Salami - raw material savings


The preparation of a meat salami is a process of fermentation and drying. When drying the salami obviously looses weight, because its water is absorbed in the air. Many of these salamis are dried together in one big dry-room. The time when the salami can leave the dry-room is the time when 98% of all salamis still have the weight mentioned on the final package. It's clear that when you sell a salami of 100 grams, the consumer should get a salami of 100 grams. Only 2% of the sold salamis can then have less then 100 grams.

The water (lost when drying) is only attached to the enzymes we can find in the meat portion of the salami, and not in the fat portion. As constant the meat/fat ratio of the salami, the closest we can work towards the final weight. The salami manufacturer shall therefore always mix lean meat with fat.


The problem can be narrowed to the number of test samples we take from the meat and fat to determine what the fat concentration is. When you take one sample each 1000kg meat, and based on that sample you fix the fat concentration for the 1000kg, you will get a statistical big variance. Because of this you will have to set your target weight of your raw salami much higher, to be sure 98% of your salamis is according the weight you promise the consumer. The more samples we take the sharper the Gauss curve will be, and the lower the target weight for the raw salami.

There is equipment that through video analysis can measure the fat ratio of meat. For the same 1000kg we could get 100 samples instead of 1. However, the processing of these samples, and conversion into settings for the weigh equipment, is too labor intensive to be profitable.

With PROMES software we can do the processing automatically.

Bottom line?

The normal distribution theory learns us that we can save easily 5% on raw material consumption. This will also reduce the drying time, and so reduce the cycle time, increase capacity. For this specific example we also can replace a lean meat portion with cheaper fat.