Q&A with Stefan Neumann
Q&A with Stefan Neumann, Sausage Specialist at Reiser.
Question: What is a notable challenge in sausage production?
SN: Product length will always be a challenge, given those natural casings are by nature different diameters from one end to the other. The equipment has to control both of these factors.
Question: What are some examples of Reiser’s innovations in sausage production to overcome such challenges?
SN: For volumes up to 1,500 pounds of production per hour, Vemag has patented a system for portioning and linking natural casings that control the diameter of the sausage through a sizing nozzle. With Vemag’s high speed link sausage system, we achieve in excess of 3,000 pounds per hour. This system uses a divider belt that captures the casing within a predetermined (desired sausage length) section of the moving belt. The Vemag monitors the speed that belt travels and adjusts the speed of the flow of sausage to give the portion the exact weight per link, allowing for length and weight control.
Question: How are such systems versatile, in meeting the different needs of different sausage makers?
SN: Reiser and Vemag have developed a range of equipment using the same technology and principles to service the small meat plant that has a piston stuffer to a large hot dog operation producing over 5,000 pounds per hour. The equipment comes in sizes to meet any production volumes and product types.
Question: How do vacuum stuffers compare to piston stuffers, and what are some key benefits?
SN: When creating these systems, product coming off a piston stuffer was the benchmark. We used that product to compare our product from the Vemag.
The benefit of the Vemag vacuum stuffer began with the sausage makers able to run continuously batch after batch. With a piston stuffer, as part of the process of releasing water or air pressure from the chamber, an operator would have to open the lid to swing it out of the way and hand pack the cylinder full of emulsion. The lid would be closed and when the operator was ready to stuff the casing they would pressurize the cylinder again. Pressurized cylinders can be dangerous in a sausage kitchen, with the potential for flying lids, damaged ceilings, and worse – personal injury to the operators.
There are other time and labor advantages, too. Piston stuffers for many years were only able to straight stuff a casing, where the Vemag continuous stuffer incorporated the technology of portioning and twist linking casings and eliminates hand linking.
And then there is eating quality and consumer satisfaction. The benefit of particle definition and mouthfeel from the product made with a piston stuffer was impossible to replicate until the mid-1990s. Vemag was able to add a grinder knife and grinder plates driven by the technology of the double screw to give what is known as “just in time” grinding. A Vemag with just in time grinding today has superior particle definition and mouthfeel.