(Editor’s Note: This is an online-only article attributed to the February/March 2019 issue.)
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Explore this issueFebruary/March 2019
Lamb Weston, a producer of fries and frozen potato products, sells over 80 million portions of fries around the world every day—from fast-food conglomerates to the frozen food aisle of the neighborhood grocery store.
To make that happen, Lamb Weston employs over 6,000 people worldwide, with 14 manufacturing and food processing facilities in North America alone. But no matter where they’re produced or for whom, Lamb Weston prides itself on quality products and customer satisfaction. The exact specs desired by each customer vary depending on the customer type (fast-food restaurant versus hospitality industry versus consumer/grocer) as these parameters have a direct impact on details like plate presence, crispiness, and hold times. All of these characteristics are affected by solids (moisture) levels, fat content, and in the case of sweet potatoes—total sugar or surface moisture—in the potatoes as they go through the production process. Whether carving out curly fries or stamping sweet potato CrissCut fries, it’s impossible to produce a uniform, quality product in so many locations at that volume without exceptional quality control processes in place.
Gaining Quality Control
For the past 10 years, Lamb Weston has relied on near infrared (NIR) analyzers from Unity Scientific to ensure quality and consistency for its customers. To that end, for their fry production lines, there are two points in the process where Lamb Weston utilizes the Unity Scientific SpectraStar analyzers. The first location is at-line after the fryer, which allows for rapid determination of solids on the production floor. The second location is in the lab, where grab samples are taken when the product is first frozen for a final quality test before packaging and shipping. If the solids levels are too low, spoilage increases. If the solids levels are too high, crispiness suffers.| | | Next → | Single Page