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The selection of ingredients is basic for the production of sausages of uniform standard quality. Although beef, veal and pork are the main meat sausage materials, mutton, poultry and other kinds of meat, together with edible by-products, are also of importance. Apart from meat raw materials, a number of nonmeat ingredients, such as curing salts, sugar, spices and casings, are increasingly used in sausage production. The regulations in many countries have an important bearing on the use of different ingredients in sausage formulations; however, in a number of developing countries no regulations exist or they are not applied. In developed countries particularly, there is governmental pressure to reduce the amounts of salt, nitrite, nitrate and other additives or ingredients in different kinds and types of sausages.


Skeletal muscle meats from slaughtered animals are the principal ingredients used in sausage production. However, the different skeletal muscles vary not only in their contents of fat, water and proteins, but also in their water binding and emulsifying properties, colour, etc. This is the reason why all skeletal muscle meats, such as different cuts of carcasses, including cheek and head meats and trimmings, as well as other muscle meats, such as hearts, weasand meat (muscular part of oesophagus) and giblet meat (fleshy portion of diaphragm), are regularly subdivided according to their fat-to-lean ratios and their water binding properties.

The control of moisture, fat and protein is difficult due to the fact that is not possible to obtain a high degree of uniformity in the lean and fatty meat ingredients in various sausage formulations. For instance, considerable variations from one lot of beef or pork trim to another are possible. There is considerable variation between the animals themselves; the trimming operation also introduces variations. The sausage producer should control these variations in the sausage mix in order to obtain a more uniform finished product which, obviously, will have more appeal from the customer's viewpoint.

Meat trimmings in particular vary in kind and quality. Thus, in order to achieve an accurately formulated product, the trimmings should be classified according to fat, moisture and protein content, as well as the species of animal from which they originate. Under this classification, fat pork trimmings consist of more than 40 percent of fat.

In a similar manner lean beef (comparatively free from fat, as chuck and neck trimmings) is distinguished from larger portions of fat, such as flank or rib trimmings. Lean beef trimmings and generally lean beef cuts are preferred for use in fermented sausage products where a large percentage of beef is essential. Meat trimmings are relatively perishable and great care must be exercised to keep trimmings in a fresh condition.

Meats of high and low water binding properties.

Meat showing high water binding properties are recommended for emulsion-type sausage manifacture; they are bull, cow and calf meats, beef trimmings, beef chucks, lean pork trimmings and skinned poultry meat. Many high-value beef cuts, not suitable for direct sale because of bruising or other defects, may be utilized in sausages after the damaged parts have been trimmed away. Such meats are normally characterized by a good water binding capacity while veal also gives a light coloured sausage. Mutton has superior binding properties, but due to its strong flavour, its usage is ordinarily limited to about 15–20 percent of the total meat. Despite this fact all mutton sausages have a high reputation in a number of countries.

Buffalo meat is seldom used for sausage production. Usually buffaloes are slaughtered at an advanced age when they have reached the end of their useful working life as draught or milk-producing animals. The age factor probably accounts for the general opinion that buffalo meat is unacceptably tough. Buffalo meat gives a dark coloured sausage but has excellent binding qualities.

Beef flank and beef and pork cheek head and shank meats possess intermediate binding properties. Beef and pork cheek and head meats are removed from the head of the animal at the same time and thoroughly washed to remove adhering blood. They are quickly chilled or immediately used in various sausage formulations. Shoulders and other pork cuts are also deboned and the meat used in sausages.

Fat pork trimmings, hearts, beef briskets, porkjowls, weasand meats and giblets are meats of inferior binding capacity. When such materials are used in a sausage formula, the sausage manufacturer must proceed more carefully as these tissues contain a relatively large amount of free water with a highly varied water-to-protein ratio.

Fig 16


Superior sausage-making properties of hot boned beef.

Meat, removed from the carcasses of bulls immediately after slaughter (within 1 to 2 hours), has long been appreciated in traditional European sausage production. Experience has shown that using such prerigor boned bull beef in meat emulsion can be a tremendous advantage resulting in a product of superior water binding and emulsifying properties with improved flavour, texture and stability of the finished product (Fig. 16). The reason for better binding and emulsifying characteristics of prerigor meat lies in the extraction of salt-soluble proteins (actin and myosin) before they combine to form nonextractable actomyosin causing the onset of rigor mortis. The addition of 2 percent of salt to prerigor beef results in the absence of rigor mortis, an increase of extractable proteins and enhanced water binding and emulsifying properties compared with conventionally chilled meat which has gone into rigor without the addition of salt. The maintenance of superior functional properties of prerigor meat requires either its salting or rapid freezing and its use without thawing or freeze-drying after salting.

Refigeration and technological development has moved the meat industry away from prerigor meat processing and separated the slaughterer from the sausage manufacturer. Thus, the meat industry is presently accustomed to handling chilled postrigor meats.

Although there are reasons for using prerigor meats in many meat products, its main field of utilization is doubtlessly in emulsion-type sausage manufacture where the greater water binding and emulsifying capacity can be better utilized. Prerigor meat processing would be particularly advantageous for those small-scale manufacturers who do their own slaughtering. On the other hand, major changes in modern meat industry practice in developed countries must be made if prerigor meat is to be used again in meat processing.

Hot meat intended for emulsion-type sausage manufacture should be derived from carcasses immediately after slaughter. The forequarters are normally first deboned, trimmed free of fat and sinews, chopped and mixed with salt. Then the same is done with the hindquarters. The reason for giving processing priority to forequarters is that the onset of rigor mortis occurs earlier in forequarters (within 2 to 4 hours) than in hindquarters (within 3 to 5 hours). The use of bull meat, which is normally very lean, is an advantage since its trimming process is relatively short compared, for instance, with cow meat.


All types of fat can be incorporated in sausage mixtures but in general carcass fats are preferred. Internal or body fats can also be used.

Immediately after its removal from the body, fatty material, particularly internal fats, must be washed in cold water, classified according to fat-lean ratio and thoroughly chilled. Care should be taken to prevent oxidation and eliminate any kind of impurities, odours, etc.

Total fat of an animal body is composed of three main fat deposits: subcutaneous, intermuscular and kidney knob and channel fat.

Subcutaneous fat represents the peripheral layer of fat to the level of the connective tissue covering most surface carcass muscles but excluding M. cutaneus trunci which lies in the subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat, particularly pork fat, is widely used in sausage manufacture.

Intermuscular fat includes the fat lying between the muscles, together with thin connective tissue, small blood vessels and small muscles that are physically difficult to separate. In the preparation of meat for raw sausages, accumulations of intermuscular fat should be trimmed as best as possible.

Kidney knob and channel fat encompasses the perinephric and retroperitoneal fat. The restricted quantities of this fat can be incorporated in emulsion-type sausages.

The amount of added fat depends on the type of sausage and on the fat content of meat used in its manufacture. The role of fat varies according to the type of sausage. In emulsion-type sausages the fat is part of a complex system, participating in forming the product's characteristic structure. In raw sausages, fat contributes to the specific taste, aroma and consistency of this type of product.

Some observations concerning the choice and use of beef fat in sausage products.

Beef fat is a valuable raw sausage ingredient which requires special care. It easily becomes sour or rancid if improperly handled or if kept under improper conditions. Beef fat should preferably be used as fresh as possible, without freezing and storing. If, however, beef fat must be stored, the storage temperature should not exceed 5°C.

Old or rancid fat should never be mixed with fresh fat. Old fat will simply contaminate and ruin any other fat mixed with it. The unprocessed meat sausage mass containing such fat very often appears to be entirely fresh but the finished sausage may still be of a low organoleptic value or quite inedible.

The best fats for making all beef sausages are brisket fat and back fat. The white fat of not too young beef animals in preferred for sausage making. Firm white fat is associated with quality sausages.


Variety or fancy meats are also used in sausage manufacture. They include tripe, tongues, livers, blood or blood plasma, brains, lungs, udders (nonlactating), spleens, suet and cod and brisket fat, pig stomachs, gelatinous skins, pig backfat and caul fat, ears, snouts, ox lips etc. They are of inferior binding capacity. However, prepared and processed thoroughly as when used in sausages, they are palatable and nutritious.

Tongues, after removal from the head, are washed, chilled and trimmed. After the livers have been removed from the carcass and veterinary inspected, the gall bladder is cut off. Care is exercised not to puncture the bladder because the gall of the bladder would spoil the liver. The livers are washed with a minimum amount of water. They are kept in a chiller or freezer if not used immediately. Calf and pig livers are particularly used for the manufacture of liver sausages.

Hearts are cut open, washed and chilled or frozen. Kidneys are skinned, trimmed free of fat and chilled or frozen. In obtaining tripe, the rumens are cleaned, carefully washed, hand-scrubbed with brushes and their mucous linings are removed; they are then trimmed of adhering tissues, cooked, trimmed free of fat and used in sausage manufacture or kept in a chiller or freezer for future use. Pork stomachs are cut open, emptied and washed; mucous coating is then removed and the stomachs are cooked, chilled and used in sausages.


Meat fat and other meat raw material used in sausage production are stored at a temperature between 0° and 3°C, if unfrozen. Similar temperatures are employed for storing edible by-products.

Frozen meat must be stored at minus temperatures corresponding to the degree of meat freezing required ranging from -8° to -20°C.

It is not absolutely necessary to control storage humidity. It usually ranges from 80 to 85 percent. It is highly desirable, however, to keep the walls and ceilings free from condensation because any moisture drip upon the product is a source of contamination.


A number of nonmeat ingredients are included in sausage formulations by many manufacturers, especially in lower or medium-grade sausages and loaves. These ingredients are commonly known as binders, fillers and extenders. The use of binders, fillers and extenders is not always justified and many people object to sausages containing them. Many countries have restrictions on type, amount and quality of binders, fillers and extenders used in sausages. Products containing more nonmeat ingredients than allowed by meat inspection standards, must be marked as “sausage imitation”. Products where the word “meat” does not appear in the name, or which are labeled as “imitation”, are not restricted in their content of extenders.

Binders are proteinaceous agents enhancing water binding properties and helping in binding together different materials in sausage products; sometimes they also contribute to fat emulsification.

The most important protein products are: sodium caseinate (90 percent protein), soy protein isolate (90 percent protein), vital wheat gluten (80 percent protein), soy protein concentrate (70 percent protein) etc. Many of these proteins are used by meat processors for their functional (binding, emulsifying, extending) attributes rather than for their nutritional fortification. Functional properties of these proteins contribute to structural, emulsifying, binding and gelling qualities in sausages as well as to colour and flavour. Solubility and water absorption influence the functional performance of these proteins in sausage systems. Different factors, such as methods of soy protein production, contents of salt, pH, temperature etc., affect solubility and water absorption.

Addition of blood plasma proteins (obtained, for example, by centrifugation of beef blood mixed with an equal volume of 0.9 percent NaCl solution, containing 0.5 percent sodium citrate) also improves physical and nutritional properties and yields of some sausage products. Whole blood protein powders also show important emulsifying properties but blood powders impart a dark colour to sausages. Plasma and globin proteins, separated from the blood and decolourized, exhibit excellent functional properties.

Fillers are carbohydrate products able to adsorb extensive quantities of water but they are not good emulsifiers. Common fillers, which are used in sausage manufacture, include cereal flours and starches derived from rice, corn, potato, rusk (a cracker meal obtained by baking an unleavened high protein wheat flour), bread etc. Corn syrup and dried corn syrup contribute to the texture of products. These fillers may be added to sausages to increase their water binding capacity and/or to provide protein which can act as an emulsifier. Potatoes can also be processed to provide starch, flour and proteins which can be used in sausage production.

Flours often give the sausages a somewhat tight structure. Potato flour binds moisture in cooked and emulsion-type sausages, but in fresh sausages it causes a springy and resilient effect after drying. Cooked rice tends to give a fairly firm texture while corn flour contributes to good slicing characteristics. Pre-soaked rusk contributes to an even moisture distribution in the sausage, and yeastless bread may improve both the texture and flavour of the sausage.

Sausage raw materials characterized by inferior binding properties such as tripe, skin, snouts, pork stomachs, lips etc. are often considered as “filler meats”.

The term “extenders” usually covers nonmeat materials, added in such an amount that they are able to increase the bulk or modify the quality of a sausage or loaf product. Meat extenders are primarily plant proteins, usually from soybeans. These are first prepared as a flour, a concentrate or an isolate (to a protein level of 90 percent or more). Then, they are further processed to produce the end-product which is often textured to resemble meat fibres. Vegetable proteins are used as extenders for ground beef, for example hamburgers. To an amount of 75 percent of ground beef, 25 percent of a mixture of three parts water and one part vegetable protein, is added. Such a protein extruded meat product has a high water binding capacity.


Salt is the main flavouring agent used in making sausages and it contributes to basic taste characteristics of the final product. The amount of salt added depends on the sausage type and particularly on the fat content but in general it ranges from 1.8 to 2.2 percent of the sausage mix. An acceptable level of salt in dry or semidry sausages is about 3 percent. However, higher and lower salt levels are often used.

Although salt is not generally used in concentrations sufficient to effect preservation it exerts some antimicrobial activity. Some bacteria are already inhibited at 2 percent levels of salt. Other microorganisms tolerate a much higher concentration of salt.

Fig 17


Salt also performs other functions in sausage. It dissolves in water and aids in the water binding and emulsifying capacity of meat proteins. Use of salt alone gives a dry salty product which has an unattractive colour. Today, salt is generally used in combination with sugar and nitrite. Salt should be pure and sufficiently finely granulated to dissolve easily in the meat.


Nitrite and nitrate exercise a powerful influence, imparting the desired colour to the meat. Nitrate serves chiefly as a source of nitrite. Reduction of nitrate to nitrite requires a relatively high population level of nitrate-reducing bacteria which is highly undesirable, especially in warm climates. Since nitrite has a quicker reaction, it is widely used in place of nitrate.

In order to fix the colour of meat, the nitrite must change into nitric oxide (Fig. 18) which actually combines with myoglobin to form a pink-red nitrosylmyoglobin or pigment of cured meat. There are several conditions under which nitrite can be reduced to nitric oxide: (a) at pH below 5.5; this convention is accelerated by the addition of deltagluconolactone which forms gluconic acid thus lowering the sausage pH; (b) by mitochondrial enzymes under anaerobic conditions; but in rapid curing, it is conceivable that the formation of cooked cured meat colour follows mainly nonenzymatic pathways; (c) by adding reductants (ascorbic acid or its sodium salts) which greatly accelerate nitric oxide formation.

Fig 18


The initial reaction in the nitrosylmyoglobin formation is likely to be the oxidation of myoglobin to metmyoglobin by the nitrite itself; the metmyoglobin is then converted in nitrosylmetmyoglobin (Fig. 18). The latter is reduced to nitrosylmyoglobin either endogenously or by reductants (added ascorbate or sulfhydryl groups released during heating of meat). Finally, the best denaturation of the globin portion of myoglobin produces the pink coloured nitrosylmyochrome). Approximately 10 to 30 percent of the added nitrite remains intact as residual nitrite, 45 percent is consumed for curing colour and nitrate formation, while the remainder is involved in other reactions. Oxygen and light contribute to fading; the presence of rancid fats, hydrogen peroxide of bacterial origin or excessive amounts of nitrite in fermented sausages cause a greening of pink pigment.

In many countries the use of nitrite has been permitted provided that its residual amount in the finished product does not exceed 180 to 200 parts per million. The most popular commercial and technological form of nitrite used is the so-called “nitrite and salt curing mixture”, containing 0.5 to 0.6 percent of added sodium nitrite and 99.4 to 99.5 percent of sodium chloride. If this salt-nitrite mixture is added to meat at a level of 2 and 3 percent, it will result in 100 and 150 ppm nitrite respectively. These amounts of nitrite and sodium chloride, combined with low pH and water activity of meat and following the heat and/or smoking process, are the main bacteriostatic factors determining shelf life of the final product.

The appearance of the characteristic pink-red colour in sausages is a good sign indicating that the proper sequence of events in conversion of raw materials into a ready-to-eat product has occurred. The absence of the pink colour or development of brown or grey discoloration always indicate that spoilage is under way or will soon occur.

The use of nitrite in cured meats has been questioned during the past few years. The foremost concern was that nitrite might react with secondary and tertiary amines present in meats with subsequent formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. This concern has resulted in a trend to eliminate nitrates and reduce the amount of nitrite in cured meats. To date, reduction from 200 ppm residue in final products to 120 ppm ingoing nitrite has occurred in a number of countries. In opposition to nitrate the total ban on the use of nitrite in meat curing seems to be neither necessary nor justifiable in view of the present state of knowledge. The regulatory status of nitrite and nitrate in many countries is still somewhat tenuous and thus the research for alternative preservatives in cured meat countinues to find supplementary antimicrobials able to assure safety from botulism.


These reductants react with nitrite to give nitric oxide, thus fastening development of the pink-red colour in cured sausages. Only sodium ascorbate and erythorbate (isoascorbate) are used in practice since ascorbic and isoascorbic acids react directly with the nitrite. Sausage emulsions containing ascorbate or erythorbate may be heat treated immediately after stuffing and a uniform red colour results throughout the product. Ascorbate apparently rapidly reduces metmyoglobin to myoglobin and, secondly reacts with nitrite to produce nitric oxide more efficiently. There are a number of other curing adjuncts which accalerate curing reactions.


Sugar is added to meat as an adjunct to counteract the salty taste, to give flavour and to serve as a substrate for bacterial acid production in dry and semidry sausages. Sugar acting with the amino acids produce browning products which contribute to the colour and flavour of the product. Dextrose and d-glucose are employed in sausages at levels of 0.5 to 2.0 percent or even more. Occasionally, saccharose and maltose are also used in processing. The high sugar level in meat products is unusual for the average European or American but quite acceptable or pleasing to many Asians.

Corn syrup and corn syrup solids are often used instead of sugar; they are composed of a mixture of dextrose, maltose and dextrins whose relative quantity ratios are dependent upon the degree of starch saccharification.


Phosphates have wide application in the meat processing industry. They include sodium tripolyphosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, dissodium phosphate etc..

Alkaline phosphate salts (sodium tripolyphosphate and tetrasodium pyrophosphate) elevate the pH of meat, thus improving its water-holding power. The acid reacting phosphates (alkali-metal salts or ortophosphoric acid and pyrophosphoric acid), on the contrary, lower the pH.

Polyphosphates act as buffers; they sequester cations and raise the ionic strength of the solution. Tetrasodium pyrophosphate interacts directly with actomyosin dissociating it into myosin and actin. Sodium tripolyphosphate has a similar effect, but is active after a short delay for enzymatic hydrolysis to tetrasodium pyrophosphate, while sodium hexametaphosphate does not interact at all. The actin and myosin, dissociated by tetrasodium pyrophosphate and sodium tripolyphosphate, are then solubilized by salt and thereby their water binding capacity is enhanced. During heat coagulation of highly solubilized protein, the water is immobilized in the pores of formed gel structure.

Although both sodium tripolyphosphate and tetrasodium pyrophosphate are superior to all other phosphates, sodium tripolyphosphates have a higher solubility and are less prone to form insoluble precipitates. Sodium acid pyrophosphate in particular is often utilized in sausages. The permissible maximum concentration of residual phosphates in meat products is set at 0.5 percent.

Phosphates retard development of oxidative rancidity in meat products.


Colour is a very important attribute of meats and is subject to great changes during processing. Therefore, the addition of artificial dyes or natural pigments is often required to make meat products attractive to the consumer. However, artificial colouring of sausages is not usually permitted. Meat, particularly beef, contains enough natural red pigment so any addition of artificial colour is not technologically justifiable.


It is no longer economically justified for the large-scale sausage manufacturer to blend flavouring raw materials in order to achieve consistent flavour levels in his sausage product. On the other hand, for the small-scale sausage manufacturer it is essential to know how to select, use and store spices and to be acquainted with their flavour profiles.

Flavour preferences differ considerably not only from region to region and from one country to another but also within the same country. These preferences should receive serious attention by any local small-scale manufacturer not only because of their direct impact on food habits and expectations of his sausage consumers but also because of their intrinsic value to the identity of his products and because of their possible interference with modern sausage industry experience.

Any change the sausage manufacturer makes in his methods of processing can necessitate adequate modification in his spice formulations. Any new method of smoking or cooking may require spice formulation adjustments. A switch of fresh meat to frozen or of lean trimmings to those containing more fat or of local meat to imported may also render necessary a change in spice formulation. New trends in food marketing, new tastes in changing patterns of food habits and life style are also giving rise to new demands for flavouring changes.

Spices embrace an assemblage of true spices, herbs and vegetable bulbs. The term “true spices” usually refers to genuine natural spices that include dried rhizomes, barks, flowers or their parts and fruits or seeds of different plants, principally grown in tropical and subtropical regions, containing aromatic and pungent substances and used for seasoning meat products (Table 1).

Part of plantEnglish (Latin) name
Rhizomeginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.); curcuma (Curcuma longa);
Barkcinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Bl.); sweet orange and lemon (Citrus medicus);
Flowercapers (Caparis spinosa); cloves (Eugenia caryophylata Thumbe); lavender (Lavandula officinalis Chaix): mace (Myristica fragrans Houtt); saffron (Crocus sativus); tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus);
Fruit seedanise (Pimpinella adisum); allspice (Pimenta officinalis Lindl.); caraway (Carum carvi); cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum); chili (Capsicum frutescens); coriander (Coriandrum sativum); cumin (Cuminum cyminum); dill (Anethum graveolens); fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Lindl); fenugreek (Trigonella fenumgraecum); juniper (Juniperus communis); mustard (Sinapis alba and Brassica nigra): pimento see allspice).

Herbs are dried leaves of mostly temperate climate plants that have a distinctive flavour and aroma and which are used as spices to season meats and meat products (Table 2). Onion (Allium sativum) and garlic (Allium cepa), originate from vegetable bulbs and are widely used in meat product manufacture.

English Latin
Basil Ocimum basilicum
Celery Apium graveolens
Lovage Levisticum officinale, Koch
Marjoram Origanum spp.
Mint Menta piperita
Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris
Oregano Lippia spp.
Parsley Petroselium crispum
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Sage Salvia officinalis
Savoury Satureja hortensis
Sweet bay Laurus nobilis
Thyme Thymus vulgaris

Spices are variable in quality due to a complexity of varying factors (origin, climatic conditions, methods of collection, storage conditions etc.), influencing the flavouring picture. The large-scale sausages manufacturer can correct the flavour, colour and other quality characteristics of his spices through either control in his own laboratory or specifying his requirements to the spice processing company. The small-scale sausage manufacturer, in turn, cannot specify his requirements to his local spice producers, thus he is obliged himself to find the solution to his problems.

Spices are used either in natural form or as an extractive. Natural spices can be utilized whole but usually they are previously ground. Extractives include essential oils and oleoresins. Although spices are most commonly used in their natural form, extractives are becoming increasingly popular.

Natural spices.

Natural spices consist of intact plant parts, dried, cleaned and graded, and spices reduced to various degrees of comminution of breaking, granting, grinding, chopping or milling.

The main spice components are flavour-bearing essential oils which are deposited in special tightly protective cell structures. This is the reason why natural spices are characterized by an exceptionally long shelf life, and why the strength of a spice cannot be expressed by weight but rather in the percentage of essential oils it contains. Particle reduction of natural spices favours the process of flavour release. Standard ground spices produced today by major spice processors vary usually in granulation from 0.3 to 1 mm, but microground spices have a particle size of about 50 micrometer (0.05 mm). Finely pulverized spices liberate their essential oils more readily than intact spices. In small-scale sausage manufacture it is advisable to grind spice fresh when needed. Ground pepper loses potency more rapidly than most spices and it is recommended to take extra care that it is fresh.

Natural spices are particularly used for semidry and dry sausages.

Essential oils.

Essential oils are volatile spice components extracted by steam distillation. They are basically mixtures of terpenes, sesquiterpenes and other hydrocarbons, various alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, phenols, and a small amount of different residues. The terpenes and sesquiterpenes are easily oxidized and, therefore, terpenless oils are increasingly popular. Essential oils are too concentrated for direct addition to a sausage emulsion.


Oleoresins are viscous resinous materials produced by solvent extraction of ground spices; they consist of both volatile and non-volatile compounds. Oleoresins also undergo further processing to improve their solubility and adapt their strength for immediate use in sausage manufacture. Oleoresins are strong but they often lack the subtlety of flavour derived from natural spices.

Soluble spices or liquid forms of extractives.

Essential oils or oleoresins can be both water-dispersible and oil-soluble.

Dry spices or dry forms of extractives.

Essential oils and oleoresins are also available in spray-dried (encapsulated) and dry soluble forms which are often recommended in sausage making.

If the essential oils or oleoresins are evenly distributed in an edible gum solution and dried, particles of extractives are encapsulated by a layer of fine gum and a new form of seasoning is obtained.

In the preparation of dry soluble spices, the extractives are dispersed into a salt-or dextrose-medium. The dextrose or salt is easily dissolved in water and this fact helps in the uniform distribution of extractives in the sausage mix.

Soluble spices are frequently used with cooked sausages because they are low in tannin, flavones and anthocyanin which may darken when heated. Therefore, the colour of sausages is somewhat brighter when soluble rather than natural spices are added.

Spice blends.

Spice blends can be either a mixture of natural spices, of natural spices and extractives (preparations) or combinations of extractives themselves. Each of them may be produced with or without the addition of some carriers or stabilizers such as sugar, dextrose, salt, starch, some proteins etc. They are marketed in batch-packaged units suitable for direct use in sausage production.

The proper formulation of individual spices for different kinds of sausages is of utmost importance. Although, it is absolutely necessary to avoid any superiority in strength of an individual spice except for specific cases, most sausage spice formulations are composed of basic and supplementary spices. A good sausage spice mixture should normally have the individual spices so well balanced in strength that a uniform reproducible product is obtained, giving the sausage a well-balanced rounded full flavour. Spices of equal quality and strength should always be used and, after any change in their quality, the spice mixture must be reformulated.

The most important natural spice in sausage making is pepper. It blends well with salt and sage and a series of other spices. There is no great difference in flavour between black and white pepper but black pepper is more noticeable in the sausages appearance. Salt and pepper form a flavour basis for many traditional sausages.

There are also other traditional spices for many sausages. Apart from pepper, thyme and mustard as well as savoury are also popular in numerous sausages; the addition of thyme is often practised in sausages containing a distinctive amount of added cereals. Anise is used in spice formulations for many raw sausages and mortadellas, and cinnamon in spice blends for bologna and many cooked sausages; bay leaves and ginger are important spice components for pork sausages. Garlic is combined with other spices for smoked sausages, while marjoram is often found in spice formulations for different sausages as a supplementary flavouring agent. Onion is generally utilized in cooked sausage production. Nutmeg and mace are chiefly supplementary spices in blends for some cooked emulsion-type and even raw sausages. The same is almost true for cardamom and rosemary. Tarragon and cumin combine well with basic components in poultry sausage spice formulations. Lavender and rosemary are often either basic or supplementary spices for sausages made from mutton or with a high fat content. The total amount of spices added in a sausage mixture varies widely from 0.7 to 2 or more percent.

A fairly recent substance used in seasoning foods is monosodium glutamate. It fortifies and intensifies other flavours, but first of all it enhances the flavouring components of the meat itself. Sugars blend well in many spice mixtures and are often used in flavouring combinations.

Today there is an increasing trend in sausage spice formulations to combine several basic and a number of supplementary spices in such proportions to eliminate the preponderance of any single flavour, thus creating an overal harmonious flavour. Tables 3, 4, 5 and 6 list the most important spices and their usual optimum

Spices in formulation (in grammes per 1 kg)
 Basic Supplementary
Adextrose (2–3)Aallspice (0.3–3.0)
 sugar (2–4) Jamaica rum
 pepper (1–2.5) cardamom (0.3–0.5)
 red pepper (0.3–0.5) sage (0.3)
 mace (0.4–1.0)  
 dry starch syrup (2–5)  
Bmustard (1.0–2.0)Brosemary (0.3)
 caraway (0.2–0.5) cloves (0.3–0.5)
 garlic salt (0.5) marjoram (0.2–0.3)
 coriander (0.3–0.5)  
 anise (1.0–2.0)Cglutamate (0.1)
   ginger (0.1–0.3)
   fenugreek (0.5–1.0)

A - very frequent use;
B - frequent use;
C - occasional use

Spices in formulation (in grammes per 1 kg)
 Basic Supplementary
Awhite pepper (2.1–2.5)Acardamom (0.3–0.5)
 black pepper (2.0–2.5) allspice (0.2–1.0)
 glutamate (0.1) cumin
 nutmeg, mace (0.2–0.4)  
 meat broth (0.5–6.0)Bcoriander (0.2–0.3)
   juniper (0.2)
   marjoram (0.2–1.0)
Bgarlic (0.2–0.4) onion (2.5)
 red pepper (0.5) ginger (0.3–0.5)
 chili (0.01)  
 caraway (0.2–0.5)Ccelery salt (2.0)
 lemon bark (0.1–0.3) sugar
 dry starch syrup (2.0) parsley (0.02)
   cloves (0.3–0.5)

A - Very frequent use;
B - frequent use;
C - occasional use

Spices in formulation (in grammes per 1 kg)
 Basic Supplementary
Ablack pepper (1.0–2.5)Aginger (0.2–0.3)
 nutmeg, mace (0.3–1.0) red pepper (0.3–1.0)
 garlic (0.1) allspice (0.2–0.3)
   rosemary (0.1–0.3)
Bpistachio (10.0) marjoram (0.5)
 sage (0.2–0.5) oregano (0.3–0.5)
   glutamate (0.1–0.2)
  Bcaraway (0.25–1.0)
   chili (0.02)
   cardamom (0.2)
   mustard (1.5)
   onion (6.0)
  Clemon bark (0.1)
   cinnamon (0.2)
   parsley (0.2)
   cumin (0.2–0.3)

A - very frequent use;
B - frequent use;
C - occasional use

Spices in formulation (in grammes per 1 kg)
 Basic Supplementary
Aonion (10.0)Aginger (0.3–0.5)
 marjoram (0.5–2.0) thyme (0.1–0.2)
 white pepper (2.0–4.0) rosemary (0.1–0.3)
 meat broth (2.0) savoury (0.2)
 sugar (2.0–4.0) basil (0.2–0.3)
 cloves (0.2–0.4)  
 black pepper (2.0)Bvanilla (according to taste)
   nutmeg (0.3–1.0)
Ballspice (0.5) cinnamon (0.05–0.2)
 cardamom (0.2–0.5) anise (0.2)
 tomato concentrate (20.0) dill
 glutamate (0.1)  
 nutmeg (0.3–1.0)Clemon bark (0.1)
 chili (0.01) mace (0.5–1.0)
   curry (0.3)
   celery salt (0.3–2.0)
   coriander (0.3–1.0)
   caraway (0.3–0.6)
   red pepper (0.5–1.0)
   parsley (0.1–0.3)
   sweet bay

A - very frequent use;
B - frequent use;
C - occasional use

Sterilized spices.

Natural spices are sometimes contaminated with an important number of microorganisms. However, the sterilization of spices is difficult. On the other hand, as the total spice added to various type of sausages does not usually exceed 1 percent, the spice contribution in the sausage total bacterial count is, as a rule, of minor importance. Spices sterilization by ethylene oxide gas fumigation, which has frequently been used, is not without risk from the health point of view. Nevertheless, careful attention in selecting and preparing natural spices is normally sufficient to obtain a reasonable shelf life of the final product. Extractives are microbiologically advantageous because they are free of microbial contamination.

Other spice properties.

Certain spices act as antioxidants retarding the rate of oxidative changes in sausages (viz. onion, rosemary, sage, thyme, ginger, black pepper, garlic, cloves etc). Some spices contribute to microbial contamination of sausages and others have a limited preservative effect. Cinnamon, onion, garlic and a number of other spices are able to inhibit proliferation of distinctive microorganisms. Spices in raw sausage fermentation have an active influence in the control of bacterial development.


Spices (whole or ground, natural or extractives) can be stored without too much loss of flavour if tightly sealed and kept in a cool, dark and dry place.

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