Fat analysis and detection technology raises bar for meat industry


Fat analysis and detection technology raises bar for meat industry

The meat industry is under the microscope following the latest product recall scandals in Europe receiving international attention. To help global meat processors pass such scrutiny, Eagle Product Inspection (Eagle), which manufacturers advanced fat analysis and contaminant detection technology, will launch an industry first in fat analysis technology and two additional innovations at IFFA, May 4-9 2013, in Frankfurt.

The company’s industry-leading Eagle™ FA 720 system offers accuracy in fat analysis, ensuring meat processors are supplying meat at customer- specified Chemical Lean (CL) values. These technology launches will enhance contaminant detection and documentation throughout production, avoiding product recalls and improving operational processes and efficiency on the plant floor.

The Eagle FA 720 uses Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology to measure the amount of x-rays that are absorbed by the fat content and lean meat respectively through the use of two specific x-ray energies, accurately calculating the CL value for meat products to within +/- 1CL.

This accuracy is a significant improvement on traditional fat analysis methods and enables meat processors to supply meat at the CL values set by its customers, avoiding costly fat claims and lean meat giveaway.

At the show, Eagle will launch the Eagle Validate software, an internal calibration function built into the Eagle™ FA 720 system to verify its accuracy at specific CL values at the touch of a button. This allows meat processors to avoid the time-consuming, error-prone and costly traditional verification method of regularly passing a reference standard, typically a cumbersome test block, through the system, requiring manual recording of test results.

Eagle Validate software automatically records each validation in an electronic file to provide essential data to prove traceability in the event of a product recall or retailer queries about fat content. Automating measurement validation encourages best practice by facilitating straight-forward regular, routine measurement validation with minimum downtime.

To further enhance meat processing fat management, Eagle will also launch a new remote touch screen console for the Eagle FA 720, which enables full remote system operability and displays the same information as the system’s human machine interface (HMI) to facilitate operator access to information collected on the production line. For example, an operator at the rework station, where rejected cartons of meat are sent, can access the x-ray image of the carton and identify exact location of the contaminant, such as a bone fragment, for quick and efficient removal. Eagle has also developed a new light-emitting diode (LED) Marquee display – appropriate for viewing across a boning hall – that can be installed earlier on in the production line, such as at the trimming or packing stations, to transmit real-time CL data to personnel upstream. This enables operatives to adjust trimming and packing procedures to maintain tighter control of CL values before meat is sent for packaging or further processing.

“At Eagle we are committed to leading the meat industry in raising the bar for accurate fat analysis and contaminant detection, implementing best practices that will meet ever higher quality expectations of the meat processing industry and its customers,” says Richard Hebel, product manager, Eagle.

“The new Eagle Validate software is the first of its kind in the industry and this innovation, along with the Marquee display and new remote console, are the results of our significant investment into technology and unrivalled expertise in the sector. These innovations illustrate Eagle’s continued commitment to enhance our customers’ fat management procedures and address emerging process control needs.”