Stuffing Machines

Machines are used to stuff the raw meat batter into the casings. Staffers vary in size and degree of automation but generally can be divided into two basic types: piston and pump stuffers (12). In the piston stuffers, a piston driven by manual, hydraulic, or electrical energy forces the meat through a horn. The diameter of the horn, stuffing speed, and pressure are controlled by the operator and should match the size and type of the casings used. The piston-type stuffer is recommended for coarsely ground sausages and those having large particles such as fat and pickles, because they might be damaged by an impeller-type pump. In pump stuffers the meat is passed through an impeller-type pump that usually has feedback and pop-off connectors so a vacuum can be drawn to evacuate trapped air from the meat batter. Vacuum stuffers are more expensive but are advantageous in providing high-quality products since air pockets that might be filled with gelatin (melted connective tissue) or melted fat during the cooking process are eliminated. It is important to minimize these pockets because products with an excessive amount of pockets are rejected by the consumer.

Various types of casings are used for different types of meat products. They include:

1. Natural casings obtained from the gastrointestinal track of sheep, hogs, etc. They are digestible, permeable to moisture and smoke, and can shrink with the product when a drying step is employed. However, they are not uniform and are relatively difficult to handle especially when fast automated equipment is used.

2. Manufactured collagen casings that are made from natural collagen extracted from hides. They are uniform in size and usually stronger than natural casings.

3. Cellulose casings made from cotton fibers. They are also permeable to moisture and smoke, uniform, and very strong, but nondigestible. Overall, they are very popular where high-speed stuffing machines are used.

4. Plastic casings are moisture proof and used for either water or steam cooking. They are strong and can appear with printing on the outside surface; however, they are nondigestible and have to be removed prior to consumption.

Other casings are combinations of the preceding materials such as collagen reinforced with cotton, or cotton fibers coated with plastic. Rigid metal molds are used mainly for baking loaves.

Homemade Pet Food Secrets

Homemade Pet Food Secrets

It is a well known fact that homemade food is always a healthier option for pets when compared to the market packed food. The increasing hazards to the health of the pets have made pet owners stick to containment of commercial pet food. The basic fundamentals of health for human beings are applicable for pets also.

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