Meat Packaging

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MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DEPARTMENT OF FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION

ASSIGNMENT 1

DISCUSS METHODS OF PACKAGING MEAT (25)

AN ASSIGNMENT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE

MODULE: FSN 206: MEAT TECHNOLOGY

BY

DAVID SONGA

R121204P

SUBMITTED ON: 13/03/13

Meat packaging

The function of packaging is to surround or wrap meat products with suitable protective material. Packaging materials were in the old days simple natural materials, e.g. leaves, but nowadays exclusively manufactured materials such as paper or synthetic films. The basic purpose of packaging is to protect meat and meat products from undesirable impacts on quality including microbiological and physio- chemical alterations, Kerry joseph, Kerry john and leward (2002). Correct packaging of meat is crucial to the overall quality and shelf life of the product, which in turn affects the return to the customer. The polythene covering (sheet or bag) must be of a size to adequately secure the meat content for exposure to outer contamination or freezer damage. The methods of packaging meat are therefore described below.

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)
Modified atmosphere packages (MAP) meat in an environment other than air. The packages hold the meat product and an absorbent pad, sealed with a clear high barrier plastic film, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2007). The modified atmosphere typically contains purified gases found in air (oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and/or carbon monoxide) and each gas has a distinct use or purpose Gill and Johns (1994). Nitrogen has no effect on meat colour or bacteria growth, but is used as a dilutant allowing other gases to be used in proper ratio. Advantages

• Longer shelf life
The process of removing oxygen from food packaging and replacing it with either nitrogen or nitrogen mixed with carbon dioxide inhibits the growth of a number of bacterial organisms, Coles, McDowell & Kirwan (2003). The result is that fresh foods like meats, dairy and seafood that are packaged in this fashion last much longer than these same foods when package using traditional methods. • Fresher Taste

Overt spoilage isn't the only concern when it comes to packaging and stocking fresh foods. Some organisms cause colors to fade or trigger an off-taste in the food. Modified atmosphere package helps prevent these organisms from growing as well, helping to ensure the overall quality of the food, from color to taste to smell. • Bigger Distribution Territories

A longer shelf life can positively affect the entire economic cycle associated with food sales. When foods last longer, it enables distributors to ship them farther. This means that when dealing with modified atmosphere packaged foods, distributors can work in bigger territories. They may also be able to offer a larger variety of products, Gill and Johns (1994). Disadvantages

• Expensive equipment and materials (gases and packaging) • Potential safety risk, as people may not keep the foods under the necessary storage conditions (refrigeration)

Vacuum packaging
Air and oxygen are removed from the packaging. This creates a vacuum and assists in the preservation of meat and improvement in meat quality due to the lack of oxygen that promotes bacterial growth Coles, McDowell & Kirwan (2003). There are some disadvantages to vacuum packing that need to be considered before purchasing. • Cost

Buying a vacuum packaging machine can be expensive. The initial cost of a machine can be as between $50 and up to several hundred dollars, depending on the quality and size of the machine. Also, there is the ongoing cost of the packing material, which comes in rolls or bags. • Safety

Removing oxygen from the packaging is a main advantage to vacuum packing. Certain bacteria that cause spoilage need oxygen to grow and reproduce. Without oxygen the food...
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