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24 August 2016

Opportunity for Development:

Amide Nitrogen or Degree of Hydrolysis Detection

A large food manufacturer requires a fast in-line method of detecting amide nitrogen levels within their protein raw material and seeks expertise from industry and/or academia to collaborate on the adoption of a robust sensing solution.

  • Development timeframe: 12-24 months
  • Intended application: Raw hide characterisation

Further Information

The company seeks to optimise their production process and gain an improved understanding on the variations within the raw material. There is a correlation between amide nitrogen Innovation Bubble Photoconcentration and various properties of the end product such as tensile strength. Thus, as an alternative to detection of amide nitrogen, complementary detection of mechanical/chemical properties of the hides may also be helpful.

Currently there is no fast method of assessing the levels of amide nitrogen, or degree of hydrolysis, within the wet raw material. The hides arrive from the tannery in batches organised by:

  • Animal type (i.e. cows/pigs)
  • Animal origin
  • Animal age
  • Cut of hide (i.e. belly/shoulder etc..)

They remain in their designated batches and are mixed together to optimise further process and achieve consistent product quality across all processing lines. The hides go through a two-day wash cycle before being ground down in size. The team monitor current levels on the grinding machines and can detect thicker/stiffer hides from current variation. Being able to rapidly sample a couple of hides from each batch could help the company optimise their production process even further.

Furthermore, the ability to continuously monitor levels of specific functional groups present in their proteinaceous end product could provide the potential to develop a qualitative measure for process and product development.

The company is processing up to 20 tonnes of hides per day, each hide weighing approximately 30kg, therefore approximately 650 hides per day.

Contact Details

If your organisation could help support this challenge, please contact Craig Fleming. Email or call 0141 330 4008.