French lardon processor gets its fill

Related tags Retailing Ishida

A complete solution for the weighing and packing of salmon lardons has been supplied by Ishida Europe to smoked fish specialist Meralliance based in France, enabling the company to reduce product giveaway while enhancing pack presentation in retail outlets. 

Meralliance produces 4,500t of smoked fish each year and lays claim to developing the smoked salmon lardon, an ingredient that is growing in popularity as an extra touch of quality and flavour in pasta, salads, quiches, soups, kedgerees and many other dishes.

Before the installation of the new line the salmon lardons were weighed out and manually placed on the infeed conveyor of a thermoformer. This laborious approach was fast becoming a limitation and the company sought to automate the process in order to meet three key objectives: avoid overfill (a phenomenon that is inevitable with manual packing), improve working conditions and offer retailers the best possible pack presentation.

The chilled smoked salmon is diced, sorted on a vibratory conveyor and conveyed by vacuum directly to the dispersion table of a multihead weigher. The weigher is a 10-head model of the Ishida RS-Series, equipped with a product feed /vibratory system.

Giveaway has been sharply reduced, with overfill now less than 1%. Trays are denested and conveyed to an Ishida distribution system, where each receives its portion from the weigher. Next, the trays pass through an Ishida QX-775 tray sealer, where they are nitrogen flushed and sealed.

Tray format (147mm x 113mm x 18mm) and portion size (90g) are such that each pack is quite full, a challenge that the distribution system and the QX-775's sealing system are able to meet very effectively in order to satisfy Meralliance's on-edge pack presentation requirements on supermarket shelves.

Contact: Ishida EuropeTel: 0121 607 7700

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood

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