Industrial Engineering Technology Major
Business, Engineering and Technology Category
Adam Landburg is currently a senior at Missouri Southern State University studying industrial engineering technology. He is currently completing his Automation Certificate, and has obtained a minor in manufacturing engineering technology.
NAPP Manufacturing, LLC’s production of chicken jerky has an average water activity variance of 0.03 within each oven-dried batch, causing a delay in packaging due to the product not being within tolerance. Packaging begins when the water activity is within a tolerance of 0.675 ± 0.025. The optimal water activity level of food inhibits mold growth and increases shelf life. In general, an increase in temperature results in a decrease in water activity. In 2020, the water activity average was 0.66. They want to increase that average to 0.68 and reduce variation within. This study aims to determine the best way to reduce the water activity variation from the oven drying process before packaging. Specifically, the goal is to reduce the water activity variation from the product at one end of the oven to the product at the other end of the oven by adjusting the airflow to evenly dry the product, which will lead to consistency and increase the water activity to their target goal.