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New approach to smoked food quality.

New Approach to Smoked Food Quality

Precise control of processing smoked salmon and similar high cost products can pay enormous dividends in profit.

Just to illustrate how critical the process is: one percent increase in finished product weight for a typical installation processing 100,000kg of fish a year means an additional 1000kg of saleable product. It's easy to calculate the effect on the bottom line of the balance sheet!

With this in mind, Afos went right back to basics on quality control for smoking, remembering that weight loss is a function of the curing and smoking process. To date this has been controlled by monitoring the smoking function. Over the years they have developed more and more sophisticated microprocessor control systems for the smokehouse which, in turn, can be controlled by data feedback from smoke monitors.

Smoke monitoring and relating this to smoking time is, no matter how sophisticated, an indirect measurement of quality. The direct measurement is weight loss. And this is exactly what can now be monitored by the new Afos Weight Watcher system.

This system provides continuous monitoring of total product weight. With the microprocessor controls, the user can set the required yield. Because this is now a direct measurement, the system ensures much higher levels of quality control are achieved.

In operation, the system is straightforward and requires no special knowledge or operating skills. In a convenient floor area on the wet side of the smoker a load cell platform is located. Empty trolleys are first rolled over the load cell platform, which signals the weight to the controller.

The trolley is then loaded and pushed into the smoker in the normal manner. Incorporated into the smoker floor is a similar set of load cells, which signals the gross weight to the control unit. From this, and the outside reading, the controller automatically calculates, on a continuous basis, the net product weight.

The user simply selects the required yield on the Weight Watcher and the appropriate smoking programme on the main smoker control, which can hold in its memory up to 99 standard programmes.

Once the pre-set yield has been reached, the Weight Watcher will override the main process control and bring the cycle to an end.
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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:May 1, 1990
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