Meat+Poultry - July 2018 - ground beef - 6
G R O U ND BE E F P R OC ESSING
Cator says. "A lot of people are out there trying
to do it in different ways but don't actually use
sous-vide, which requires 100 percent submersion cooking and allows the most consistent
product all the way through. That's something
we've been able to commercialize. We have 25
years' experience in it."
People are after the better eating experience and a product they can buy fresh without
any preservatives, yet still has the shelf life that
works for a restaurateur or the retail market.
Cardinal can offer Safe Sous-Vide products without any preservatives that can be sold refrigerated for a 100-day shelf life.
Not being afraid to adapt or change with the times
is a strategy that has worked well for Cardinal,
and the leadership team listens to its client base
to get ahead of any needs by finding technological solutions.
"I spend a great deal of my time combing
the world for new or different technologies that
will become solutions for my customers' needs,"
Cator says. "Some may be available in other parts
of the world, and we can give them that solution."
An example of that is when several of its
foodservice customers were looking for a burger
that cooked faster because restaurants couldn't
cook the bigger burgers fast enough to meet their
customers' needs. Cardinal went out and put in
place its first Tender-Form application for burgers - the very first Tender-Form equipment used
in the world - and it was able to supply customers with a thicker burger that cooked in the same
time as a thinner burger. That process has now
become the industry standard for how burgers
"Fast forward in time and Cardinal found
its customers seeking less-processed or minimally processed products; yet high pressure
is used in Tender-Form, and they wanted their
burgers to have all the great cooking attributes
of Tender-Form, yet the benefits in eating experience that comes with chefs making it in the
back by hand," Cator explains. "We went out and
found a technology that was being used for a
completely different application, scaled it for the
North American market, and now 70 percent of
all burgers we sell are under what is known as
Natural Texture Forming. It is made in basically
a zero-pressure environment and cooks faster,
shrinks less and truly fits the definition of a minimally processed product."
2018 GROUND BEEF TRENDS + TECHNOLOGY MEAT+ POULTRY
all stand behind the
company's mantra -
"You can with Cardinal."
Cator says the company is always looking at
what could be the next big thing and what will
bring added value to its customers. That has led
to innovations such as robotics being added to
the receiving end of the operation to be more
cost-effective from a labor standpoint; the latest
X-ray technologies being added to certain lines to
enhance food safety; and working with the latest
and greatest in new bone-separating technology,
"Those are hundreds of thousands of dollars
per advancement and we are taking capabilities
already in place and upgrading them to make
sure we have the latest, state-of-the-art tech," he
says. "It's a continuous investment in the core
fundamentals of the business."
Contemplating the meat market in 2018,
Cator notes there are trends starting to crystalize
from what was originally perceived as consumers' interest into the reality of what the consumers' interest actually is.
Take vegetarian burgers for example. He says
there's a big following of people for that segment
- and Cardinal is Canada's largest veggie burger
producer - but when interest started, most of the
product was soy-based.
"Soon, consumers started looking for a source
of protein and something they felt comfortable
with eating with their friends who were eating
burgers," Cator explains. "People got way out
there in what a veggie burger would consist of and
what's starting to develop is this niche of an individual who is after this one thing and is best done