Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TENBRIN (Application of high power ultrasounds (HPUs) to improve the sustainability in meat TENderize and BRINe processes)
Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-02-28
Ageing, the natural tenderization process widely used by meat producers, consists in holding the meat unpacked (dry ageing) or vacuum packed (wet ageing) under refrigeration for long periods (7 – 90 days depending on the age of the animal and the meat cut. The main limitation of the process is that is highly time- and energy-consuming (more than 28.000 Kw per carcass) resulting in high processing costs (e.g. 3,000 € for a 500Kg carcass tenderized 15 days, 0.4 €/Kg per day). Longer tenderization periods required for tougher cuts make the process unprofitable for meat producers who finally sell these cuts as minced or processed meat, losing market value. In this scenario, it is clear why the meat industry is strongly interested in a more efficient solution for meat tenderization, which can help increase profit margins in fresh meat products and revalorize those tougher beef meats.
Trying to provide a solution to this problem, we have developed TENBRIN: a high efficient equipment for meat tenderization based on High Power Ultrasounds technology as an alternative to traditional aging. Our optimized tenderization process will lead to a time reduction up to 80% for the whole tenderization process for a wide range of meat cuts and animal types. Moreover, we considered the possibility to expand its functionality to meat brining, prompted by the demonstrated ability of HPUS to accelerate mass transfer in food systems making it an ideal solution for this kind of processes. With our innovative equipment we address to meat processing industry as well as to big supermarkets, hypermarkets and Cash & Carry that have their own meat processing and packaging plants, offering the solution for obtaining high quality meat with minimum operating costs.
The tasks necessary for product optimization and manufacturing have been outlined. The technical requirements for final validation at full operational environment have been also described and potential end-users have been identified. Moreover, a technical analysis to identify potential technical, commercial and managerial risks assessment has been carried out and the adequate contingency measures have been determined.
From a commercial point of view RI-LAVO conducted a detailed market analysis including market value and growth rate, market drivers and trends and competitor profiling. In addition, a Freedom to Operate check has been carried out and a preliminary IPR protection strategy has been discussed. The key regulations and technical standards that TENBRIN should meet with has also been defined. A commercialization and dissemination strategy including target countries and key stakeholders to approach has been carried out and the financial objectives have been aligned with commercial forecasted achievements.
RI-LAVO has performed an estimation of total revenue, operating costs, payback and ROI until 2024 based on which the decision to continue with the development of TENBRIN proposal was made.
With this feasibility study we have re-evaluated our initial ideas/ objectives adapting a more customer-oriented approach that helped us make useful conclusions concerning our target end-users and our future actions towards the successful commercialization of TENBRIN. A further phase 2 will be targeted at the following critical activities:
- Optimizing the treatment chamber and the US source.
- Applying improvements on the optimized prototype that will be dictated after installation and testing at end user’s facility.
- Validating the final industrial prototype at full operational conditions to demonstrate system efficiency and minimum energy consumption.
- Preparing a solid commercialization plan and a dissemination strategy that will help us build a strong sales network in the target countries.