TRIMSCAN Magnetic Induction System

TRIMSCAN Magnetic Induction System Proven Results for Online Determination of Fat Content of Sausage Meat Trimmings

This has been a technological innovation project developed within the framework of the INNOVACC meat cluster with the participation of the companies Splendid Foods SA and Lenz Instruments SL, which has had the support of ACCIÓ (Generalitat de Catalunya).

Analysis of the automation of the lean and fat supply process to make sausage formulations, with online and robotic classification systems

The meat industry is the main agri-food sector in Catalonia, with a business volume of € 7,028 million, representing more than 31% in business volume in the agri-food sector. Catalonia has established itself as one of the most important production centers on the European continent and in 2017 was the second largest producer in Europe and the tenth largest producer of pork in the world.

Many of the products made with fresh meat, such as hamburgers and hot dogs, including fresh hot dogs, cooked or smoked hot dogs, and dry-cured hot dogs (e.g. fuet, chorizo) are produced from (lean) meat trimmings, primarily from pork.

Lean batches are prepared in the cutting room with a specified lean / fat percentage ratio (eg 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, 50/50). Today, there are still slaughterhouses and cutting plants that roughly do this preparation, using experienced operators choosing meat from different parts of the carcass to achieve the target lean / fat content. This preparation method is very imprecise and can cause significant variations in fat content of up to 5%.

In the production of meat products, the control of the fat content is of vital importance to guarantee the homogeneity and the quality of the final product and to reduce the economic losses caused by excess lean meat in the product. In recent years, due to the need to improve the quality of the final product, technologies have appeared to determine and control the fat content of the batch online. The main inspection technologies are dual source X-ray scanners and near infrared analyzers (NIRS).

The main drawbacks of these technologies are initial cost and maintenance costs, as is the case with dual-source X-ray, whereas NIRS analyzers may have lower precision and are not suitable for analyzing lean of a certain size.

Within the framework of the project “Development of non-destructive optical technology for analysis of the lean vs fat ratio in fresh and thawed meats”, subsidized by ACCIÓ through the line of aid to clusters IRC (Aid to Initiatives to Reinforce Competitiveness) of In the 2019 call, the adaptation and validation of the Magnetic Induction technology for the online lean analysis (TRIMSCAN) has been carried out. This technology has been initially developed by Lenz Instruments SL for the classification of fresh ham according to the fat content and to determine the salt content after the salting process and in the already cured product.

The validation of the TRIMSCAN Magnetic induction equipment has been done in collaboration with Splendid Foods SAU using a double source X-ray equipment as a reference. In the validation, different types of lean (trimmings, shoulder, 3D ham and chin) from various suppliers have been used.

The project has been coordinated by the Catalan meat cluster INNOVACC.

The results obtained indicate that the magnetic induction can determine the fat content at line speed with a precision similar to that of X-rays (≈1.0-1.5%) with different types of lean. The weight measurement was much more accurate in the case of the TRIMSCAN (<0.5kg in 200kg batches) because it uses a weighing system based on four load cells, as opposed to X-rays that determine weight according to the density of the meat, obtaining an error of up to 4-5 kg in batches of 200 kg.

Comparatively, the cost of a magnetic induction equipment represents a fraction of the total cost of a dual-source X-ray equipment and has a lower maintenance cost since the magnetic induction system has no wear elements (ray lamps). X) beyond the typical mechanical elements such as the conveyor belt. On the other hand, magnetic induction equipment occupies a very small space on the line, does not require liquid cooling and does not emit ionizing radiation or radiation that can be harmful to the operators who work around the machine.

Image of the Lenz Instruments SL magnetic induction scanner and project testing moment at Splendid Foods SAU

With the support of