Basic Processing Procedures

Principals of Meat Processing
Food Science
Mrs. Knight
• Processed Meats
– Can be defined as products in which the
properties of Fresh Meat have been
modified by the use of one or more
•Addition of Seasoning
•Alteration of Color
•Heat Treatment
Processed Meats
• Typical Processed Meats
– Ham
– Bacon
– Corned Beef
– All Varieties of Sausages
Classification of Products
• Comminuted or Noncominuted
– All Processed meats can be put into one of these
• Noncominuted
– Typically Refered to as smoked meats
» Prepared from whole intact cuts (sometimes boneless)
» Cured, seasoned, and Heat processed
• Comminuted
– Involves subdividing the raw materials, chunks, strips or
» Sausages
» Hamburger
History of Meat Processing
• Originated in prehistoric times
– 1st type was sun dried meat
– Then meat smoked over a fire
– Salting and smoking has been common for
thousands of years.
•People had to find ways to preserve meat for a
later time.
– They found that salt and drying helped preserve
meat products.
» Sausage and Bacon Date back to the early
Basic Processing Procedures
• Curing
– Is the application of Salt, color fixing
ingredients, and seasonings.
•Salt inhibits spoiling by reducing the water
activity, thus reducing microbial growth.
•However meat that has a high salt
concentration promotes the oxidation of
myoglobin (The red pigment) making it turn an
unattractive gray color.
•Potassium Nitrate can be used to “fix” color in
cured meats and was likely discovered by
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• Curing Cont…
– Modern meat curing is done to not only
preserve meats but to bring about changes
in texture, color, and flavors.
– Main Curing Ingredients:
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• Curing Cont…
– SALT (Sodium Chloride) NACL
•Not used in high enough concentrations for
preservation so mainly used for flavoring.
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• Curing Cont…
– Nitrite
• Used to develop cured meat color
– Bright reddish pink
– Highly Toxic but amounts in meat are so low they can not
harm you.
– Helps reduce spore formation from clostridium botulinum.
– Reductants
• Are compounds capable of donating electrons
• These will oxidize a substance and speed up the redox
chemical reaction.
– Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
– Erythorbic Acid
» The addition of these can speed up the oxidation of
the nitrite.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Curing Cont…
– Alkaline Phosphates
•Often incorporated in curing mixtures
•Increases water binding capacity
– Helps reduce shrinkage of product
– Helps improve texture
– Reduces oxidatative rancidity
– Seasonings
•Do not affect the curing process but help
develop unique flavors.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Curing Cont…
– Application of Curing Agents
•Dry Rub
•Dissolved in liquid (Brine)
•Mixed in
– Even mixing is very important to ensure even color
development, and even spoilage.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Comminution, Blending, and
– Comminution
•Practice of reducing particle size
– Grinding
– Chopping
– Blending
•To evenly mix ingredients
Basic Processing Procedures
• Emulsification
– A mixture of two immiscible (incapable of mixing)
liquids. Where one is dispersed in the form of
small droplets inside the other to the point they
will not separate.
• Ex: Oil & Water
– Common Emulsions
» Mayonnaise
» Homogenized Milk
• Used in sausages and hot dogs to keep the fat from
separating from the meat.
– “Fat Caps”
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• Formulation
– Many different ingredients are
incorporated into processed meats.
•It can be a challenge to determine the best
recipe for a product that will produce the best
product while following all meat regulations.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Meat Ingredients
– To create uniform meat products selection
of meat ingredients is important.
•Animal Tissues vary in the following properties:
– Moisture
– Fat
– Protein
– Pigmentation
– And Ability to Bind fat and water (stick to water and
Basic Processing Procedures
• Meat Ingredients
– High Binding Meats
•Bull Meat
•Cow Meat
•Beef Chucks
•Boneless Pork Shoulders
•Lean Pork Trimmings
•Poultry Meat
– These meats are easier to emulsify
Basic Processing Procedures
• Moisture
– Moisture accounts for 45-60% of the
finished weight of processed meats.
•Most comes from the lean meat
•The processor also can add water
– Why add water?
» Reduce dryness
» Improves Tenderness
» Helps keep temps down during processing
» Helps evenly incorporate ingredients
» Improves finished product yield
» Keeps cost down
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• Moisture Regulations
– Meat Inspection agencies have levels set for
allowable moisture content in processed meats.
• Cooked Sausage cant have more than 4 times as much
moisture plus 10% of the original meat product content.
• Fresh Sausage can only have 3% added moisture.
• Finished weights can also not exceeded the original
unprocessed products.
• Products whose weight is greater than the original
materials weight must be labeled as “Water Added” and
only 10% over is allowed.
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• Extenders, Binders, and Fillers.
– Non Meat products incorporated into meat
•Purpose of these agents:
– Improve emulsion stability
– Improve water binding capacity
– Enhance Flavor
– Reduce Shrinkage during cooking
– Improve slicing characteristics
– Reduce formulation costs
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• Binders
– Increase water binding ability
•High Protein content
– Dried Milk
– Soy Products
» Soy Flour
» Soy Protein Isolates
– Manufactured Vegetable Protein (MVP)
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• Fillers
– Able to Bind Large Amounts of Water but
have poor emulsification ability.
•Cereal Flours
•Corn Syrup
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• Extenders
– Used to describe any non meat ingredient,
except for salt, water, and seasoning
added in sufficient quantities to increase
the bulk or change the composition of
•Soy Products
– Sausages that contain more than the allowable limits
for extenders must be labeled as “imitation”.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Seasonings
– A general term applied to any ingredient
that is added to improve or modify the
flavor of processed meats.
•Helps create distinctive flavors
•Helps allow for creation of new products
•A great amount of artistry is needed to
understand the way flavors work together.
– Spices can also increase the bacterial load of the
product, thus decreasing the shelf life.
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• Spices and Herbs
– Spices
•Aromatic substances of vegetable origin
– Allspice, Anise, cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Cumin,
Garlic, Ginger, Mace, Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion,
Paprika, Pepper, Pimento
– Herbs
•Dried Leaves of Plants
– Sage, Savory, Thyme, Basil, Bay Leaf, Marjoram
Basic Processing Procedures
• Forming Processed Meat Products
– Gives the processed meat a uniform shape
and holds them together.
•The shapes can be based on the traditional way
of preparing that product.
•Products that are cooked may “Set” their shapes
and then the casings can be removed.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Casings
– Putting meat products into casings is
known as “stuffing”.
•Natural Casings
– Made from the intestines of swine, cattle, or sheep.
– Very permable to moisture and smoke.
– They are highly digestible and can be eaten.
– They also can shrink along with the product keeping
a tight fit against the meat.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Casings Cont…
– Manufactured Casings
•There are 4 classes of manufactured casings
– Cellulose
» Made from Cotton Linters, Easy to use, Very
– Inedible Collagen
– Edible Collagen
» Made from collagen extracted from skin and
hides., Stronger than natural casings.
– Plastic
» Are not permeable to smoke or water so used
primarily in non cooked products.
Basic Processing Procedures
• Smoking & Heat Processing
– Many products are both smoked and
cooked and these processes can both occur
– Heat Processing
•Cooking to an internal temperature of 150 to
160 degrees.
– Pasteurizes the product and kills microorganisms
– Kills Trichinae that could be present in pork or
natural casings.
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• Heat Processing Cont…
– Other important changes that result from
heat processing are:
•The firm set structure that develops
•Textural changes increase tenderness
•Browning can help improve or give desired
•Fixes the cured meat pigment
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• Smoking
– Process of exposing a product to wood
smoke at some point during its
•Purpose is to develop special flavors or colors.
•Smoke itself contains over 200 individual
compounds some which provide a preservative
•Smoking meats develops a smooth surface on
the meat inside the casing
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• Smoking Cont…
– Methods of Smoking
•The Modern Smokehouse
– Meat is hung in a closed chamber, smoke, humidity,
and temperature are all controlled. Heat processing
can also take place at the same time.
•Liquid Smoke
– Concentrated wood smoke mixed in liquid and added
to a product.
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• Dehydration
– Few meat processors use dehydration
– Dehydration removes significant moisture
from the product to a level where the
water activity is so low it may be shelf
•EX: Beef Jerky
Basic Processing Procedures
• Aging
– Involves keeping the product for varied
time periods under controlled temperature
and humidity.
– There are several purposes for aging
•Flavor Development
•Textural Changes
•Completion of Various Curing Reactions
•The drying and Hardening of the Product
Basic Processing Procedures
• Aging Cont…
– The development of distinct flavor often
results from microbial fermentation in the
•The microbes are usually Lactic Acid producing
bacteria added by the producer as a starter
– Aging times vary depending on the product or
desired result.
» Country Cured Hams age 3-6 months.
» Genoa Salami is aged for 90 days.