The system, called QuidCalc, instantly comes up with the Quantitative Ingredient Declaration (QUID) percentage. The system is targeted specifically at the meat, bakery and ready meals sectors. UK legislation is now in place to prosecute companies that do not keep to the new rules.
The concept, which has been developed by food ingredients supplier Gordon Rhodes and Son, has already received official endorsement. The system has been developed in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards, which has given the system the thumbs-up.
QuidCalc's technical director, Jill Bartlett, claims that the concept came about because many customers were worried about the effects the new regulations would have on them. All of them wanted to know how they could meet the requirements of the new legislation and work out the QUID meat percentage of their products.
"There was confusion and in some cases serious concern," she said. "So we set to work to devise something which would be of help to our in-house technical department.
"Then we recognised it would be of much wider use to the industry andeverything went from there. It seemed logical to put it on to a totallysecure Internet site, one where confidentiality ensures the recipes of all users remain their own. We believe we have devised a system which will ease worries over the new regulations."
The system works simply and effectively to calculate the ingredients in a recipe - and taking on board the level of lean meat, fat and connective tissue, as required by the new EU legislation for meat products - all at the touch of a button on the Internet.
The developer claims that QuidCalc can handle up to 10 sub-recipes for each product, so it can deal with things like pastry, meat, jelly, glazes and mixes within a pie, and it can also calculate Quid percentages in cooked products if required. The system also has the capacity to check results against the new reserved descriptions outlined in the Meat Products Regulations.
Speed of operation is another benefit. Instead of having to spend upto 90 minutes doing complex manual calculations, QuidCalc produceselectronic results in quick time.
Customers can use credit cards to buy calculation units direct from thewebsite and the more they buy on one single transaction, the cheaper they become. The developer claims that a single unit costs £6, a price that compares favourably with the cost of a single product analysis that can cost up to £100.