I do not want to know what’s behind it: this way of thinking definitely helps the consumers all over the globe to devour anything that proves tasty and delicious. This ignorance undoubtedly helps not to provide accurate information on the preparation and composition of various foods. Which if it was accurately provided would certainly help our health, and make us understand what to put or not in our shopping trolley.
Dear lovers of hot dogs, now it is your turn, because we want to show you how to make sausage. We will start with the general procedure, and then go into detail on the dark sides of the unfortunately little known mechanically separated meat (MSM).
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What are hot dogs and how are hot dogs made? Hot dogs are nothing more than scraps, which is a mixture of chicken and beef, derived from the scraps of the steak or ribs, mainly composed of muscle. These scraps are ground through a metal disk drilled and then mixed with starch, salt and spices to give it flavor.
The mixture is then stirred in a rectangular tank and subjected to vaporization with water, before adding corn syrup which gives it a sweet aftertaste. It is then mixed with water to even out the ingredients and make it more tasty. After it is placed in a machine that sucks out the air and immediately after placing on the tubular sheaths of cellulose in the filling machine.
The pureed meat then passes into an intestine of 13 cm, while in another the machine made sausages are lined up hanging on hooks, transporting under a rain of liquid smoke (still useful for flavoring) and then in an oven prepared with different cooking zones. Once baked, hot dogs are sprayed with cold water and salt to cool before packaging.
Once they are ready, a machine takes them away from the hooks and puts them onto a conveyor belt. They then have their guts removed and the hot dogs are finally ready for packaging. A blade cuts the tip of the sausage, and a jet of steam leaves them bare and raw. A control officer will then ascertain that the casings have been removed and that there are no defects of any kind. The last step is accomplished by a machine called a sprocket that prepares the hot dogs for packaging.
Now to chicken or turkey sausages. Few people know that 85-90% of the product is made from mechanically separated meat, which are nothing more than a by-product obtained from the slaughter of the carcasses, which were transferred in presses and juices. The pulp (also called pink slime) is then passed through a sieve to remove residual bone and subsequently treated with additives, such as thickeners, nitrites and sometimes even polyphosphates.
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The flavoring is obtained as a result of immersion in sausage flavored water, with the addition of spices and aroma enhancers. Which not only ends up in the sausages but also in chunks, in croquettes, cutlets with vegetables in, in cordon bleu and the chicken burger, now sold a regularly because of their low cost. A lot of convenience food is not good quality, for example the chicken frankfurters are low in protein and too high in calcium, fat and cholesterol. Not good for your health, but unfortunately consumers generally continue to ignore this fact.
On packaging, the actual content of CSM, although mandatory, is written very small or adequately “hidden”. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has however intervened, and has already drawn up a document to govern and regulate a sector hitherto decidedly devoid of reference standards and assessment methods. In this matter it was decided to adopt the amount of calcium as a parameter basis for establishing the CSM in the product (Ca 21mg / 100g = 10% MSM, 39 mg Ca / 100 g = 50% CSM; 81.5 mg Ca / 100 g = 90% MSM, up to the maximum of 100 mg Ca / 100 g = 93.6% CSM).
This data, together with the analysis of cholesterol and the microscopic evaluation of muscle damage borne by the fibers, will allow for greater clarity on the actual amount of CSM in a product. Finally, an important step that goes in the direction of greater fairness and transparency to consumers, so that they can choose more responsibly about the food they are putting on the table.
The dilemma is quality or convenience. But perhaps after reading this article, you will not be convinced about having a dinner of chicken sausage, or better said, chicken carcasses…
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