Fast-food chains and quick-service restaurants demand consistent cuts and fixed-weight portions in their search for efficiencies and labor-saving tools to address operating challenges including personnel issues and escalating business costs.
The ''buzz'' on portioning
Portioning is the most effective way to improve yields and profit margins, say manufacturers and suppliers of portioners and slicers. Equipment suppliers offer some tips for processors who want to improve those aspects of their production, and in doing so, help clarify the use of some of the buzzwords found in poultry-portioning circles. Processors are looking for machines with a small footprint that are easy to clean and cost-effective, and feature improvements in speed, accuracy, flexibility and reliability. “We believe it is a matter of being in the market or not,” says Jan Elgaard, president of chief executive officer of Scanvaegt US Inc., Gainesville, Ga. Beyond those goals, here are other features and benefits processors should seek in top-quality portioning equipment, according to suppliers of the equipment:
Optimal yield, value: “sorting in ways to optimize your yield and inspection, from blood spots to whole tears to split tails,” says Jon Hocker, product manager of DSI Systems, a unit of FMC FoodTech, Sandusky, Ohio. Meat processors should measure flexibility, accuracy and throughput when considering an investment in poultry-portioning capacity. If those criteria are satisfied, processors can increase processing flexibility, adapt to new cut requirements and improve raw product utilization, labor efficiency and consistently meet customers’ specifications.
Water-jet cutter to achieve portion control. “Another [feature] is a rotating strap device that’s used to make the cut,” says Russ Williams, marketing manager at Gainco, a subsidiary of Bettcher Industries Inc., Vermilion, Ohio. “We haven’t moved in on this yet, as we deal with weighing and yield management.”
Bigger, better, faster, stronger. adds Carmine Caparaso Jr., vice president of sales and marketing at Jaccard Corp., Orchard Park, N.Y. Jaccard’s high-speed FS-19 rotary slicer can also produce 2 dimensional slicing in single operation.
— Shonda Dudlicek