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ValueDrum makes every bite taste good
02 Sep 2013
2 Sisters Storteboom
2 Sisters Storteboom B.V. is a division of UK-based 2Sisters Food Group Ltd., a major food company in Europe. With eight production sites in the Netherlands and one in Poland, 2 Sisters Storteboom is one of the larger poultry processors in Europe.
The Zeewolde facility opened in 2011 and focused on restaurants and wholesale. But when several major Dutch supermarket chains chose 2 Sisters Storteboom as their main supplier for poultry, the retail market strongly came into focus.
Marel installed a demo version of the ValueDrum.
After three hours of testing, we called them: forget about temporary, we are going to keep this machine!
– Hans van Norden, Plant Manager 2 Sisters Storteboom
Plant Manager Hans van Norden: ”With our new customers we also welcomed a relatively new market for us: retail. Demand for easy-to-prepare, readily seasoned products is fast growing in the Netherlands, we knew we had to focus on that. Marinating is a very effective way of increasing a product’s quality and ease of cooking, so that’s what we chose to invest in”.
Marinating wasn’t new to 2 Sisters Storteboom: “We had already been producing ready-to-cook products on a small scale, using conventional tumblers. That works, but we really want to be ready to step up in scale. Conventional tumblers create all kinds of logistic problems when dealing with large quantities: there’s a lot of handling and loading and they create buffers, seriously interrupting product flow. This also affects the visual and bacteriological quality of the products. Also, we would be needing very large tumblers, but products get crushed and damaged in those. Bad for quality and it doesn’t look good when packed for retail”.
“Marel came into view early. They have been one of our main suppliers for years and we have an excellent relationship. It only made sense to ask them for a solution”, Van Norden recalls. Marel suggested installing the relatively new ValueDrum.
“Marel installed a demo version of an updated ValueDrum in our plant in Zeewolde. The deal was, it would be here temporarily, mainly for testing purposes. But after only three hours of vigorous testing we called them on the phone: forget about temporary, we are going to keep this machine!”
The ValueDrum has many advantages over traditional tumblers. Because products are constantly moving separately, they cannot be crushed under their own weight. This also guarantees an even distribution of marinade and herbs on the products. Van Norden: “This is more than just cosmetic, it is also really important for the taste. You want every bite to taste good!”
Another big advantage Van Norden mentions is the handling: “We don’t use it fully in line yet, but already we see the advantages. It’s really easy to load and the end products can be loaded and packed in retail trays right from the machine’s conveyor. It’s also very easy to change recipes: no more weighing and measuring, the computer takes care of that.”
Another important plus, typical for poultry products, is ‘skin coverage’: for both looks and taste it’s vital the chicken skin stays on when processing legs, wings or whole birds. Van Norden: “As this is crucial for product quality, we used to do a lot of manual restyling to our products after marinating. Very time-consuming and expensive, I can assure you… But with the ValueDrum, skin coverage is very high, so restyling is hardly an issue anymore. This has already saved us a lot of time and money!”
Production with the ValueDrum is still not at a maximum. “At the moment we’re not yet using the machine at its full potential, but it plays an essential role in expanding our range. We are planning on doubling production in the very near future and we are already contemplating working in shifts. Like I said, there’s a huge market there for us and the ValueDrum helps us to conquer it.”