Marel: Consistent portioning is what really matters
For their part, processors supplying QSRs want to reduce labor and giveaway and increase yields and throughputs. The pandemic has shown the disadvantages of relying on manual processes. Towards the end of a shift, operators become tired and their performance begins to drop off. A machine does not have this problem. Once correctly set, it will work consistently hour after hour turning out identical top-quality products. Machines will never call in sick and can be faster too, an important factor as QSR chains usually order high volumes. Marel has many years of experience supplying QSR solutions worldwide. It has a wide range of solutions for portioning, slicing and splitting fresh deboned chicken breast and thigh meat. These systems produce strips, fillets, nuggets and cubes.
Food safety is of crucial importance to QSR chains. Marel SensorX technology helps the customer ensure that all deboned breast and thigh meat destined for use in QSR products is free of bone and other contaminants. The equipment boasts a very low percentage of false positives, which means less unnecessary rework. SensorX also weighs all meat going through the system. Used in combination with IRIS FI vision technology, this gives processors complete control over the raw material going into a subsequent downstream process.
One such process is the cutting of fresh boneless breast or thigh meat into a wide variety of products with the same weight and dimensions. The twinlane Marel I-Cut 122 is the flagship of the I-Cut range. This machine can cut two different product specifications at the same time at throughputs of up to 2,000 cuts per lane. It offers a choice of cutting angles and numerous cutting patterns. Advanced vision control technology and innovative software guarantee top-cutting performance and low giveaway. I-Cut 122 TrimSort automatically selects any trim cut off, releasing it onto a separate conveyor system, which takes it to its own downstream process. TrimSort can save labor and reduce giveaway still further. SmartSplitter, TSM Profiler and Platino Flattener are yet more Marel products available to processors serving QSR chains.
For processors serving QSR chains, Innova intelligence is the icing on the cake. Innova software monitors minute by minute yield, throughput, giveaway and order fulfillment, providing plant management with a highly effective production tool. In this way, Innova ensures profitable use of all raw material and high efficiency. If required, Innova allows the portioning equipment to be managed remotely from a central location. End-to-end traceability can also be supplied. Consistency and top product quality are key demands of the QSR sector. Processors supplying the sector are looking to optimize throughput and yield while minimizing labor and giveaway.In the QSR environment, products made from fresh deboned muscle meat are in particularly high demand, as they are considered as being ‘healthier’ than products made from formed meat. Although nuggets continue to be popular – some international QSR chains now insist on whole muscle meat only for their nuggets – strips cut from breast and thigh muscle meat are the new rising star. These are seen as ‘finger food’ to be dipped into a tasty sauce. Burger products featuring breaded strips are fast becoming best sellers and are likely to set a new trend. The global market for nuggets and strips is growing by some 8% per annum.
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