Meat

Most meats (beef, lamb, poultry, pork, and game) freeze excellently; that is, after freezing, frozen storage, and thawing, they are often indistinguishable from the original material. Quality retention during long-term storage is also very high, especially for meats containing highly saturated fat. Mammoth meat unearthed from the permafrost in Siberia after 20,000 years was found to be edible (2,3).

The frozen meat trade is vital to the major meat producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere (Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand), as it enables them to export enormous tonnages of this vital export to the more densely populated countries in the Northern Hemisphere (North America and Europe). Before the advent of refrigerated transport, these countries could export only wool and tallow. Now butter, cheese, seafood, and vegetables have been added to the export of meat. At the dawn of the era of refrigerated transport the carrying temperature was — 10°C, about the best that a Linde air compressor could achieve when relying on tropical seawater for condenser cooling. It is also the warmest temperature at which white and black molds fail to develop or only develop very slowly. This traditional "meat trade" carrying temperature has given way, largely due to containerization, to the customary frozen food temperature of — 18°C. The impracticability of providing different temperatures in a container ship and the introduction of fish, frozen orange juice concentrate, vegetables, prepared meals, and so on, all of which demand at least - 18°C, has led to standardization on this colder temperature.

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