaminants such as bone. For processors, finding those bones is only half the battle – how they are removed makes all the difference. Conventional processes that involve contaminant detection and elimination reject large amounts of meat together with the contaminants. This meat needs to be either reworked or downgraded, calling for added processing cost or margin loss.

Guarantee safe, high-quality products

It’s not enough just to create better products. Customers increasingly want firm assurance that the products they buy are of the highest quality. Processors who want to get ahead of the competition, therefore, need to substantiate their claims.

X-ray inspection allows processors to enhance and protect their company reputation. It gives their customers a guarantee that their products will be consistently bone-free, with a CL that’s on target and that required food safety standards are met. Providing this level of assurance helps maintain the trust and loyalty of existing customers. It can also be a crucial factor in securing new business.

Automate and streamline processing

There is constant pressure on processors to deliver consistently high-quality, on-spec products that meet food safety requirements. To fulfill this demand without increasing production costs, it is essential to have higher levels of automation in place.

X-ray inspection simplifies bone detection and rejection, making it an automatic, streamlined part of the meat preparation process. X-ray inspection also assures accurate and consistent CL analysis to help manage a fully automated trim standardization process. It helps to ensure the processing line is at full utilization minimizing operational cost and labor requirements. To ensure complete efficiency, it’s important to safeguard throughput and make sure flow is not interrupted when removing contaminated meat from the stream or when reworked meat is reintroduced.

Monitor and improve quality

A consistent and controlled production process is essential to ensure a quality result. Software that monitors performance and identifies opportunities for improvement plays a critical role in achieving this. At the same time, software also provides traceability functionality, which is vital for food processors to act quickly to minimize the size of product recalls and trace every product back to its source.

SensorX Magna: A unique X-ray inspection system

Marel’s SensorX Magna is the industry’s leading X-ray inspection system for analyzing incoming meat supplies, detecting and rejecting bone, and controlling CL. Combining advanced X-ray technology and state-of-the-art reject mechanism SensorX Magna helps processors create superior products by solving several challenges at once.

Customers have come back to us and told us that in fact their complaints have gone down to zero after we installed SensorX. And they have been at zero for a year and a half now. We absolutely know that it works.

Director Operations Support


What sets SensorX Magna apart?

  • Proven X-ray technology

SensorX Magna’s contaminant detection is built upon proven X-ray technology that has changed the standard of bone detection in the meat industry. Its accuracy and reliability are unchallenged.

  • Supplier monitoring software

Data-driven purchasing has never been easier thanks to the Supplier Monitoring Software that is an integral part of SensorX Magna. It collects data on the actual CL and contaminants detected for each individual batch of raw material processed, allowing suppliers to be easily benchmarked.

  • Uniquely positioned at the start of the processing line

Before grinding begins, SensorX Magna measures CL and detects and removes hard contaminants. This not only improves product quality but also increases food safety, reduces recalls and minimizes product conversion costs.

  • State-of-the-art reject mechanism

Without compromising yield or throughput, SensorX Magna rejects bones from a meat supply with less meat than any other comparable system.

  • Most accurate CL measurements at full production speed

SensorX Magna ensures the most efficient and accurate CL measurements available at full production speed, ensuring full line utilization and minimal operating costs.

  • Automated trim standardization

Combined with additional Marel equipment and Innova software, SensorX Magna can take automation a step further than other X-ray inspection systems. It is the centerpiece of a fully automated trim standardization process.

Your partner for maximizing value

Marel is in the business of transformation, innovation and inspiration. We provide X-ray inspection solutions that offer superior bone detection and CL analysis, helping processors maximize the value of their raw material through the use of cutting-edge technology.

Find out how Marel’s SensorX Magna can help you create superior meat products such as burgers, sausages, minced meat and meatballs.

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