Tressbrüder’s ready-made vegan meals are prepared in the K + G Wetter’s hygienic-safe vacuum cutter.
the Tress Lebensmittel GmbH & Co. KG Since autumn 2022, it has been producing fully organic, vegan ready meals with mostly regional ingredients in Zwiefalten in the Swabian Alb. The VCM 120 Hygienic Secure vacuum cutter is also involved in production and is responsible for processing vegetable proteins K+G weather.
In an industrial area above Zwiefalten, Tress set up production of the final production line under the name “Tressbrüder”. Benjamin Bruce is in charge of production here. The 33-year-old is a trained butcher and moved to Tressbrüder in 2022 after 16 years at a local butcher shop.
“I just wanted to learn something completely new,” says Bruce. So new that there is no consistent name for his job. “Production manager, product developer, operations developer, I have a lot of different tasks here,” says Bross. In fact, he helped set up production from the very first machine – stocking, peeling and cutting machines, cooking kettles, cooling – and of course, the cutter.
The K+G Wetter vacuum breaker was his express desire to produce. “We used to work well with K + G Wetter in the butcher’s shop and I am convinced of the machine. It can be used in many ways, for example thanks to the removable stowage wall.” The stowage wall creates a compact cutting space suitable for the high shear strength of the knives and for emulsification.
The cutter is equipped with the “CutControl” recipe management software. To date, more than 40 of Tressbrüder’s recipes have already been stored, but there are still many product developments to come, which will also be sent to the cutter from the Benjamin Bross office through the company’s network.
Thanks to program control, the machine automatically takes care of processing times, bowl cycles, vacuum level, and the amount of water needed via dosing or blade speeds. In addition, it monitors the product to determine shutdown parameters. In addition to the temperature, this can also be the number of cycles of the bowl or the processing time.
With fully automatic water dosing, another special feature on the VCM 120 from K+G Wetter, the correct amount flows directly in front of the knives into the cutting chamber when the program starts, via the water dosing system. “A hot and cold water line is installed, so we can also adjust the temperature according to the product,” says Benjamin Bruce. The machine also carries out the next processing steps after adding the soy texture automatically, including vacuuming twice for a short time. “The vacuum ensures that the pieces are soaked perfectly and evenly,” says Benjamin Bruce.
The production aim is that there are no additives such as emulsifiers or phosphates in Tressbrüder products. “With knowledge and processing time, you can do this without any problems, and you don’t need any chemical additives,” Butcher says. “Meat already contains protein, fat and water, which creates a bond during processing. With vegetable protein, it is more difficult to process it in such a way that an emulsion forms.” The ingredients are kneaded intensively by separator vacuum drawing and corresponding evacuation. This is the only way to achieve contact. At the same time, the vacuum draws air pockets out of the product, thus preventing unwanted spongy structure.
The Tressbrüder brand of organic vegetarian ready-to-eat meals is sent from the Zwiefalten factory to organic food retailers and specialty markets. Customers can also get trial packs, individual products and snacks sent to their homes via an online store.
The growth trajectory of the Trace brothers shows that the company and its products cater to customers’ taste. Where production is currently still in a single shift operation, the goal is to have two shifts by 2024. There is still room on site to expand production. New botanical spreads are currently in the range, and more products are being developed.
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