Deli Meat 103 - Common Additives
Deli Meat 103 - Common Additives
Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the back of the package of deli meats? It can be a pretty eye-opening experience, they are usually filled with things that most people have no idea how to say let alone the purpose of them. Generally, the fewer ingredients in meat products the better, but this is not always true. Let’s start with a few of the more common and benign ingredients and we will look at some to avoid in later posts
Citric Acid – This has a few different functions as an additive, it is going to protect the flavor of the meat and as it is a strong antioxidant it is also going to play a role in keeping the color of the meat and prevent it from looking brown or grey. Depending on the amount used it can also add a certain amount of tang to the taste.
Papain – This is an extract from Papaya fruit and it is used to help break down the proteins in the meat to help them form into loaves more efficiently. It is also a common ingredient in meat tenderizer solutions.
Phosphates – This ingredient covers a few different types of phosphates including cold phosphate and sodium phosphate. It functions as a moisture retainer and it helps your meat stay juicy, commercial processors also like it as it can increase their final yield by allowing the meat to retain more water through the cooking or smoking process. It does this by increasing the ionic strength by raising the pH of the meat from around 5.5 to 6.
BHA and BHT – It is a form of vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant that is used to fight off rancidity in taste and keep the color looking fresh.
Sugar/Corn Syrup – Widely used as a sweetener in meats and a ton of other foods. I’m fine with this as an ingredient as long as it is not the High-fructose corn syrup
Nitrates/Nitrites - These are used to kill off botulism spores in your meat, as you smoke or slow cook meat you are creating the perfect temperature and humidity range for the growth of these spores and without a Nitrite based cure you could quickly have spoiled meat. Nitrates break down into nitrites which then break down into nitric oxide, so for slower cures, a mix of nitrates and nitrites are used to provide nitrites right away and a source for them later during the curing process.
MSG - Mono Sodium Glutamate is used as a flavor enhancer to provide a more fresh taste or enhance an already present flavor. Some people do have a negative reaction to this, however, it is not as common as it is made out to be.
Hydrolyzed Protein - Used as a flavor enhancer in the meat industry.
Cooked a batch of summmer in PK 100 casings are 1 7/8 by 12 cooked at 120 for one hour then 140 two hours then 180 tell internal of 152 but when I went to pull them the fat had liquefied any ideas
Tom T from Boise, ID
Oh… I ground the pork fat and the venison at the same time. 2 chunks of venison, 1 chunk of pork, back and forth…
Yes… sure cure and sure gel binder. The venison and pork fat were both still partially frozen when I ground them. First through the large course plate, then again through the small plate. (Not sure of sizes, but these are the plates i normally use for summer sausage). I probably should have put the meat back in the freezer before seasoning but i was pressed for time. I mixed by hand for 14 or 15 minutes. I also think I might have added to much water. The video said 2 quarts for wild game 2 pints for fatty pork. I put in 1 quart and about another cup. I mixed until it got tacky and then mixed some more. The meat seemed soupy to me but the video said that would be ok.
The shriveling occurred before I bumped the temp up. I was using a digital thermometer with a probe, when the temp stalled for a couple hours, I suspected the temp might be reading inaccurately so I opened the door to confirm with a dial thermometer. The digital was accurate but the sausage was already shriveling.
Another thing that bothered me was the casings… these had perforations for some reason. I e never used perforated casings before and seemed like I was losing a pot of moisture through them. Did I have the wrong casings? The other fibrous casings in the catalog said you were supposed to poke them anyway.