The Organic Meat Company Limited’s expertise is in producing “tender and healthy” raw meat and meat products. Often, when the same size and breed of animals are used, many other factories around the globe would not yield the same results as at TOMCL. Due to our norms, SOP’s and policies there are certain steps that are mandatory during our production processes that achieve this tenderness and healthiness in our meat products that you will not find elsewhere. These steps include:
Research for Right Markets for the Procurement Of Animals:
Our in house Veterinary Department thoroughly researches areas in Pakistan which have had no reported epidemic outbreaks in the past several years. We believe in only buying animals from cities and villages in Pakistan which have remained disease-free to avoid any health risks. Therein, we currently only use markets in Southern Punjab, Central Punjab and Southern Sind to purchase animals. Furthermore, we work in areas whose animals are fed on green lands and with sweet water, in order to achieve a better quality of meat.
Veterinary and Quality Check Of Animals While Purchasing:
Although we buy animals from suppliers whose animals are kept on the identified disease-free markets, our veterinary representative is also present at the time of purchasing. Any animal, if judged to be unhealthy or weak for the purposes of production, is rejected and the supplier is asked not to purchase that specific animal. This check at the time of purchase is to ensure our animal supplies remain healthy and of the highest quality.
Pleasant and Comfortable Transportation of Animals:
We ensure that the animals are not overloaded in vehicles during transportation. Ample space for them to sit and stand is paramount during transit. Though, this is a task of approved animal suppliers. The management at TOMCL takes all possible measures to guarantee that animals are moved comfortably and at appropriate times of day to avoid temperatures above 29 degree centigrade. During the summer season, this only happens after the sun has set. It is also ensured that the animals are provided with ample green fodder while travelling. This practice results in less travelling trauma for the animals, resulting in less weight loss during their journeys and a better quality of meat.
Veterinary and Quality Check Of Animals At The Time Of Arrival (Inspection On Delivery):
The usual norm around the meat industry is checking the health and veterinary conditions of the animal prior to slaughtering. However, at TOMCL, the first checks are carried out as soon as the animals arrive at the processing plant. This check is different from the routine anti and post mortem inspections which are carried out prior to and during the production process. We do not believe in holding animals which do not meet our standards, even for a short period of time, in our lairage (holding) areas.
Proper Resting Time For Animals:
It is mandatory at TOMCL that every animal that arrives at our plant gets a complete 24 hours to rest. This resting time starts from the point when the animal reaches the designated lairage (holding) area and has been given water after travelling. Allowing the animals to rest properly results in the tender and fresh meat that TOMCL is known for.
Ample Fodder, Water and Resting Space for Animals:
It is ensured at all times that animals are provided with an ample amount of fodder (preferably brown fodder that is the broken coat of wheat seeds, rye or other cereal grain, separated from the flour by sifting or bolting), sweet drinking water free from any sort of filth or fungus along with a proper resting space which is free from any flying insects. This practice is to help with the reversal of any trauma suffered by the animals during transit and placement. The animals tend to relax more in the new environment. Alleviating this stress helps the muscles relax, resulting in more tender and juicier meat. If the same animal is slaughtered without providing sufficient resting time and proper resting facilities, the muscle will remain stressed, resulting in hard, blackish and dry meat.
Segregating Animals on Breed and Gender In Holding Area:
It is ensured at all times that animals during their resting period are segregated on the basis of gender, breed and the area of their origin i.e. “Desi” Bulls from Punjab go into one holding area, whereas buffaloes, cows and Bulls from Sind go into their own respective holding areas. This ensures a “sense of familiarity” amongst the animals, resulting in higher levels of relaxation during their resting period and therefore, better quality meat.
Showering Of Animals Before Slaughtering:
It is known via various researches that cattle like to take showers and enjoy being wet. We at TOMCL subscribe to this theory and shower each and every animal before slaughtering. The curved chute leading the animals from the holding area into the processing area is equipped with showers. Through this chute, the animals are showered with cold water in order to make their body further relaxed and remove any dirt.
Complete Segregation Of Slaughtering Area From Alive Animals:
The animal chute leading to the processing area, slaughtering belt, knocking box and the entire infrastructure of the slaughtering process is built in a way that no live animal can see any blood or remains of any previously slaughtered cattle or goat, as per the compliances of Halal slaughtering along with a belief that animals should not be exposed to any level of stress before slaughtering in order to achieve tender, juicy and healthy meat.
Sufficient Bleeding Out Time For Animals:
At TOMCL, we make sure to leave proper bleeding out time for animals. At least five minutes are given to every animal to bleed out on the bleeding tray next to the knocking box. This practice is to ensure that all bacteria and all blood is properly drained out from the carcass. This, too, results in healthier meat.
Sufficient Carcass Drying Out Time:
After washing of the carcass with RO water, the carcasses are properly dried with high powered fans before sending them to the chillers. We want the carcass to return to its original consistency and texture before placing it in the chiller. If the carcass reaches the chiller without drying then it will turn black in colour and may lose tenderness due to high humidity causing over shrinkage of the meat.
Gradual and Complete Chilling Of The Carcass:
To avoid any “Thermal” shock to the carcasses and its products, the temperature of the chillers is brought down gradually. For the first few hours the temperature remains at +12 degree centigrade and then it is brought down by 1 centigrade each hour reaching the optimum chilling temperature from 0-4 degree centigrade in the tenth hour of chilling. This ensures that there is no over shrinkage nor loss of freshness. Moreover, during the processing of any product, the carcass shall be chilled for at least 18 to 24 hours to prevent any bacterial growth.
Right pH Level For Processing:
It is guaranteed that carcasses for any sort of processing are only allowed to be processed if the PH level is between 5.7 and 6 PH. The optimum pH is determined by the extent of the pH decline 24 hours after slaughter. The disparity in optimum pH influences factors such as colour and the ability of the meat to retain water. A low pH results in meat proteins having a diminished water-holding capacity and a lighter colour. Conversely, a higher pH will have a darker colour and less drip loss. For slaughterhouses and advance processors like TOMCL, a lower pH will lead to less sellable product, due to increased drip losses during the production processes. Drip loss in a consumer package will negatively affect the appearance and thereby the purchase intent. Final pH also impacts eating quality characteristics such as juiciness, tenderness, and taste.
Avoiding Any Thermal Shock During Processing And Transportation:
TOMCL is built so that all of its meat processing areas including Meat Deboning Halls, Meat Ball Processing Area, Burger Patty Area, Carton Packaging Area, Vacuum Packaging Halls and Loading Bays have ambient temperatures of no more than +12 degrees centigrade to give the right ambiance for the meat. This Temperature Control ensures tender and healthier meat. Furthermore, during transportation, especially by air, meat is protected from any sunlight or heat shock to ensure the quality of meat. Whereas, for all sea and road transportation, thermographs are installed inside the refrigerated containers to ensure proper freezing or chilling throughout the transit period of the shipment.