Measurement of Product Samples

Having ensured that the Fatmeter is operating correctly you can now proceed to the measurement of product samples…

It is extremely important to follow the instructions on the Measurement Instruction Chart supplied for the fish you intend sampling. Here is a quick check routine…

  • You have chosen the correct product calibration.
  • You have checked to ensure that the product is indeed a natural meat product, free of additives and other additions.
  • Select 300 gms of minced meat product.
  • For best accuracy the grind size should be between 3-8 mm and the product homogenous and uniform.
  • Product temperature should be between 0 – 10°C, with no ice crystals present in the sample.
  • Ensure that the sample has no air cavities within the sample by hand pressing the sample into a “patty” or “sausage” shape.
  • Ensure that the sensor is placed firmly against the product, thus ensuring that there are no air pockets between the sensor and the product.
  • It is normal to experience great variability in the individual readings. The coarser the sample, the greater the variability…an important check for product uniformity.
  • EIGHT readings should be taken around the sample. The object is to try and obtain readings that are truly representative of ALL of the sample. This will ensure the greatest accuracy. The AVERAGE result displayed by the fatmeter is representative of ALL 300 gms of that sample.
  • The data is automatically stored in memory for later downloading to PC via Software supplied by Distell.

Preparation of product samples for sending to Laboratory…

It is important that ALL 300 gms is packaged and sent to the laboratory for the analysis. The sample should be stored in a sealed polythene bag immediately after measurement. This will avoid dehydration and drip loss from the product sample.

Here is a quick checklist for the laboratory…

  • All 300 gms should be received at the lab, properly packed and sealed.
  • All 300 gms should be blended, ensuring that any drippage is included in the blended sample
  • The sample should be blended to create as homogenous a sample as possible.
  • The lab personnel MUST take THREE samples of product from different parts of the blend for the chemical analysis. This will illustrate the homogeneity obtained by the blending process.
  • The average of the laboratory triplicate analysis should be compared with the trplicate readings taken using the Fatmeter.
  • They should compare favourably to accuracy claims in Handbook.

If the results do not compare favourably…

Check the Fatmeter use, as follows…

  • Has the correct calibration been used on the Fatmeter
  • Has the Fatmeter been checked on the Check Pad
  • Is the operator proficient in the use of the Fatmeter
  • Is the product sample truly within the specification of the Fatmeter calibration being used
  • Check the product for uniformity, grind size and preparation

Check Laboratory procedure, as follows…

  • Analytical method being used
  • Sample preparation is OK
  • Three samples, from differents parts of the original 300 gms blend have been analysed

In conclusion…

This is just a short Check List on how to use and compare the Fatmeter with other methods.

Remember that the primary purpose of using the Fatmeter is to screen a lot of product for Uniformity and Specification….not possible using other off-line methods.

During the production process, finite accuracy is not the objective…the object is to try and ensure that the bulk of the day’s production is within specifications time after time.

If, after these checks there is still a significant difference, please contact Distell for advice and help.