Production of sausage

Sausage is derived in the latin word ‘Salsus’ meaning salted or preserved by salting or ‘Salsicia’ meaning something salted. Sausage is a convenient food available in a great number of varieties and flavors. Sausages are an excellent source of high quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids in appropriate amounts necessary for growth, maintenance and repair of body tissue.

Ingredients. Fresh and high-quality meat such as lamb, beef, pork, mutton and poultry also cuts from head and leftover cuts may be used. Often game meats can be used to make sausage. Other ingredients such as salt (addition to taste, extract some proteins from meat, enhances flavor, reduce microbiological spoilage and increases water holding), water ice (assist the process of mixing and help salt to solubilize meat proteins), curing agents (necessary to inhibit production and growth of the deadly toxin, provide pink color and enhance flavor), spices (add flavor to the product) and binder (promote fat and moisture retention) and extender (reduce formulation costs).

Raw material intake is a critical control point in sausage production since it acts as a barrier or filtration stage preventing goods of inferior quality entering the process.

The lean meat should be well trimmed to a level of less than 10 percent of non-trimmable fat and connective tissue, the trimmed lean meat thus being practically free from sinews and gristle and entirely free from ligament, bone and cartilage particles. Proper dressing and rapid refrigeration will limit bacterial growth and reduce the chance of getting a foodborne illness.

Grinding. The key to doing a good job grinding is to use sharp blades and plates that match. The sausage may be ground twice, especially if two meats, such as a fat meat and a lean meat, are being used. The fist-size chunks of lean meats are first ground by running them through a 3-6 mm grinder plate while fat trimmings or fatty tissues are reduced through a 6-9 mm grinder plate. Grinding improves the uniformity of the product by distributing the ingredients and making the particles the same size.

Mincing. After grinding, the meat is minced in to a very fine particle size for easy protein extraction. Proteins have the function of binding the water surrounding fat droplets and keeping them dispersed.

Filling. Natural casing (made from the intestines of slaughter animals) as well as casings made from modified collagen or cellulose are most frequently used. Fresh sausages may also be stuffed into a small diameter artificial casing, or may be extruded into a short, large diameter plastic casing called a “chub” pack, usually containing 1 to 2 pounds of meat. Fibrous casings are more suitable for summer sausage and similar products because of their greater strength and the variety of sizes available. They are permeable to smoke and moisture and can easily be removed from the finished product.

Casings. Casings, also known as skins, used in sausage manufacturing to achieve their primary significance in portioning. They are broadly divided into two types, namely natural and artificial. Intestines of pigs or sheep are used in making natural casings.

Artificial casings are now made with collagen, cellulose and plastic materials to suit a wide range of applications. Through a series of mechanical and chemical actions, collagen is extracted from the connective tissue of animals and used for manufacturing casings.

Cooking. There are many methods of cooking: by immersing in the cooking vat, hot showering that is conducted in a smokehouse equipped with shower nozzles, hot showering in separate hot water spray cabinets to which sausages are moved immediately after smoking, cooking by dry heat by raising the smokehouse temperature and giving only a final brief hot water shower, cooking in tight boxes into which live steam is injected, etc.

Sausage is smoked and heated in order to pasteurize it and extend its shelf life, as well as to impart a smoky flavor and improve its appearance. Smoking and heating also fixes the color and causes protein to move to the surface of the sausage so it will hold its shape when the casing is removed.

Cooling and packaging. The sausage should showered or soaked in water till reach an internal temperature of 38-40°F, then remove the casing and cooled to 4°F for packaging. The product may be wrapped in a gas impermeable plastic, and placed into refrigerated storage or display. The specific packaging will vary according to the needs of the end user, however, the processor must follow hygienic standards when packaging any sausage product to avoid contaminating the product.
Production of sausage

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