In the first attempt at the product design specification all this information
may not be available. The product design specification develops as
more information is obtained and the first prototypes are developed
in 'ball park' experiments. There is no specific time in the PD Process
by which the product design specification has to be completed - it
depends on the type of product and the company, but it should be
at or before the early stages of product design.
When the product
design specification is completed and agreed by all the different
people in the PD project, including the top management, then it should
be signed by all involved to show their commitment and responsibility.
If major changes are made during the design procedure, then there
needs to be a meeting of all concerned to ensure agreement on the
changes. Example 4.3 is an example of a product design specification
for vegetable-based frankfurters.
Product design specifications: vegetarian sausages
1. Product Concept General Statement
A meatless frankfurter type product, similar to the meat sausage with respect
to flavour, slightly smoked and mildly spiced; it has a long slender profile
typical of a frankfurter sausage. The product is packed in a retortable
pouch and can be stored at ambient temperatures. It is targeted at the
vegetarian market segment specifically, yet is acceptable to the general
market. It incorporates non-meat source proteins, fats and stabilisers,
and is a protein/fat emulsion extruded into non-animal casings.
2. Product Qualities
Nutritional: high in protein and low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
Sensory: similar flavour, colour and texture to a meat frankfurter, slightly
smoked and mildly spiced. The outer skin brown/orange in colour, and the
inner matrix light pink.
Physical: a long, slender sausage shape, a 'meat like' emulsion matrix.
Chemical: meets with the legal chemical composition for sausage,
Microbiological: microbiologically stable, ensuring up to eight months'
stability at ambient conditions. Free from Coliforms and Salmonella.
Processing: produces a stable protein/fat emulsion.
Storage: shelf stable under ambient conditions for eight months.
Packaging: pouch contains six sausages, weighs 250 g.
Price: $2.20 to $2.50 per 250 g pack.
The target consumer is the vegetarian segment, as well as health conscious
and innovative consumers in the general market.
The main additional consumer benefit is the convenience factor of not requiring
refrigeration. This could be attractive to outdoor enthusiasts such as
hikers and campers. Promote ambient stability and transportability of pouch.
4. Proposed ingredients and their functions
|1. Wheat gluten
||Thermal gelation - texture and structure
|2. Whey protein
||Thermal gelation - texture and structure
|3. Hydrogenated vegetable oils
||Dispersed phase - mouthfeel and texture
|4. Torula yeast
||Flavour and texture
|5. Hydrolysed vegetable protein
|6. Onion and garlic powders
texture and structure
This is a new process for the company and there is no equipment
available. A complete process could be bought from an equipment
company, or the canning line could be adapted with the purchase
of a filling line, or the company could design a new process.
A sterilisation process is used, but the times and temperatures
needed are not known.
6. Formulation: not known at present time.
Preformed retortable pouches. Vacuum-sealed retorted pouches
packed in corrugated cardboard cartons, holding approximately
24 packs of six sausages (6 kg).
8. Government regulations: not known at present time.
9. Marketing design specifications
Distribution: distributed through the present ambient physical
distribution system, mainly to supermarkets, but also to specialty
Price: price per dozen 250 g packs is approximately consumer
price $27.00, list price $23 ±10%, net wholesale price
Promotion: directed to the general market as well as the vegetarian
market segment. Emphasis is directed to supermarkets, delicatessens,
and health food shops, in that order of priority.
Attributes to be promoted: no meat, no refrigeration needed,
no preservatives, low levels of saturated fats/high protein status,
Initial competition: would be slight; however, if the market
should develop well, competitors are almost inevitable.
Product design specifications: sign off
If you, as the product designer, were presented with these design specifications,
you ask before agreeing to them?
for further information to answer your questions and complete the product
you, as the top manager, were presented with the amended design specifications,
for what further
would you ask before agreeing to them?
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