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Meat is the most valuable livestock product and for many people serves as their first-choice source of animal protein. Meat is either consumed as a component of kitchen-style food preparations or as processed meat products. Processed meat products, although in some regions still in their infancy, are globally gaining ground in popularity and consumption volume.

Meat processing has always been part of FAO’s livestock programmes, not only because of the possibility of fabricating nutrient-rich products for human food, but also owing to the fact that meat processing can be a tool for fully utilizing edible carcass parts and for supplying shelf-stable meat products to areas where no cold chain exists. Moreover, small-scale meat processing can also be a source of income for rural populations.

In the mid eighties to early nineties of the last century, FAO published two books on meat processing (Animal Production and Health Series No. 52 and 91) in order to familiarize food processors in developing countries with meat processing technologies. However, due to the time elapsed since then they no longer fully reflect current techniques and processing procedures used in the meat sector.

FAO initiated two major projects in this sector. In the mid nineties and in early 2000, in cooperation with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and the German Development Agency GTZ/CIM, FAO ran two comprehensive regional training and development projects on meat processing technology, the first one in sub-Saharan Africa and the second one in Asia.

The experience gained in these two meat processing projects led to the decision that an updated manual on meat processing technology should be prepared, which should take into account the above mentioned publications. It should also represent not only the latest developments of meat processing technology but also use modern publication techniques such as digital photography and computer-created charts and graphs in order to visually clarify and explain facts and procedures described in the text.

The result is a comprehensive compendium on all important topics relevant to the small- to medium-size meat processing sector, with more than 400 colour photographs, drawings and graphs. It can be anticipated that this publication will be a useful guidebook not only for meat processing industries in developing countries, but for all those who plan to establish small business enterprises in this sector or are interested, from the training point of view, in this important part of food manufacture.

He Changchui
Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific


This manual is based on training materials used in FAO-organized Regional Training in Meat Processing Technology for Asian countries. The Animal Products Development Center (APDC) in Manila, Philippines offered its premises for the training courses and was instrumental in the preparation of the manuscript through the provision of staff and equipment for experimental and development work, photographs and technical drawings and in the finalizing of the text, for which we are grateful. The review of the text by APDC scientists is also highly appreciated.

The production of the manual is a joint activity between the Animal Products Group of the Animal Production Service (AGAP) of FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy and the Livestock Section of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. The hard work of Anthony Bennett, Animal Production Officer (AGAP), in reviewing the publication and the technical editing is highly appreciated. AGAP’s contribution to the printing cost is acknowledged.

In RAP the support of Chanrit Uawongkun and Yupaporn Simuang-ngam in the complex task to provide the layout for the manual is appreciated.


Gunter Heinz, who holds a PhD in Veterinary Medicine, is a specialist in Meat Technology and Meat Hygiene. He worked as a scientist in meat research in Germany and was involved in veterinary sanitary control in export abattoirs and meat processing plants in all major meat producing countries. He is a retired FAO technical officer who was Senior Officer for Meat Technology and Hygiene at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy and Regional Animal Production Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand.

Peter Hautzinger is a Meat Technologist with rich practical experience in meat processing at the artisan and industrial level. He served as an instructor at a German College for Engineers for the Food and Meat Sector. At the international level he was the Chief Technical Advisor to the two largest FAO Regional Projects on Meat Processing Technology, which were carried out in Africa and Asia respectively and both co-funded by the Common Fund for Commodities CFC and CIM/GTZ of Germany as well as the respective host governments Uganda and the Philippines. Currently he works for the support industry for the Asian meat sector and is based in Singapore.

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