In response to market trends in the street food category and the ongoing success of its delicious recipes including beef ribs, lamb shoulder and brisket in authentic sauces, Scotbeef was looking to develop further pulled meat ranges for its premium retailers. With its technical expertise in thermal food processing and its innovative range of technologies, Holmach Ltd was the ideal choice of partner to support Scotbeef in developing the production capabilities at its East Kilbride factory.
The project has seen the installation of a third Lagarde static retort from Holmach Ltd for the steam cooking of ‘slow cooked’ meat products in pouches. Other ‘slow-cook’ style foods are also in the pipeline.
To ensure the quality of the process before finalising the order, Scotbeef and Holmach Ltd carried out extensive trials at Lagarde’s research facility in the southern Rhone valley, France. This was to compare Lagarde’s retort with traditional technologies such as water bath and steam ovens.
Using the Lagarde retort, allows Scotbeef to optimise cooking processes to give repeatable quality without high energy usage. An autoclave uses about 40% of the steam required in a traditional steam oven process. Sophisticated PC software results in very accurate pressure and temperature control, in turn allowing the handling of delicate film and foil laminates without damage. Of course, fully automatic cooling of the product is also provided by the Lagarde retorts. Accuracy to within 0.5°C is part of a retort’s design requirement across the entire process.
Robbie Galloway, CEO of Scotbeef, commented: “We are very happy with the performance of our Lagarde retorts and from the technical advice, service and training we have received from Holmach Ltd.”
As well as pouches of meat, joints can be cooked to a specified core temperature and then cool if necessary, to chill temperatures without the need for operator intervention. Added to this is a capability to pasteurise recipe dish products and doypacks of stocks and sauces as required. All processes are automatically recorded for evaluation and validation.
Two doors ensure a ‘through the wall’ operation, separating high and low care environments and the machines are entirely constructed from stainless steel, ideal for use where brined meats or fish are being processed.
Holmach Ltd will be at the forthcoming 2020 FOODEX Exhibition. During the event it will be showcasing its range of innovative technologies on stand J180 in Hall 20.
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