Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


The fabrication of carne-de-sol and charque requires a minimum of plant and equipment, but careful consideration should be given to the layout of the premises to facilitate product flow and to reduce the risk of contamination during processing (see Figure 1). Suitable premises would have sufficient ground area to house the following sectors.

It would be advisable to include a cold store for the reception and storage of raw materials but such a feature could only be economically justified in the case of large deliveries which cannot be processed immediately or where there is an identified supply of frozen carcass meat.

The reception area is usually raised to accommodate off-loading of delivered carcass meat. In the case of alinked abattoir/processing plant, direct access from the carcass holding area to the deboning room could be considered without the need for an intervening reception platform. Provision should be made for the installation of a carcass rail to suspend quarters in order to facilitate off-loading and subsequent deboning.

The deboning room should be large enough to handle maximum possible throughputs and equipped with deboning tables of galvanised steel, finished with a top of stainless steel or high density plastic. The use of wooden tables is not recommended.

Figure 01

Figure 1. Schematised layout of charque and carne-de-sol plant, showing flow.

In most charqueadas it is usual to find the deboning tables aligned directly with openings in the wall through which the deboned “mantas” pass into the salting room. In the case of charque, the “mantas” fall directly into a brine tank. Pieces of carne-de-sol, which are not usually subject to a wet salting, should be manipulated on to a table placed immediately behind or beneath the wall opening.

The salting room should be large and kept cool by reducing window area and allowing a good air circulation, preferably through roof spaces covered with netting to prevent the entry of birds and insects. The floor should be screened concrete with adequate surface drainage to remove meat juices expressed during salting and pressing. The use of fat traps is recommended. Access into this area from the outside should be restricted and via foot dips. A dry salt store would usually be positioned adjacent to the salting room. Care should be taken to keep the salt sacks off the floor to prevent hardening. Wooden pallet boards may be used for this purpose. The washing tanks, made of concrete and preferably lined with high quality glazed tiles, should be located immediately outside the salting room. An abundant supply of good quality treated water is essential.

Figure 2.

Figure 2. Covered area for the drying of carne-de-sol.

In the case of carne-de-sol, drying is usually carried out in well ventilated areas, protected from insects and birds by netting (see Figure 2). The concrete plinths for “winter pillage” may also be positioned within this covered area.

Drying of charque is usually achieved by suspending “mantas” over wooden rails (varales) in direct sun light (see Figure 3). The rails should be aligned in a north-south direction to maximise solar cover and kept a minimum of 0.80 m apart to facilitate loading and off-loading with hand-pulled trollies. Upper and lower rails should be placed 0.70 m apart to ensure adequate separation of the meat pieces.

The inclusion of a packaging and storage area in the plant layout is strongly recommended. Where charque is likely to be transported over long distances, it would be advisable to install some form of meat press to produce packets of uniform size and weight. The most common form of packaging for these products is in jute sacks but nylon substitutes are acceptable.

Figure 3.

Figure 3. Area for the drying of charque, showing varales and concrete plinths.

Care should be taken to locate the plant in a pollution free area open to natural ventilation and exposure to the sun. Surrounding trees and vegetation should be cleared and the whole area cordoned off with a post and wire fence to prevent entry of domestic and wild animals. Areas not covered in concrete should be planted with grass to limit soil erosion and prevent the formation of dust bowls which are likely to complicate good sanitation practices. This applies both to the plant and the area immediately surrounding it. Care should be taken to maintain the compound and surrounding area free of debris and rubbish which could act as a focus point for insects and rodents.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page