05 Mar 2017

KEY ISSUES IN MODERN DAY BURGER PRODUCTION

An estimated 47million kilograms of fresh burgers and grills sold in 2016 illustrates that the market remains buoyant, but this is against a backdrop of a reduction in average price of over 2%*.  As margins in this area continue to be squeezed, producers are looking to find ways to reduce operating costs through increasing automation and the adoption of software to control recipe formulation, traceability and accountability.  In addition to the cost benefits this can provide, such automation removes the potential for human error, providing consistency of product as well as addressing the issue of food safety – a factor that has to be at the heart of any food processing operation in the modern era.  Other issues on which food processing companies need to focus in modern day burger production are efficiency, accuracy and hygiene.

Anybody involved in the food industry is acutely aware of the current focus on healthier eating.  A consequence of this is that cattle are bred to be leaner, with the result that trims and cuts typically used in beef burgers can be too lean for a product that relies heavily on the correct fat levels.  Burgers with too little fat can be dry and tough since, without the correct fat levels, there is not the natural basting during the cooking process to create the succulence required for a tasty burger. Lean meat giveaway can also be costly and effectively the difference between profit and loss in what is a predominantly volume-driven sector of the meat industry.

Martin Wareham, Manager of Interfood Technology’s Preparation Division, comments – “We have recognised the vital role of fat content in creating a successful burger and offer full line solutions which address this particular issue.  The fat analysing solutions that Interfood provides can ensure that each batch of burger meat will have the correct fat levels, adjusted automatically as it is being processed, with this fat reading then added to the batch report at the end.  We are the sole distributor in the UK and Ireland for the K&G Wetter range of grinders and mixers, with the grinders characterised by their production of a

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*AHDB Beef & Lamb