FOSS: Pioneering Analytical Technology for Meat Processing

FOSS: Pioneering Analytical Technology for Meat Processing

Poul Erik Simonsen, Global Market Manager, FOSSPoul Erik Simonsen, Global Market Manager
In 1956, Nils Foss, an innovative engineer and an enthusiastic exponent of entrepreneurship, founded FOSS with the resolute to offer automated and cost-efficient alternatives to time-consuming analyses in the food and agricultural industries. Preserving his vision and legacy, today, FOSS is the leading global provider of analytical solutions to secure and improve food quality from raw material to finished products. Started with instruments to test moisture in grain for the agriculture industry, the company later expanded to various industries, including dairy, feed/forage, biofuel, meat, and wine. Over the last six decades, FOSS has defined the standard of analytical solutions in the food and agricultural industries. The company pioneered advanced analysis for the challenging production environments in the 1960s and were the first to integrate chemical composition analysis in process lines. FOSS leverages the vast knowledge of different analytical technologies acquired throughout these years to choose the right technology for providing robust solutions with the best accuracy. “We strive to bring our customers more value with our solutions than what our competitors offer,” says Poul Erik Simonsen, Global Meat Market Manager of FOSS.

Simonsen observes that in the meat processing industry, plant managers often face various challenges in the production line. They struggle to maintain the efficiency of production and obtain the highest possible yield. Further, companies seek consistency in product quality across multiple production sites and high uptime. Considering these challenges, FOSS offers a full range of meat analysis solutions from the laboratory to the production line ensuring food quality and safety. “We enable customers to optimize product quality and production efficiency with our fast, easy-to-use, and dedicated analytical solutions. We use modern connectivity and network offerings while providing these robust solutions,” asserts Simonsen.

What sets FOSS apart from its competitor is that through its unique approach named ‘SmartAnalyticsTM,’ the company combines dedicated analytical solutions with intelligent, connected, and integrated services to safeguard instrument performance.
The company offers digital services—FossManagerTM, FossAssureTM, and FossCalibratorTM—to empower customers with data back up and efficient monitoring. These digital services allow customers to connect to all the analytical instruments for remote monitoring and ensure standard operating procedures are met. The reports generated on the performance of the analyzer can also be used for regulatory compliance and optimizing instrument performance.

A prominent product in the portfolio of FOSS, MeatMasterTM II, is the leading in-line analyzer to measure fat content for grading raw meat ensuring consistent product quality. Based on unique X-ray analysis technology introduced by FOSS in 2003, MeatMasterTM II scans 100 percent of the meat passing through the scanning area, providing accurate fat measurements simultaneously identifying foreign objects such as bone fragments or metals. Such data can, for example, be used for sorting the meat in an automatic sorting line and for input on labels printed for finished batches enabling producers to categorize them according to customer specifications. Similarly, FoodScanTM 2 Meat Analyzer is a product that has become the new gold standard for fast and accurate analysis of meat and processed meat products. Based on the Near Infrared (NIR) analysis, FoodScanTM 2 is used for the quantitative determination of constituents such as energy, carbohydrates, and fat in meat products for labeling purposes and can be used in all stages of production. It is also used as a reference check for the accuracy of X-ray measuring equipment like the previous mentioned MeatMasterTM II. Color measurement is also done along with the measurement of parameters. Using the unique intelligence of Artificial Neural Networks calibrations, FoodScan 2 gives content information in less than 25 seconds.

Interestingly, FOSS is a family-owned company still rooted to its origins. One of the key-value elements that drive the company since its inception is the customer-first approach. The dedicated and skilled team, including data scientists, chemometricians, and software developers of FOSS, ensures that the customer requirements are met, and the highest value is offered through analytical solutions. This has earned the company a global presence with sales across various countries.

Elucidating the efficiency of the analytical solutions offered by FOSS, Simonsen highlights an instance wherein FOSS helped CLAI, a cooperative of workers and farmers in Bologna, to improve salami and sausage production with X-ray fat analysis. The client was in search of the best technology in the market to standardize the fat content of meat. Their search ended at FOSS, and CLAI started using FoodScan for measuring the fat content of each batch produced. However, this meant that the plant manager received the measurements after a batch was produced and was unable to correct the receipt accordingly. To eliminate this hurdle, CLAI installed MeatMasterTM II. Using this solution, weight, and fat content are measured along with the inspection of foreign objects. The control of the fat content is done instantly when a batch of raw material is prepared. So no loss of time for taking samples to check the fat content. When the batch is ready, it is grounded for sausage production. The fat content control helped CLAI to reduce the ripening phase and weight loss during the production resulting in an improved economy. MeatMasterTM II analyzer also ensured consistent quality across all products.

FOSS holds over 100 patents and has made over 20 world-first introductions to the global market. The company spends 10 percent of revenue on R&D each year, which is expected to add up to over 130 million Euros over the next five years. With robust solutions and ingenious services, FOSS is forging ahead with its mission—to contribute to the sustainable use of our planet’s agricultural resources and, thus, to the nutrition and health of the people of the world.
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Company
FOSS

Headquarters
Hilleroed, Denmark

Management
Poul Erik Simonsen, Global Market Manager

Description
FOSS is the leading global provider of analytical solutions to secure and improve food quality from raw material to finished products. The company pioneered advanced analysis for the challenging production environments in the 1960s and were the first to integrate chemical composition analysis in process lines. FOSS holds over 100 patents and has made over 20 world-first introductions to the global market. The company offers a full range of meat analysis solutions from the laboratory to the production line ensuring food quality and safety. Through its unique approach named ‘SmartAnalyticsTM,' FOSS combines fast, easy-to-use, dedicated analytical solutions with intelligent, connected, and integrated services to safeguard instrument performance

FOSS

"We enable customers to optimize product quality and production efficiency with our fast, easy-to-use, and dedicated analytical solutions"

- Poul Erik Simonsen, Global Market Manager

  • FOSS News

Smart-enabled X-ray makes fat analysis more profitable

Introduced to the meat industry in 2003, in-line X-ray analysis has proven to be a great way to control the fat/lean mix in meat products while simultaneously checking for foreign objects.
Even so, barriers to full exploitation of this powerful technology remain. For instance, many producers have a high-turnover of staff leading to uncertainty about compliance with standard operating procedures for use and maintenance of analysers. Similar concerns apply to the reference checks that need to be made periodically against benchtop NIR instruments – are they being performed and recorded correctly and is the NIR up to date and reliable?
FOSS introduce the new MeatMaster II with smart-enabled features that make in-line fat analysis simpler and more rewarding than ever.
Exploiting the full business potential of X-ray
The connectivity provided with the smart-enabled solution ensures reliable fat analysis with an automatic validation of MeatMaster test results against a benchtop NIR analyser. This avoids the risk of human error involved with existing methods where an operator has to record and enter data manually. Instead, a barcode registered sample is measured on both the MeatMaster and the reference instrument. The sample results are then compared automatically and reports highlight any need for adjustment.
Digital eye improves consistency throughout the organisation
Another aspect of the connectivity is that it provides a desktop overview of how analysis is being performed, no matter how many instruments and sites are involved. It is simple to monitor compliance with standard operating procedures and to identify training requirements across the organisation. Auto audit trails across all plants and performance reports from FOSS experts track and document analytical performance over time.
Top performance for maximum profit
Part of the whole Smart approach is the FOSS SmartCare service available with the new MeatMaster II. This is the industry’s most intelligent service and support solution including rapid online support which streamlines preventive maintenance activities and avoids unplanned downtime by flagging potential problems before they impact daily operations.
FOSS meat industry manager, Poul Erik Simonsen said: “FOSS revolutionized meat analysis with the first MeatMaster in 2003 and launched the second generation, the MeatMaster II, in 2013. The new updated MeatMaster II takes the next logical step. By exploiting the latest generation Smart technology available to us today, it makes inline fat analysis more accessible, reliable and more profitable than ever.”
Background: MeatMaster makes a breakthrough in meat production control
The MeatMaster was the first inline X-ray analyser. It was introduced to the meat industry in 2003 and made an immediate impact on profitability for meat producers through its ability to measure the fat content of entire batches of meat. Fat content was no longer based on measured samples or so-called, butchers-eye visual assessment, but on continuous measurements made directly from within the production process. A much tighter control of fat content became possible, allowing MeatMaster users to hit targets more precisely which in turn led to immediate gains in their profit and customer satisfaction. The MeatMaster also performs foreign object detection simultaneously with the fat measurements.
Today, the original MeatMaster and the popular next-generation MeatMaster II instruments are in use around the globe for a wide range of applications, from specialist sausage production to high-volume ground meat production. Implementation of this powerful analytical technology is increasing, often with multiple instruments being deployed across production lines and across different sites. The new smart-enabled MeatMaster II offers the ideal solution to take the next step in fat testing of meat.

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