In today’s society, time is money, and multitasking is a job requirement. Especially when the task requires utmost precision, quality cannot be sacrificed for time, and the prospect of expediting processes seems unattainable. As more and more companies have come to find, a harmonious balance is crucial. For Culinary Farms, a supplier of sun-dried produce, located in Woodland, Northern California, productivity and efficiency are two ingredients that are constantly sought after, and constantly being improved.
Manufacturing and supplying sun-dried produce, including roasted red and green peppers, roasted authentic Mexican chilies, and tomatoes, Culinary Farms spends much of its time creating custom orders – meaning, orders with special custom moisture weights. Culinary Farms is essentially a “one-stop-shop” for its customers, upholding a responsibility to grow, cut, manufacture, ship and transport products.
Since Culinary Farms’ founding in 1995, its attention to quality control has been managed by its “Quality Assurance Program,” a program set in place as a form of checks-and-balances. Through this self-instilled Quality Assurance Program, and the program’s widespread adherence, Culinary Farms ensures the value and food safety of their final products.
During the company’s process of manufacturing, one of the most important sub-processes is moisture analysis. Given that most of Culinary Farms’ business is encompassed by custom-made orders, the specification of the amount of moisture in the final product in the primary focus, and must fall within a two percent margin.
“The entire operation at Culinary Farms is one that involves multiple steps,” said Deepak Singh, Operations Manager at Culinary Farms. “We’ve put much effort into trying to figure out the best ways to save time, and as a result, complete orders faster.”
Singh explained that the process of moisture analysis at Culinary Farms is one that has evolved over the past few years, and ultimately proven to be a time-saving, quality-preserving process. About a decade ago, Culinary Farms used a standard vacuum machine to achieve the ideal moisture weight in all of the products. This vacuum machine is a piece of equipment commonly used in food-service laboratories. However, the vacuum machines required six hours to complete one batch of product, and became quite an inhibitor of productivity.
“After using the vacuum machine, Culinary Farms decided to transition over to a water activity meter, which significantly shortened the amount of time necessary for a batch test. This machine however, only served as an interim device until we uncovered a moisture analyzer balance, which provided a closer range of measurement and at an even faster speed,” said Singh.
The particular moisture analyzer that Culinary Farms chose was the OHAUS MB45. In general, when testing for the moisture of any given food order, Culinary Farms conducts a moisture test approximately two or three times. A process which once allowed for only one batch test to be completed in six hours, had now been reduced to 30 minutes by the MB45 and enabled multiple batches to be completed in that span. The moisture analyzer integrates a state-of-the-art halogen heating element with precise weighing technology that allows for fast and accurate moisture content determination.
The OHAUS MB45 has a simple interface with a programmable library of test parameters which permits the operator to place the food product in the balance and identify the tests to be performed; it does not require the operator to stay with the machine during the tests. In addition, the large display on the moisture analyzer is able to display real time results throughout the duration of the test and is also capable of connecting to a peripheral device allowing the operator to save, print, and/or display the results.
“Upon adopting the OHAUS moisture analyzer, our output has largely increased, which in turn, increases our customer base and profit,” added Singh.
Ultimately, for Culinary Farms, the change and implementation of one element within its entire line of production resulted in vast and positive differences. Time was saved. Quality was preserved. The bottom line increased. Although all companies would like to find ways to save time without affecting the value of their final product, few find success similar to that of Culinary Farms. A reevaluation of processes and products can sometimes lead to results that were never anticipated, or in the case of Culinary Farms, truly transform time into money.
For additional information, contact OHAUS Corporation at 973-377-9000, or visit the Web site at www.OHAUS.com.