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Acceptance test

The acceptance test is a type of sensory examination. Acceptance testing is used during product development to test the market potential of a new product ready to be launched.


An acid is a substance which decreases pH into the acid range (< pH 7.0) when dissolved in water. Acids can be inorganic (e.g. hydrochloric acid, HCl) or organic (e.g. citric acid) compounds.


This term relates to the capability of microorganisms of forming acid when carbohydrates are degraded. Such acid can be of the desirable type for meat products, such as lactic acid but also undesirable such as acetic acid.


Actin belongs to the so-called contractile proteins (and myosin) of the myofibrils of the meat musculature. The protein actin accounts for approximately 20 percent of the muscular protein.


Actomyosin is created by an association of actin with myosin, resulting under the influence of ATP in muscle contraction. Their dissociation results in muscular relaxation (in live animals).


The term additives as refers to food products (and meat products) manufacturing is defined as comprising all such materials or substances not classified as actual foods (“food by itself”).


Agar-agar is a swelling substance of plant origin. Extracted from red algae (Rhodophyta) and other algae, it is used as a gelatinizing/thickening agent in food manufacturing.

Air humidity, relative

The relative humidity of air (r.h.) is the ratio of water vapour contained in air of a certain temperature to the maximum water vapour content expressed in percent.


The term air-dried refers to non-smoked raw/uncooked meat products and sausages which, as the word implies, have been simply dried on air.


When a container is described as closed airtight, the meaning is that materials used are impermeable to oxygen and therefore suitable for extending the shelf-life of enclosed products.


Alginates are the salts of alginic acid (sodium alginate). They are obtained from marine algae through extraction and form highly viscous solutions in water. Contrary to products such as agar-agar or carrageenan, alginates do not gelatinate and are used as thickener in mayonnaises and gravies.


Processes or substances defined as antibacterial are capable of inhibiting the growth or multiplication of bacteria or effecting outright kill of bacteria.


Antioxidants are substances capable of slowing down oxidation, thereby postponing the occurrence of taste or colour alteration (e.g. rancidity).

Artificial casings

The use of artificial sausage casings made of cellulose, collagen, textile fibres or plastics is firmly established in meat processing. The advantages of artificial casings are their attractive designs, easy stocking and uniform calibre.

Ascorbic acid

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or its salt (sodium ascorbate) is used in meat processing as cure accelerator to enforce the curing colour development. The reaction of ascorbic acid is fast and further accelerated by increasing temperatures. This makes it an ideal component in quick-cured and heat treated products. Sodium ascorbate reacts slower and is terefore mainly used in raw-fermented products.


ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is a chemical compound occurring in almost all cells of the living body. ATP plays a role in the processes of muscular contraction and relaxation. ATP is also useful in the manufacturing of raw-cooked meat product.


Autoclaves, also called retorts, are large pressure cookers achieving temperatures above +100°C and used for sterilization of meat products filled into hermetically sealed containers (cans, glass jars, flexible pouches, etc). Autoclaves can be designed as still or rotating autoclaves.


The aw-value is an important measure used in meat processing. The aw-value describes the water activity, meaning the free water in the product. High aw-values present good conditions for microorganisms, lower aw-values inhibit activities of such microorganisms. Bacteria require aw-values around and above 0.9, yeasts and moulds only need aw-values above 0.6.


Bacteria are monocellular microorganisms of various shape and size. Bacteria are present everywhere, in soil, water, air, the intestinal tract, on all kinds of surfaces, etc. Some bacteria can cause food spoilage or food poisoning, other strains of bacteria are used in food products manufacturing (starter cultures used in raw-fermented sausage making, production of yogurt and cheese).

Benzpyrene (3,4-Benzpyrene)

Benzpyrene is a condensating aromatic hydrocarbon and a carcinogenic substance. 3,4 benzpyrene is generated during the burning or smoldering of wood when the smoldering temperatures are relatively high. However, smoked meat products remain far below the content of 1 ppm benzpyrene, which is considered the risk level.


The term binder is used for substances of animal or plant origin, which have a significant high level of protein that serves for both water and fat binding. Such substances include high-protein soy, wheat and milk products, such as isolated soy protein, wheat gluten or milk caseinate.

Biological value

This is the method of measuring protein quality. Protein is used in the cells of the human and animal organisms. The more protein is retained in the organism the higher is the level of utilization of the particular protein provided through food/feed and the higher is its biological value. The biological value is the ratio of protein consumed to the amount of protein retained in the organism and not excreted as urine or faecal matter. Isolated whey and egg protein are amongst the products with the highest biological value and serve as measurement (biological value of isolated whey = 100). Biological value of other foods: whole eggs 94, cow milk 91, fish 83, casein 80, beef 80, chicken 79, soy 74, wheat gluten 54, kidney beans 49.

Blood plasma

Blood plasma is the yellowish liquid obtained by centrifuging blood and contains 7-8% protein. This liquid is either stored frozen or spray-dried and stored as powder. It is used in finely-chopped raw-cooked (frankfurter type) sausages to increase the protein content and improve water binding.

Blood sausage

Blood sausages belong to the group of precooked-cooked products. In these products fresh blood (10-20%) is mixed with precooked animal tissues, cereals, vegetables, salt and spices. The final mixture is stuffed and heat treated again.

Boiling point

This term refers to the temperature at which a liquid changes over into gaseous state.


This term refers to the removing of bones from carcass parts of slaughter animals. It is often also called deboning.


The term botulism describes a bacterial food poisoning caused by the botulinus toxin, which is discharged into the food by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism can occur in preserved meat, vegetable and fish products.

Bowl cutter

The bowl cutter is the most frequently used meat chopping equipment designed to produce very small lean meat and fat particles. Bowl cutters consist of a horizontally revolving bowl and a set of curved sharp knives rotating vertically on a horizontal axle at a high speed. Another name is bowl chopper.


The term brine describes a water/salt solution used for curing meat products.


Originally, burgers were made from beef (preferably lean cow meat), but in recent years also chicken and mutton burgers were introduced. Other animal tissues such as fats or connective tissue/tendons can also be part of the mixture, with quantities depending on the type and quality of the products. Burgers are formed usually to disc-like shape with diameters of 80-150 mm and 5-20 mm height. Burgers are stored frozen and individually pan-fried before consumption.


In meat processing, the term calibre refers to the diameter of casings and sausages.


This term refers to the filling of food into cans followed by hermetically sealing of the containers and heat treatment.


These are organic substances formed by the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sugars such as saccharose and dextrose are the best known carbohydrates, but also dextrines, starches, cellulose and pectines belong to this group.


The term carcass refers to the body of a slaughter animal (without internal organs) consisting of meat, fats, bones and connective tissues.


Carrageenan is a polysaccharide produced by red algae and obtained by water extraction. It has good gelling properties.


Casings are defined as soft cylindrical containers used to be filled with sausage mix. Casings can be of natural origin or industrially manufactured (artificial). Natural casings are obtained by special treatment of animal intestines derived from slaughtering. Manufactured artificial casings are made of cellulose, collagen or synthetic materials.


Cellulose is the substantial framework of plant cell walls. Because it is not attacked by digestive juices, it serves as dietary fiber in human nutrition. Cellulose also serves as material for paper, packaging films and foils and artificial casings. It belongs to the group of polysaccharides.

Cereal sausages

For this product group sizeable quantities of various non-meat ingredients such as breadcrumbs, rice, potatoes, cassava, etc are incorporated into the basic mixture of pre-cooked lower value animal parts. Also liver or blood may be added thus making those cereal sausages either part of the liver or blood sausage variety. The term cereal refers to grain crops and other field crops.


Coarse describes a degree of comminution, in this context not very finely comminuted.

Cold smoking

Cold smoking is the application of smoke to meat products at temperatures below 24°C. It is mainly used for raw-fermented sausages and raw hams.


Collagen is an important component of connective tissue found in tendons, skin, bones and cartilage. Due to its high water holding capacity it is used as binding agent in blood sausages and gelatines. It serves also for the manufacture of artificial casings.

Colloid mill

Also known as emulsifier, this equipment is used for very fine cutting or comminution of sausage batters.

Common salt

Common salt (sodium chloride) is the sodium salt of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and is one of the most important aiding substances (additives) in meat processing. Common salt facilitates the extraction of protein (actin, myosin) and contributes to the taste.


This term refers to the means of transmission of heat in food products consisting mainly of solids.

Connective tissue

Connective tissue consists of connective tissue proteins i.e. collagen, elastin and is found in many body parts, with particularly high quantities in tendons, skins and cartilages.


This term refers to the means of transmission of heat in food products which consist to a great extend of liquids.

Corned beef

The classical Corned beef was a by-product of meat extract production. Before refrigeration was available, the only way to utilize surplus beef from Latin-America and other regions of the Southern hemisphere for shipment to Europe was to produce meat extract. Originally a by-product, the cooked beef, which still has a high protein content, is filled into cans and heat sterilized. The result is Corned beef.

Core temperature

In meat processing, this term refers to the temperature achieved in the critical thermal point of products where it takes longest for the temperature to change.


Curing is the method used to achieve the desired red colour in processed meat products. The products are salted with a mixture of common salt (sodium chloride NaCl) and the curing agent sodium nitrite (NaNO2). Sodium nitrite facilitates formation of a red curing colour and typical aroma/flavour.


This term refers to storage temperatures of -18°C and below and is ideally suited for long-term storage of meat and meat products.


Detergents are substances used in cleaning and capable of relaxing the surface tension of water to enhance the cleaning effect. Most common are anion detergents (soaps), cation detergents (invert soaps) and non-ionogenic detergents.

DFD meat

The term DFD refers to “dark, firm, dry”. Meat showing DFD properties can be identified by a pH-value above 6.2.


Cure accelerator with similar effect as sodium ascorbate.


The F-value is a unit of measure for the heating effect obtained in heat-treated products. The letter “F” in F-value is derived from Fahrenheit (temperature scale used in the US). Preservation by cooking/sterilization of processed products following the F-value concept is far more reliable than orientation by core temperatures alone. Computation of the F-value and cooking according to F-value is based on inhibition or elimination of microorganisms and maintaining as far as possible the sensory quality of products.


Fat is defined as a substance under the category of triglycerides. It exists in various forms and is used in sausage production.


Fermentation is the breakdown of organic substances by fermentative microorganisms. During fermentation, carbohydrates are partly reduced to acids or other substances (extraction of alcohol from sugar). In meat processing, fermentation occurs in raw sausage and raw ham production.


This term is used in sensory evaluation and refers to a combination of taste and odour.

Freezing point

The term refers to the temperature at which a substance changes from liquid to solid. This temperature varies from substance to substance. Water freezes at 0°C, if salt is added the water/salt solution freezes at a much lower temperature. The freezing point of lean meat is at -1.5°C.

Fresh processed meat products

The characteristic of this group is that all meat and non-meat ingredients are added fresh (raw), either refrigerated or non-refrigerated, but not cooked. Most of the fresh meat mixes are filled in casings, which defines such products as sausages. If other portioning is customary, the products are known as patties, kebab, or burgers. Only prior to consumption the products are heat treated (frying, cooking) and usually consumed hot.

Friction smoke

A specific technique employed in smoke generation. Smoke is produced by pressing a wood log onto a rotating wheel. This causes friction and frictional heat so that the log smoulders and smoke is generated.


GdL stands for Glucono-delta-lactone and is obtained from dextrose. In watery solution, GdL changes rapidly into gluconic acid. The prime area of GdL application is the manufacturing of fast cured raw-fermented sausages.


Gelatine is made of collagen containing materials such as bones, cartilage and skins (rinds, hides). Gelatine is a high-molecular protein which swells in cold water and which forms viscous solutions in warm water. Upon cooling, a solid gel is obtained.


Grinding or mincing are terms used in meat processing, when bigger meat pieces are broken down in size by use of specialized equipment.


The grinder is a machine used to force meat or meat trimmings by means of a feeding worm (auger, feeding screw) under pressure inside a horizontally mounted cylinder (barrel, feeding worm housing). At the end of the barrel the meat is broken down in size by a cutting system consisting of star shaped knives (cutters) rotating with the feeding worm and perforated cutting discs (grinding plates).

Guar gum

Guar gum is a hydrocolloid obtained from the seeds of a leguminose plant and used as thickener in soups, gravies and sauces.


Refers in the narrower sense to Muslim dietary laws. An important feature as far as meat and poultry are concerned, is the slaughtering according to Halal rules which in practice mostly excludes prestunning of slaughter animals. Pork and pork based products are prohibited and pork-based food operations such as pig slaughtering or pork processing must be absent where processing of Halal meat and meat products takes place.


Hemoglobin is the red pigment of blood.

High hydrostatic pressure treatment

Method of food preservation where microbial reduction is achieved through application of high pressure (in the range of 3000 bar) on the food product.

Hot smoke

Hot smoking is the form of smoking which involves high temperatures (>50-70°C) and is mainly used for frankfurter-type sausages.


This term describes the process of separating meat and bones from freshly slaughtered unchilled animal carcasses.

Hurdle concept

The hurdle concept serves as a system of estimating and influencing the shelf life of meat and processed meat products. In this concept several individual measures (hurdles) are combined to prevent microorganisms from growing/multiplying such as temperature, humidity, water content, pH-value, salt concentration, presence of preserving substances, etc.


An amino acid, which in meat exclusively occurs in the connective tissue and which is therefore used as a parameter in connective tissue protein determination.


Such a device is used to determine the relative air humidity. Hygrometers are available as simple hair hygrometer models and electronic aspiration psychrometers.

Intermediate moisture food

The term Intermediate Moisture Food characterizes processed products, which have a low aw-value and possess great storage stability.


In the food sector irradiation by ionizing high energy gamma rays, x-rays, or in some cases by high energy of electron sources, is used in some countries (where such treatments are legal) for reducing or eliminating microbial contamination in food, control parasite such as trichinae in meat or insect in grains and sanitize packing material prior to food packaging or treat drinking water.

Kidney fat

Also known as kidney tallow, this term describes the layer of fat where the kidneys are embedded.

Lactic acid

Lactic acid belongs to the so called food grade acids as do citric acid and acetic acid, and are used to lower the pH-values.


Lactobacilli are gram positive microorganisms which have the ability to form acids from carbohydrates. They are used as starter cultures in raw-fermented sausage production.

Liquid smoke

Liquid smoke is obtained by condensation of natural smoke in liquids and used in meat processing by being sprayed into smoking chambers where it will condensate on the surfaces of the products or by directly adding to meat mixes.

Liver sausage

Liver sausage belongs to the group of precooked-cooked sausages and is composed of precooked meat trimmings and fatty tissues and liver (10-20%). The liver (mainly added raw) provides not only the name for this sausage type but also contributes to its unique flavour and taste. In general two types of liver sausages are produced, the coarse-mixed type and the fine-emulsified type.

Meat inspection

Each slaughtered animal should undergo official meat inspection after slaughtering to ensure that only meat fit for human consumption enters into the sales and distribution chain. Respective national regulations must be observed.

Meat products

Meat products are such food products which are exclusively or predominantly composed of meat.


The term microorganisms is used collectively for all live organisms which in their cellular from cannot be detected upon visual inspection. The term microorganisms refers to bacteria, yeasts and moulds. All these microorganisms are of great importance in meat processing.


Moulds are microorganisms which may be desirable or undesirable in meat processing. They can cause a multitude of damages on surfaces of meat products, split proteins and break casings by digesting celluloses. Taste and colour deviations can also occur. But some moulds are also helpful by forming a protective and flavour providing layer on the surface of air-dried raw sausages.

Mono sodium glutamate (MSG)

MSG is used in larger quantities as a flavour and taste enhancer in meat products and cooked foods especially in Asia. The use of MSG is often questioned as it can cause allergies and health problems.


Myofibrils belong to the structural elements of a muscle and form the content matter of the muscular fiber or muscle cell, enclosed by the sarcolemma. They develop from the filaments of the myofibrillary proteins actin and myosin.


Myoglobin is a proteinaceous substance in muscular meat responsible for oxygen transport in the live muscle and for the colour of fresh lean meat, but also for the curing-red colour in processed meat products after its reaction with nitrite. In this case, the myoglobin connects with the degradation product NO of the nitrite resulting in nitrosomyoglobin.


Moysin filaments represent approx. 40% of muscular proteins. As a result of association with actin they form the so called actomyosin, responsible for muscular contraction. A dissociation of these two muscle proteins brings about muscular relaxation.


Nitrite (sodium nitrite) is used for curing of meat and meat products such as raw-cooked sausages, cooked hams, raw hams, raw-fermented sausages and other products. Nitrite (NaNO2), or rather nitrogen oxide (NO), which is formed from nitrite in an acid environment, combines with myoglobin to form nitrosomyoglobin and results in the red curing colour of the meat. Nitrosomyoglobin is heat stable i.e. when the meat is heat treated the bright red colour remains. In larger quantities, which, however, are not needed in meat curing, sodium nitrite has toxic effects.

Nutritive value

The nutritive value of a meat product is determined by its content levels of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other nutrient such as mineral salts and vitamins (see also Biological value).

Organic non-fat

In simple analyses of meat products, only the fat, water and mineral contents are determined by extraction and drying respectively. The remaining constituents are described as organic non-fat (ONF), which can contain proteins and remains of carbohydrates. Minerals as inorganic compounds occur in very small quantities and can be determined by burning the sample in a furnace.

Organoleptic test

Organoleptic tests are sensory tests based on perceptions registered by the human senses, such as smell, taste, sight or touch. The testing involves colour development and retention, firmness, consistency, odour, flavour, taste and appearance.


Pasteurisation refers to the heat treatment at temperatures of up to 100°C, mostly in the temperature range of 60 to 85°C. Pasteurized products still contain a certain amount of viable (“living”) microorganisms. Their growth in the stored product can only be prevented under low temperatures. Products must therefore be kept under refrigeration (0°-5°C).

Perforated disc (grinder plate)

Perforated discs with holes of varying diameter are used with grinders as a mechanical gate through which meat being cut or comminuted can pass. By selecting the diameter of the holes in these perforated discs, the final particle size is determined.


The pH-values range from 1.0 to 14.0 with its neutral point at pH 7.0. The acidic range is below 7.0, the alkaline range above 7.0. In meat processing, the pH-values range from 4.0 to 7.0.


Phosphates have a wide application in meat processing. They directly increase the water-holding capacity of muscle meat by raising the pH-value as their own pH is above 7.0 and also stabilize the texture of meat products by increasing protein solubility in connection with salt. The most common phosphates in meat processing are Sodium tri-polyphosphate STPP (pH 9.8) and Sodium di-phosphate SDP (pH 7.3). The usual dose is 0.05 %.

Precooked-cooked meat products

These products can be manufactured from a variety of animal tissues. The animal tissues used are precooked before processing. Only liver (for liver sausage) and blood (for blood sausage) are added uncooked (raw) to the mixture. Precooked-cooked sausages can only be cut or sliced when cold. According to the ingredients used, five types of precooked-cooked sausage products can be distinguished: liver sausage, blood sausage, cooked gelatinous meat mixes, cereal sausage and corned beef.


The method of pre-salting meat as an initial step in meat processing was common in former times to increase storage properties and facilitate extraction of protein from fresh and ground raw meat materials. Presalting is not widely used in modern meat processing, as it delays production and may cause hygienic risks.


The term preservation refers to all measures taken to extend the shelf life of meat and meat products. Those measures can be both physical as well as chemical methods. The most common are heating, cooling, freezing, drying, smoking, lowering of pH-value and the addition of salt and nitrite.


Proteins consist of large molecules of amino acids. Many of them are soluble, have the ability to swell in water and denaturate upon heating. Particular use is made of such protein properties in meat products manufacturing. Proteins are the most important constituents of meat and meat products.

PSE meat

The term PSE refers to “pale, soft, exudative” and characterizes meat which shows poor water-binding capacity due to a non-normal fast drop of the ph after slaughter.


Rancidity is the result of enzymatic or autoxidative fat spoilage. Rancidity is easily detected by sensory testing.

Raw-cooked meat products

For these products, the components meat, fat and non-meat ingredients are processed raw (“raw”=uncooked) by comminuting and mixing. The viscous mix/batter is portioned (in sausages, etc.) and then submitted to heat treatment (“cooking”), where protein coagulation results in the firm-elastic texture typical for ready-to-eat raw-cooked products. Raw-cooked meat products are mostly manufactured and marketed as sausages in small to larger calibre casings, but are also available as meat loaves, meat balls or as canned products. The most common are the small-calibre “Frankfurters”, “Vienna sausage” and “Hotdogs”, the large calibre “Bologna” and “Lyoner” and the canned “Luncheon meat”.

Raw-fermented sausages These are uncooked meat products and consist of comminuted lean meats and fatty tissues with a mixture of salts, nitrite (curing agent), sugars and spices. Sometimes fermenting organisms (microbial starter cultures) are added. After stuffing the mixture into casings, the sausages undergo a drying and ripening process. Here bacterial fermentation (lowering of pH to 4.9 – 5.4) and dehydration (moisture content about 30%) takes place. The products are traditionally not subjected to heat treatment and usually also consumed raw.


In meat processing, this term refers mainly to products such as cooked hams, where individual pieces of meat are put together to form a bigger ham.


This term refers to the chemical process in which the substance oxygen is chemically reduced. One typical example is the reduction of sodium nitrite (NaNO2) to nitrogen oxide (NO) during curing.

Refrigeration chain

Meat and processed meat products are highly perishable goods and must therefore be generated, stored and transported under refrigeration. All these individual stages of refrigeration form the “refrigeration chain” or “cold chain”.


By definition, the term rind refers to the scalded and dehaired skin of pigs, which contains mainly connective tissue proteins.


This term refers to meat mixes which are stuffed into natural or artificial casings of various calibres.


The scientific term saccharose refers to the common household sugar, which is partly also used in the manufacturing of sausage products (taste, assisting starter cultures). Saccharose is sweeter than dextrose.


Salmonellae are the best known and most feared type of bacteria, as they can lead to a great number of food poisonings (vomiting, diarrhoea, typhoid fever). Salmonellae belong to the Enterobacteriaceae family. Heating to a temperature of 68°C will kill salmonella bacteria reliably; storage temperatures of below 4°C inhibit their growth. Salmonellae have been primarily being identified in pork and poultry meat.


A separator is a device designed to separate different components from liquid or solid substances. One well-know type of separator equipment is the blood separator used to separate and obtain blood plasma; other types include the hard separator used for separating muscular protein and connective tissue from bones and the soft separator used to separate muscle tissue from connective tissue.

Sheep casing

When the small intestines of sheep are cleaned and properly processed, natural casings are obtained with small calibres (18-24mm). These casings are edible and mainly used for frankfurter type or BBQ sausages. Available and widely used are also artificial casings, which resemble sheep casings. These casings are obtained from collagen material and are also edible.


The most common way of generating smoke is by smoldering of wood, wood shavings or sawdust. The process of smoking plays an important role in meat processing, as it not only contributes to meat product preservation, but also adds to the flavour and taste of such products.

Soy protein

In terms of nutritional value, soy protein is a high-quality protein with a wide application in meat processing all over the world. Depending on the way of fabrication, it acts as binder (soy isolate) or meat extender (soy concentrate).

Spices (condiments, seasonings)

Spices are derived from certain parts of plant species processed to maintain their naturally occurring taste or flavour for use in foods and processed products.


When stated in the list of ingredients, stabilizer is regarded as a class name which stands collectively for all ingredients and additives used for product stabilization in the broadest sense. As regards the manufacturing of meat products, citrates and phosphates are viewed as stabilizers.

Delta-D (Staged) cooking

This term refers to a cooking technique used in cooked ham or other cooked products of larger calibres such as Mortadella sausages. According to this technology the “cooking” temperature (cooking chamber or cooking vat temperature) is kept in relation to the core temperature of the product, in practice always approx. 25°-30°C above the prevailing core temperature. Upon reaching the chosen temperature of the cooking chamber/cooking vat (e.g. 75°C for cooked ham), this temperature is not increased further, but cooking continues until the required core temperature in the product has been achieved. This method reduces cooking losses and sensory damage.


Starch is a polysaccharide based on glucose. When placed in warm water (+50°C), starch undergoes intensive swelling resulting in glue formation. Because of its glue-forming property, starch is used in its modified form as a binding agent for soups and sauces, but also as a filler with binding properties in meat products.

Starter cultures

This is the term used for cultures of microorganisms which are helpful in fermentation of foodstuffs. Commercially marketed starter cultures for raw fermented sausage production usually contain Lactobacilli (lowering of pH-value) and Micrococci or Staphylococci (flavour building). Such cultures are marketed in either freeze-dried (lyophilisized) or deep-frozen form. Due to specific metabolic reactions, starter cultures initiate fermentation processes such as carbohydrate degradation and acid formation, nitrate reduction and thereby stable red colour formation and flavour development.


Sterilization refers to the heat treatment of meat products at temperatures above the boiling point. For meat and processed meat products mostly the temperature range of +105 to +121°C is used. Sterilized products are free of vegetative forms of microorganisms and practically also free of spores (Exception: Commercially sterile products, see page 294). Depending on the degree of sterilization, packaging material used and prevailing storage temperature, the shelf life of such products can be substantially extended.


This term describes a measure for hotness or coldness of solids, liquids or gases, and is expressed in degrees (e.g. Celsius, Fahrenheit).

Tenderizer, biochemical

In this context, the term tenderizer refers to enzymes which can split meat proteins, thus increasing the tenderness. Such tenderizers, used in meat technology, are papain, bromelain, actinidin and ficin extracted from papaya, pineapple, kiwi and pig respectively.

Tenderizer, mechanical

In this context, the term tenderizer refers to equipment or tools used to incise (steak) meat pieces intended for grilling or pan-frying or production of cooked hams prior to curing/tumbling. The purpose of this action is to break down muscle fibre structures (tenderness) and also enlarge the meat surface for protein extraction.


Tendons are connective tissue structures made of elastin, which serve to attach muscles to bones. Another name for tendon is sinew.


This term is used in sensory evaluation describing those physical properties of foods, which are noticed by touch, bite and feel.


Tumblers are used for the processing of meat products such as whole-muscle or reconstituted hams. A rotating drum with steel paddles inside slowly moves the meat pieces causing a mechanical massaging effect. This process helps to achieve equal brine distributions and sets free muscular protein from the meat tissue which joins the meat pieces firmly together during the following heat treatment.


The abbreviation TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. Suitable plant proteins, in the first place soy protein, are treated to obtain a certain structure and texture and are used as extenders or meat replacers.

Vacuum stuffer

A vacuum stuffer (filling machine) has a built-in vacuum pump which extracts air from the sausage mix prior to stuffing. This results in reduction of air pockets in the mix, the presence of which could lead to discolouration or gel/fat separation in the final product.


Water (H2O) is the main component of meat (up to 80% in lean meat). Besides this “natural” water, water can also be used in some processed meat products as an ingredient. During the manufacture of raw/cooked meat batters water acts together with salt and phosphates to solubilize muscle proteins. Water is also needed as a solvent for curing substances or other non-meat ingredients.

Water activity

See aw-value

Water holding capacity

The ability to bind or release water is an important property of muscular protein in meat processing. For raw-cooked products a high water binding capacity is desirable, but for raw-fermented products a low water binding (increased release of water) is important. A first step is therefore the selection of suitable meat material and identification of suitable additives to support the desired properties. The higher the pH-value, the better will be the water holding capacity; the lower the pH-value, the higher the water loss.

Wet curing

Wet curing describes a technique where meat pieces are first injected with and later submerged in brine.


In meat processing yeasts can be both, desirable and damaging. Selected yeasts are applied in fermentation of bread, raw hams, raw sausages and cheese, but undesirable yeasts can result in spoilage of meat products due to gas formation and excessive growth.


In the context of meat production and processing, yield describes the fresh weight: product weight ratio.

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