Working to educate customers about U.S. pork raw materials and advanced manufacturing technologies, USMEF conducted training seminars in China for three meat processing companies that are experiencing growth in the processed food sector. Funding for the seminars held at COFCO Foods, Pengcheng Foods and Ershang Foods was provided by the Pork Checkoff.
Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China, led the seminars and noted that representatives from all three companies would subsequently travel to the United States for one of the USMEF global processing seminars at the University of Wisconsin. In China, Liang was joined by meat experts Jeff Sindelar and Andy Milkowski, both from the university’s animal sciences department that conducts the global processing seminars.
“The three programs were custom-tailored for each company based on the background and target needs we identified prior to the trip,” explained Liang, who added that informing Chinese processors about technical issues, product availability and market conditions is one way to keep them focused on U.S. pork.
USMEF’s overarching goals for the training sessions were to educate Chinese meat processors about the utilization of frozen U.S. raw materials and to share with them the latest U.S. processed meat manufacturing technologies. Each of the trainings included classroom presentations and hands-on demonstrations by Sindelar and Milkowski, as well as overviews of the U.S. pork industry provided by Liang.
Importantly, the seminars featured practical applications, with a showcase of products manufactured from frozen U.S. pork cuts – including spare ribs, bellies, boneless butts and picnics – that were thawed for processing and then manufactured. Products that resulted from this process were shared with participants, along with ideas for new items.
“Each of these companies has well-run plants using modern equipment, segregated frozen meat defrosting areas, products like frankfurters produced in vacuum bowl choppers and vacuum temperature controlled tumblers used for injected whole muscle items,” said Liang. “So we were able to show them how to get the most out of U.S. pork raw material.”
About 30 people from a variety of COFCO business locations took part in a seminar at one of the company’s plants in Wuhan.
As they would do in subsequent training sessions, Sindelar and Milkowski performed a number of demonstrations: whole muscle manufacturing, bacon and hams, freezing and defrosting of raw materials and carcass and primal fabrication.
Defrosted U.S. pork loins and bellies were used to make American-style products, ribs were marinated for barbecuing and trimmings were used in manufacturing frankfurters.
A three-day session was held at Pengcheng Foods in Beijing for the company’s research and development department. The seminar included not only a detailed discussion of defrosting and manufacturing of ham, bacon and frankfurters, but also of marinated and rubbed products.
This seminar held at Ershang Foods in Beijing was anchored around the same demonstrations as the previous two trainings, along with a sausage manufacturing demonstration highlighting frankfurters and smoked sausages.
“Plant staff who assisted were exceptionally well-trained and understood brine making, injection tumbling, macerating and other batching procedures,” said Liang. “It was clear that the audience was interested in understanding the proper usage of frozen U.S. raw materials. Through our discussion, the attendees also gained a better understanding of pork quality. We believe they realized the value and importance of meat quality and consistency. There was considerable discussion and questions about the presentation on defrosting systems, as well.”