With the growing population the demand for meat products is on the rise. Also, the availability of convenient ready-to-eat meat products, sausages, fish, poultry and other seafood are also changing the consumption pattern. The higher demand and better supply indicate the need of longer shelf life and strict adherence to climate control guidelines.
When meat is stored in cold storage, it gets contaminated rapidly due to condensation and excess moisture present in the room. It becomes breeding ground for bacteria, which can spoil the meat product. It can promote micro-organism growth. Even after maintain following all safety guidelines,
During cutting and chopping, the bacteria present on the outside of the meat (skin, nails, hair) move into the chopped meat where there are many air pockets and rich supply of moisture, and multiply.
While drying sausages, the sausages lose moisture too rapidly during the initial stages of the drying period, the surface hardens and a crust develops. This crust inhibits further transmission of moisture which spoils the sausage.
Some of the common problems during sausage drying and storage:
In meat products, lower water-activity (aw) means lesser availability of water for micro-organism growth. Lowering water activity “locks up” water, ultimately making it impossible for bacteria to reproduce. Thus, water-activity is in fact an vital determinant for stability.
Most meat products with lower water activity levels utilize salt to bind water as well as drying techniques to lower the total moisture content of the product which in turn lowers the water activity.
In the beginning of the drying process, the RH can be set as high as 97%. After that, the RH must be reduced so that the drying rate at the surface is kept as low as possible. “The RH has to be regulated according to the decrease in water-activity value of the product. Thus, the RH should be more or less 4% lower than the value of water activity of the product.”
During the entire cycle of drying it is essential for the drying, processing and storage rooms should be equipped with the temperature and humidity control instruments. Bry-Air Desiccant Dehumidifier are capable of maintaining dew point as low as -60ºC regardless of ambient conditions. It also helps in retaining the nutritional value of meat products while retaining its flavor.