Customer story

Bone detection and fat analysis at OSI

17 Aug 2015

OSI and Marel partner up to create a complete solution for raw material screening.

Food safety is a major global consumer concern. Food processor OSI Group, LLC provides value-added protein products to many leading food service and retail brands, and takes this concern very seriously. Two of their food safety concerns are the presence of bone in finished products and consistent product quality.

With the Trim Inspection System we have taken the bone complaints in one of our facilities down to absolutely zero in the last year and a half. This is a great accomplishment for us and for our customers.

Larry Glaser, Director Operations Support, OSI

Trim Inspection System

With no solution available in the market that could ensure bone-free finished product as well as analysis of the fat/lean ratio, OSI and Marel decided to work together to develop this type of system. The end result of this partnership was the Trim Inspection System that was installed at an OSI facility in 2012.

The Trim Inspection System (TIS) uses X-ray technology to detect bones and other hard contaminants as well as determine the actual lean/fat ratio (CL) of beef and pork trimmings. Bones and other foreign objects are removed from the product stream with an advanced reject mechanism in the system.

Prior to 2012, larger bones would pass through into the grinders which, in turn, produced many bone fragments. OSI relied on the bone elimination system of its grinders, which was only partially effective in eliminating all the pieces of bone that were created. This meant that the system was unfortunately perpetuating the problem it was intended to eliminate.

Reporting Results Increases Quality

OSI now uses the Trim Inspection System at the front end of the production process to detect and remove bones before they enter the grinders and become smaller and less easily detectable bone fragments.

Thanks to the system’s high level of precision, OSI can use specialized software to trace specific lots of raw material back to the originating suppliers. OSI uses the reports they get from the to monitor both the CL and number of foreign objects found. This has made OSI’s suppliers more accountable on both CL and bone content, so the quality of the raw material that OSI receives has improved dramatically since they started using the Trim Inspection System.

“At first, our suppliers could not accept that we were finding that much bone in the raw materials they provided,” says Larry Glaser, Director Operations Support for OSI. “However, we brought them into the plant and let them observe the system in operation. That quickly turned doubters into believers!”

Bryan Dedrickson, Plant Manager for OSI in West Jordan, Utah. Bryan Dedrickson, Plant Manager, OSI

OSI has realized similar advantages regarding CL. “With the scanning and reporting capabilities of the Trim Inspection System, we now can analyze every ounce of a 2000-pound combo to determine the fat/lean point,” explains Bryan Dedrickson, Plant Manager for OSI in West Jordan, Utah. “There are no more so-called ‘representative’ samples. We know from the outset whether or not a given shipment of beef measures up to the standards that we specified. If we specify 90 percent lean beef, plus or minus 2 percent, and the incoming raw material is only 85 percent lean, we can file a fat claim with the supplier.”

Consistency Means Happy Customers

OSI recipes often blend several different kinds of meat in order to create the product characteristics that clients expect. With precise lean points provided by the Trim Inspection System, the operators know exactly what they are introducing into the mix, which enables them to produce higher quality products more consistently than they could without the system. The accuracy of the system also reduces the downtime required to make corrections to the recipe.

“We can produce the same recipes with greater precision,” Larry Glaser explains. “Now, the product is right each and every time.”

New Opportunities

Larry Glaser sees new product opportunities with the Trim Inspection System. “The beauty of being able to eliminate bones in the product before it goes to the grinder, is that it offers us the opportunity to grind the meat slightly more coarsely. This in turn improves the texture or the bite of the products we manufacture. It really has opened up more opportunities for our business,” he says.

OSI at a Glance

OSI is a privately owned global food processing company providing value-added protein products to many leading food service and retail brands around the world.

The OSI Group was founded in 1909, by German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky, who sold meats from a wagon in downtown Chicago. In 1917, the business expanded into the wholesale meat trade. In 1955, the company began to supply hamburgers to a fledgling retail restaurant company whose primary business was sandwiches. OSI Group now has more than 50 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries worldwide.

For more information about OSI, visit

“Our suppliers have always had the ability to do what we need them to do. Trim Inspection System gives them the incentive to do it.” - Larry Glaser, Director Operations Support for OSI./