Dataloggers are finding a use in many process applications, including food processing. A meat processor in California is using the FlashLink datalogger from DeltaTrak Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., to track the temperature of its high quality sausages throughout the fermentation and processing phases.
Fermentation adds a taste element that is hard to duplicate any other way. The acid produced by the fermentation allows for longer shelf life and a tangy taste. After mixing and stuffing the sausages, they are held at 90oF (32oC) to undergo fermentation. The sausages then are smoked, cooked or dried.
The California sausage maker uses the datalogger to ensure that the sausages are held at 90oF during fermentation, 130oF (54oC) during smoking and finally 165oF (74oC) during cooking. The data derived from the DeltaTrak logger provides foolproof indications of any exposure to temperatures that might affect the quality of the sausages.
The sausage maker also uses the datalogger to ensure that the meat products are held below 40oF (4oC) in the coolers or storage rooms. Its LCD screen lets the company view current temperature while the internal microprocessor memory records the temperature at user-set intervals. Temperature data is downloaded directly to a computer and used to produce a report documenting HACCP critical control points as well as product identification, date, time and lot traceability.