Tailor made bacon for retail, food service and industry
Despite the growth and size of our organization including the associated machines, we have always adhered to the method of the butchery, but on an industrial scale. Below is a description of our production process.
Our products are simple products (/muscle parts) and because of this, the inspection when receiving the raw material, the pork belly, is very important. Because when bellies are not delivered according to specifications, the consistency of the end product cannot be guaranteed. In order to arrive at a high-quality and consistent end product, we only buy pork bellies through certified and self-audited, fixed slaughterhouses from the EU15 member states. The bellies are purchased based on our own specification, in other words, we inform our suppliers which characteristics the bellies must meet based on the intended end product (bacon strips, breakfast bacon, fried breakfast bacon, etc.). This may include the manner of cutting, the meat fat ratio and / or the thickness and width of the belly.
After a batch of bellies has been received, checked and approved, the bellies are brined with a brine mix adapted for the final product. A brine mix consists of water, salt and additives, the so-called E-numbers. Brining the bellies guarantees the taste, shelf life and colour stability. Through our continuous attention to (technological) developments, alternative ingredients/additives or production methods are regularly examined, but ‘what you read is what you eat’, 100% of the recipe is declared.
Smoked on beech wood
In order to give our products the very distinctive smoky flavour they are smoked traditionally with beech wood, after the brining of all the end products (except for sauerkraut bacon, of course). During this traditional production process, the bellies are put in a smoke house for several hours, during which time the bellies lose a large part of the water added during the brining process and the bellies get the characteristic dark red colour.
Cutting, packing and logistics
After brining and smoking, the bellies are ready to be cut into strips, cubes or slices and packaged. In a large part of our packaging lines this is done ‘in-line’, in other words the pickled and smoked bellies are cut/sliced, packaged and labelled on one of the many packaging lines where the choice for the packaging line depends on the packaging requirement of the customer. After packaging, the products are largely placed in boxes or (CBL) crates in an automated process, and the boxes or crates are placed on a pallet after a visual inspection, to be cooled (<7 °C) or frozen (-18 °C) and transported to the customer / end-user.
Because the breaking down of bacon is a labour-intensive operation that is accompanied by a lot of smell and smoke, more and more professionals, but also consumers, opt for pre-fried bacon. Thanks to a finely tuned baking process, we are able to bake a very constant end product whereby the baking percentage and the final weight are very critically monitored and realized. After baking, excess fat is blown off the product using various powerful ‘air knives’, after which the slices or bacon (strips) are manually selected and packed cooled or frozen.
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