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Hampshire Pet Products

HAMPSHIRE PET PRODUCTS

Hampshire Pet Products makes complex pet treats


Soft baked, cold-formed, grain-free, potato-based, and other intricate pet treats. “When we continually increase the complexity of the products that we make, we need to increase the amount of monitoring that we do and the science that supports our bakers’ decision-making,” says COO Julie Larsen. “SKALA has been a good tool. It helps us know, at the beginning of the process, if the moisture values are correct.”

 

 

CONSISTENT QUALITY

According to Todd Dunlop, Director of Quality Assurance and R&D, the process is simple. What’s hard is making the treats consistently, to spec, every time. “We were used to getting reports on products that had already been run and packaged, where there was nothing we could do to change the outcome,” Dunlap says.

End to end water activity and moisture content measurements

Now, Hampshire measures water activity and moisture content in raw materials on receipt, tracks dough temperature, retakes both measurements after the bake step, and performs a final water activity and moisture content check on finished goods.

AQUALAB 3

Breaking the speed barrier. Using SKALA-powered predictive AI, the AQUALAB 3 delivers both water activity and moisture content readings on a single sample in one minute.

Evauluate water activity throughout the process

“Making water activity measurements after the bake step lets us evaluate before we go to the dryer. This has benefits we didn’t see when we used moisture content. It lets us make adjustments at the dryer to reduce our scrap and increase yield.

 

Continuous improvement

“Before we were asking, ‘Can we release this product or not?’ Now we’re asking what happened, how can we improve our process, how can we set parameters during the process to make sure we’re running within specification through the whole process, and we know in time to make changes.”

Environment monitoring

SKALA’s environmental monitoring has also allowed Hampshire to account for seasonal impacts. “We’ve always had summer and winter run parameters. But now we can measure temperature and relative humidity to control based on actual conditions,” Dunlop says. “The system records the parameters that are linked to making a successful product under those specific conditions, so we can use the data to refine our production process.

Data-driven decisions

“Every time a test is taken, a data point is entered in the system. It gives us feedback to help our people, make sure they’re doing the right things at the right times, helps them be successful in their roles.”

Hampshire Pet Products

Talk to an expert

“SKALA is a great competitive advantage in helping us achieve product consistency and avoid waste. Our customers get the same product out of the package every single time.”

Todd Dunlop
Director of Quality Assurance and R&D
Hampshire Todd Dunlop, Director of QA

Water activity in petfood

Water activity’s usefulness as a quality and safety measurement was suggested when it became evident moisture content could not adequately account for microbial growth fluctuations.