Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

DRYCHECK — Result In Brief

Project ID: 262029
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Spain

Meat drying meets technology

The craft of salting, smoking and curing comes of age with the integration of technology. A newly developed system improves flavour and reduces spoilage.
Meat drying meets technology
Funded by the EU, the project 'Electrical impedance-based system to monitor drying process in sausages' (DRYCHECK) designed this user-friendly system to measure and report chamber information. Chambers are used to ripen and dry the meats. The control system uses sensors placed within the chambers to calculate and give adjustments for the chamber environment.

Under enormous pressure from decreasing exports and the economic crisis, activities in the EUR 267 million market for dried meats can no longer only be done on a manual basis. The industry wanted to reduce spoilage and increase quality with improved, precise indicators of sausage maturity. This newly created electrical impedance-based system to monitor the drying process in sausages fills this need.

Research steps included written documentation of best practices for the drying process. The multi-electrode system for measuring meat data like weight, density, temperature and relative humidity was designed and developed. The system requires little power at a low speed.

Data analysis and sensitivity distribution were taken into account during the final algorithm implementation, and during the building of the prototype researchers finalised physical and mechanical construction items. The sausage drying and maturation process was refined in the last steps of the research, and physical–chemical details were noted. The control rules were applied once the system was validated and the prototype was installed and monitored.

This is the first commercial system created to automate and maintain a high, consistent standard of sausage drying. The commercialised DRYCHECK system benefits small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as larger manufacturers. The resulting business opportunities are from the sale of the software and firmware. Additional revenue can be generated from direct adaptation, installation and maintenance of the system plus customer service sales. Sales and service of the product are expected to generate over EUR 2 million in revenue. The hardware and software is copyrighted.

The commercial value of the technology will remain proprietary to the EU and reduce spoilage, thereby increasing profitability.

Related information

Keywords

Salting, smoking, curing, spoilage, drying process, sausage, chamber environment, dried meat, multi-electrode system, sausage drying, drying and maturation
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