What are sausages and History?
Sausages are a unique type of contaminated meat products referred to chopped or minced meat preserved by salting. The word sausages are derived from “salsas” a Latin word meaning salt. The Babylonian and Chinese are reported to use sausage since 1500 BC. The sausages processing started by stuffing chopped or minced seasoned meat in animal intestine or stomach and consequently having cylindrical shape consider as the characteristic shape of sausages.
In the modern era, the synthetic casing has replaced the animal intestine casing.so, sausages are minced or chopped meat seasoned or salted generally but not always having the cylindrical shape. Sausages are one of the oldest forms of low cost processed meat products developed by using meat trimmings, head, and shoulder meat and edible by-products. The provision of variety convenience is another factor behind sausages development and currently, sausages are used in modern society.
There are hundred different types of sausage products available to consumers today all over the world offering a special type of appeal to a special group of population. Most of these sausages originated in Europe and the United States made these to meet the demands of specific ethnic groups. The neighborhood population developed the taste of these specific products which got further popularized due to improvement in the distribution system and intermixing of peoples from different geographical regions as a result of traveling.
Why do sausages eat?
Sausages are eaten by consumers because of (1) convenient to use, (2) variety of products, (3) economical as normally made from low-cost meats, and nutrition as are condensed forms of products. Sausage products require minimum processing time and mostly ready to serve while some products require to be warmed before serving. The sausages can be prepared easily and quickly finding favor by the working class. The variety of sausages offers consumer different products with characteristics of flavor and appeal. The important choice offered by sausages is that they are economical as commonly manufactured from cheaper meat cuts and by-products. Further, sausages are condensed nutrient meat products providing essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.
The major ingredients of sausages are meat added with curing mixture(salt and nitrite), water or ice, extenders, and seasoning varying from region to region.
The uniformity of quality in sausage production is achieved by proper selection of meat ingredients. Generally, low valued raw fish meat with low microbial count is used for sausages preparation including cuts having higher connective tissues or fats, mature animal tough meat, carcass trimmings, and meat edible by-products. Each selected raw meat ingredients have a unique function in sausages processing. The meat used for binding purposes should have sufficient readily extractable proteins having ability to form gel during cooking. The skeletal muscles of cows and bulls have excellent meat binders whereas high-fat trimming is poor binders.
Meat is also added to sausages formulations to fill up the void space in sausages and these filler meats have little or no binding ability. The example of such filler meats is offal, skins, and partially defatted beef tissues. Poultry meat is getting popularity n sausages industry and is blended with beef due to its low cost and consumer preference. The consumer demand light meat and poultry meat which is presumed to be healthier meat.
Sausages Curing Ingredients:
The most critical non-meat ingredients in sausage formulation are salt and most commonly sodium chloride is used as salt in sausages. The fundamental function of salt is to solubilize and extracts the salt soluble proteins needed for binding functionality. Salt also plays a role in flavoring and has antimicrobial effects. It is used in commercial sector sausages producers with formulations from 1.5 to 2.5%. Phosphates are used as a water-holding agent to increase the yield of finished products by fiber swelling and solubilizing proteins. As per legislative requirements in many countries, its level is maintained below 0.5% in the finished product. Phosphates also help in metal ion chelation leading to reduced oxidation, thus stabilizing color and flavor of sausages. Sodium or potassium nitrites are also used as curing ingredients in the sausages formulations up to maximum level of 156 ppm, The major function are color stabilization, preventing oxidation and reducing microbial growth.
Water and Extenders:
Water or mixture of water and ice is used in sausages formulations to facilitate the distributions of non-meat ingredients and increasing the yield of product. The USDA implemented new regulations in1988 permitting the partial substitutions of fats with added water. However, the sum of fat (maximum 30%) and water in the final product should not exceed 40% of the final product weight.
These changes in legislation result in the evolution of new low-fat sausages products like “reduced-fat(>25% fat)” “low-fat sausages (<10% fat), “extra lean sausages (<5% fat)” and the “fat-free sausages (<1% fat )”. In addition to water, other ingredients like nonfat dry milk, whey gluten, soy flour, soy protein concentrates, and gums, etc. as extender or filler in sausages. Extender and filler are used to improve the functional properties like texture and flavor and also help in meat particle binding and water retention.
Seasonings to sausages:
Sausages are commonly seasoned unlike other meat products and various spices and flavorings are used for sausages seasoning. The type and level of seasonings are primarily dictated by-products identity standards rather than regulations. Aromatic vegetable substances commonly known as spices are used as whole, broken or in ground form. The spices may be added as natural spices or spice extracts that are labeled as flavorings. Flavoring is an extract of vegetables, fruits, herbs, roots and other foods containing their flavor constituents.
Flavorings can also be induced artificially and common example is monosodium glutamate (MSG), a potent flavor enhancer. Flavorings are oil-based extracts that impart desired flavor in sausages which can be achieved by using appropriate quantity. Sugar is also used in almost all sausages formulations for flavor improvement as it is a known fact that sugar and salt have a mellowing effect on the taste and flavor of the food products.
Types of sausages:
The term sausage applies to a diverse variety of products; therefore no satisfactory single classification exists. However, sausages are classified based on flowing factors;
- Degree of chopping
- Amount of cooking
- Amount of smoking
- Amount of water added
- Amount of curing
- Amount of fermentation
- Amount of moisture in the final product
The USDA system of sausages classification is used most widely and sausages are inspected under the guidelines of this classification scheme. The USDA system classifies sausages as;
- Un-cooked smoked sausages
- Cooked smoked sausages
- Cooked sausages
- Dry and semi-dry sausages
- Luncheon meat
The word “fresh” indicates that fresh sausages include a variety of uncooked products and having fat about 50% of the raw product weight. The examples of fresh sausages are breakfast sausages include a variety of uncooked products and having fat about 50% of the raw product weight. The examples of fresh sausages are breakfast sausages, sausage patties, bratwurst, Italian and polish style sausages. These sausages are salted but not cured with nitrite and are generally coarsely grounded and not emulsified. Fresh smoked sausages also belong to this group of sausages. Fresh sausages are manufactured by grinding meat through plates with holes ranging from 0.32 cm to 0.95 cm in diameter. Particle size reduction is achieved through extrusion and cutting in screw auger operating in a horizontal chamber. The ground meat is mixed with salt, seasoning, and other ingredients in mixer and stuffed into the casing by extrusion process through (small opening tube).
The casing may natural or synthetic; natural casings are normally packed in saturated salt solution and stored under refrigerated conditions. Natural casings are denatured upon cooking and shrinkage of casings firm up the sausages links. Synthetic casings are made of collagen of cellulose. Normally edible is used for the processing of fresh sausages. Nowadays fresh sausages are also manufactured without using casings to reduce the processing cost of the product. In this method heat or acids are used to coagulate surface proteins for skin formation.
The cured Sausages are manufactured from fine chopped meat after proper emulsification. The most popular of this group are Frankfurter and Bologna, collectively constituting about 50% of all sausages used in the United States. The processing technology for both sausages is almost similar, however; Bologna has a larger diameter for sandwich preparation and has some variations in the spices used for seasoning. The Luncheon meats having distinct standards of identity also belong to the category of “cured sausages”.
The mixture of meat and ingredients is finely chopped and emulsified by frequent chopping and mixing for processing of cured sausages. The chopping process creates sufficient shear to comminute meat and fat into fine particles. Myofibril proteins are extracted during chopping in the presence of salt and phosphates which form a coating on the surface of fat globules resulting in reduced surface tension. Emulsifiers can also be used for this purpose additionally after meat chopping. The finely chopped meat system is completely stabilized during cooking in three-dimensional gel structure and fat particles are embedded in a gel matrix.
Mostly cured sausages are smoked after processing. The important factor to be considered during the processing of emulsified meat products is the temperature of meat batter during chopping. For most of the Frankfurters temperature of the batter is maintained at 10 to 12 C but it varies with the type of fat or meat used as too low-temperature results in softening of fat and high temperature will result in emulsion collapse. The friction between chopper blades and meat particles results in rising temperature (10 C) and this rise is prevented by using ice or iced water. The emulsion is stuffed in a synthetic casing which is removed after cooking in case of inedible coatings.
There is no exact information about the use of fermentation in meat processing though it dates back to the Babylonian culture around 1500 BC. Fermented sausages are divided into dry and semi-dry based process products. However, in both groups lactic is produced thus meat is “fermented”. The dry (30-40%) and semi-dry (40-50%) sausages vary in their moisture contents. The most common examples of fermented sausages are pepperoni and salami that are consumed abundantly.
The most important processing step in fermented sausages is to timely lower the PH of fresh meat (5.6-5.8) to restrict the growth of spoilage microorganisms. The final pH of fermented meat products varies from 4.8 to 5.8 depending upon product firmness, tanginess, and other desired characteristics. Lactic acid bacteria are responsible for the reduction in pH through the production of lactic acid by the process of glycolysis.
The fermentation may be “by chance inoculation” or “selective inoculation” but today almost all fermented sausages are produced by selective inoculation of selective starter cultures (frozen concentrates or lyophilized dry powder). The most commonly used microorganisms are Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Lactococcus, and Micrococcus. Fermented sausages are salted and cured; both nitrate and nitrite can be used, salt is used for dehydration and impartation of flavor. Normally fermented sausages are heavily spiced to make the product particularly palatable. Lactic acid production requires the presence of sugar to serve as substrate and preferably 0.5 to 2.0% sources of dextrose are added to sausage recipes. The level of sugar addition can be optimized to achieve the desired level of lower Ph.
The minced meat blended with all ingredients including starter cultures is stuffed and subsequently incubated for fermentation at 12 to 24 C with 75 to 80% RH for dry sausages while 30 to 37 C with 75 to 80% RH for semi-dry sausages. The fermentation time is longer for dry sausages (1 to 3days) than semi-dry sausages (8 to 20 hours).
The fermented sausages are placed in a drying room at 7 to 13 C with 70 to 72% RH for further dehydration and flavor development. The air in drying rooms should be changed periodically to remove excessive moisture development in dry rooms and to prevent surface growth of microorganisms. The drying time varies considerably depending upon size and type of products. However, most of the dry sausages are aged for a period between 10 days to 3 months. The low moisture and low pH of dry sausages make them shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration and cooking after manufacturing. Semi-dry sausages due to relatively high moisture require refrigeration and cooking before consumption.
The meat products manufactured in the form of loaves or slices encompass the group of products collectively known as luncheon meats.
These products have been introducing to retail and convenience stores as a result of growing consumer demand for ready-to-eat products. These products have been fully cooked and require refrigerated storage and mostly loaves are sliced before packaging and distribution to retail stores.
Luncheon meats are primarily utilized for lunch sandwich preparation and are commonly required as deli meats (cooked meat that have been sliced and prepared for a sandwich). Commonly luncheon meats are restructured products cured or uncured with a range of flavor to meet the ever-changing consumer requirements. The traditional luncheon meats are heat processed and canned but they have lost their true meanings and should be distinguished from deli meats that are primarily consumed as a convenient lunch item. The great variation in flavor and texture of luncheon meat is due to processing variables and differences formulations. The processing is almost similar to bologna for frankfurter type sausages with enhanced spices and condiments increase palatability. The cooked products are sliced and can be easily used to prepare a sandwich.
How to make sausages:
The preparation of sausages is a process of the continuous event in which each step is an integral part of the whole process, equally important, and needs some level of processor attention. Each step is important at its proper sequence for successful operation and for better understanding these steps can be differentiated into definite categories. The sausages preparation starts with a grinding of meat and processed through packaging.
The objective of grinding is to convert variables size and shape of meat chunks with varying fat contents into uniform cylinders of lean and fat. The worm in a barrel of grinding/mincer conveys and presses the meat into holes of the grinder plate. The rotating blade cuts the compressed meat and helps in filling the grinder plate holes. The length and diameter of cylindrical particles are determined by the thickness of the plate and the size of holes in the grinder plate. For example, grinder plate with 1/8 –inch holes diameter and 5/8-inch thickness will produce 35 million cylindrical partials from 1000 ib. meat
The cylindrical particles of lean and fat are tumbled in a mixture to obtain a uniform distribution of lean and fat. Mixing also results in the extraction of salt soluble proteins that encapsulate fat cylinders to attain better emulsification. The mixer should not be overloaded and should be filled just above the paddles to attain good mixing.
A chopper is also known as a cutter or flyer, consists of a revolving metal bowel that contains meat while curved knives on an axel rotate and cut through the revolving meat. A chopper is used as batching sausages mix and batch being transferred to emulsifier to achieve the desired texture. The rotational speed of the bowel, knives, and sharpness of the knife blade affect the performance of the chopper. The temperature of meat mass may increase 10-20 C during 10-15 min of chopping contribution 25-30% of the heat required for sausage processing.
An emulsifier is a machine that combines the principle of grinding and chopping to produce a meat mixture with the desired texture in a shorter period of time. Therefore, emulsifier should be fed uniformly to have consistent quality of the product. The high speed of rotating blades results in a rise in temperature (8 to15 F) of the mix and the contribution of each blade in heat production should be no more than 10%. Temperature rise is helpful if frozen meat is used for chopping and particularly useful in making emulsion-type sausages from mechanically deboned frozen poultry meat. The reasons for using emulsifier are high speed on handling, a high degree of disintegration of meat tissues and ease in obtaining the desired texture.
Sausage emulsion, also known as mix, dough or batter is stuffed into the casing using stuffers to define the size and shape of the product. Commonly used sausages stuffing pumps are 1) piston, 2) screw, and 3) rotary. The sausages stuffer essentially consists of a large barrel or cylinder that has a moving plate raised by pressure to push meat mixture through stuffing horn into casing. The horn size is selected based on the size of the casing to be used for stuffing. The possible larger size horns are normally used to avoid smearing of emulsion, Piston type suffers is used for stuffing coarsely grounded sausages. Stuffers combing piston and pump features are used to obtain uniform weight during stuffing. The encased massed is tried with thread or fastened with metal clip after stuffing into the casing or twisted together to produce a link.
Smok sausages or smoking and cooking:
Sausage emulsion is coagulated during specialized drying and cooking operation of the smokehouse. The smokehouse performances determining factors and its dimension, time cycle, temperature ranges, relative humidity, airflow, and smoke density. The internal temperature of sausages at the time of introduction to smokehouse is 15-20 C and its raised during cooking up to 68-70 C needing a raise of about 50 C with 10,000 BTU per 100 ib. the air velocity in smokehouse largely affects the rate of sausages cooking as greater velocity yields high cooking rate. Airflow pattern is also important in determining the production performances of smokehouse when variable sizes and shapes are used. Smoke density and relative humidity are two important parameters affecting the smoke absorption by sausages.
How to Chilling in sausages making process:
Smoked sausages are showered with cold water and then chilled by refrigeration. A 6% brine solution is used for providing osmotic balance to sausages permitting lower chill temperatures and rapid cooling. The balanced brine also inhibits the leaching of slats and imbibition of water by sausages.
Peeling Sausages and packaging:
The cellulosic casing of frankfurter and slicing Bologna are removed after proper chilling (3-4 C ) and this process is known as peeling. Peeled Frankfurters are collated and unit packed, normally a unit of 1 ib.
Sausages Nutritional importance:
: The USDA classifies sausages as a part of the protein foods group and have a recommendation of 140-170 g of protein food per day at that should come from lean sources like beans, lentils, meat cuts, and sausages. Sausages provide essential nutrients needed for healthier living. Sausages are nutrient-dense food containing abundant proteins and provide all nine essential amino acids. Sausages are also a rich source of vitamins and minerals especially vitamin B-12 and iron. However, people suffering from hypertension and high blood pressure should limit their sausage intake due to higher sodium salt content.
Keto Diet experts. Dietician and food technologist