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PACKAGING OF FRESH AND PROCESSED MEAT
- Jul 11, 2018 -

The function of packaging is to surround or wrap meat products with suitable protective material (Fig. 335). Packaging materials were in the old days simple natural materials, e.g. leaves, but nowadays exclusively manufactured materials such as paper or synthetic films.

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Purpose of packaging

The basic purpose of packaging is to protect meat and meat products from undesirable impacts on quality including microbiological and physio-chemical alterations. Packaging protects foodstuffs during processing, storage and distribution from:

  • contamination by dirt (by contact  with surfaces and hands)

  • contamination by micro-organisms (bacteria,  moulds, yeasts)

  • contamination by parasites (mainly  nsects)

  • contamination by toxic substances (chemicals)

  • influences affecting colour, smell and taste (off-odour, light, oxygen)

  • loss or uptake of moisture (evaporation or water absorption)

Adequate packaging can prevent the above listed secondary contamination of meat and meat products. But the further growth of microorganisms, which are already present in meat and meat products, cannot be interrupted through packaging only. To halt or reduce microbial growth, packaging has to be combined with other treatments, such as refrigeration, which will slow down or stop the further growth of microorganisms, or with heating/sterilization, which will reduce or completely eliminate contaminating microorganisms.Pak


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