A young staffmember working in the quality assurance field at Kilcoy Pastoral Co’s meatworks in southeast Queensland has received an important industry award, presented during this week’s Australian Meat Industry Council business forum in Adelaide.
Natasha Masierowski received the $15,000 Cryovac-sponsored Industry Study award, providing the opportunity to travel overseas to learn more about latest packaging and processing technologies.
Cryovac’s Richard Tomasevic said the independent judges were impressed with Ms Masierowski’s development of modifications to packaging technology used at Kilcoy to increase yield recovery for portion control work and greatly improve the visual presentation of certain products packed under Kilcoy’s brand programs.
In accepting the award yesterday, Ms Masierowski said the production of world class beef products included the need for advanced packaging solutions that would enhance that reputation.
As quality assurance officer in charge at Kilcoy, she has led the site’s move into high-strength and contoured vacuum bags for certain primals.
“The result is that the product holds its shape better in the bag, there is less wastage, and there is potentially less movement of the product in the bag, creating less weep and delivering a better visual appearance for the customer,” she said.
While the adoption of the new high-strength, high-gloss bags meant slightly higher material cost, Kilcoy believed it would more than recoup the investment in better product performance, presentation and visual appeal.
Kilcoy is still carrying out shelf-life and product presentation trials, but also anticipates gaining a shelf-life improvement, and reduction in the incidence of blown bags.
The new vacuum seal bags, used on chilled grainfed product packed under the company’s Golden Jubilee brand, also do away with the familiar ‘ears’ on bags used to pack tenderloins, for example.
Currently the new contoured bags are used to pack items as diverse as tenderloins and tongues, with rumps being included next, followed by other primals.
Early reaction from customers, both in Australia and overseas, to the move had been ‘very positive’, Ms Masierowski said.
“Although our previous packaging was very good, the move has cleaned-up the presentation further, leaving a very neat, tidy pack,” she said.
The $15,000 Cryovac bursary is designed to fund a study tour for a young red meat processing or retail industry stakeholder to develop their knowledge and understanding of packaging solutions being used in international markets.
Cryovac encourages meat processors, retailers and others to consider nominating younger staff 18-39 years for next year’s award, to be presented at the AMIC exporter conference back on the Gold Coast.
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