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Relevant Things You Should Know About Processed Meat

For many years now, there has been much debate over which meats are deemed to be processed. The practice of meat processing, was already in existence even before refrigeration was invented. Since people needed to ensure their meats stayed fresh for several days or weeks, they came up with methods, that were relatively convenient for them at that time. Salting and smoking, were invented for this purpose. By using the methods invented, people called finally preserve their meats for way longer. Most cultures to date still use the two methods of meat processing. People nowadays understand that when meats get processed, they are still able to retain most of their health benefits. Meat processing involves the use of preservatives, which are very safe and fit for human consumption. Processed meats can either be cooked, uncooked, whole-meat, ground, unground, or a combination of these variants.

A question that people should begin to ask themselves is what exactly processed meat is. Processed meat can be described as meat subjected to atypical, innovative cooking methods. Processed meats today can include prepackaged meats such as sausage, hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts. Another name processed meats have been given is convenience foods. The reason for processing meat is to preserve it so that it remains edible and its shelf life gets extended. Meats get different tastes such as sugary, salty or smoky, depending on the salts and flavorings used.

Apart from being salted, smoked or cured, processed meats also get heat treatment. Processed meats usually undergo various techniques, most of which are very time-consuming. For instance, when sausages are being fermented, they get mixed with non-meat ingredients such as salts, agents and spices, which are used in the casing of the sausage. As processed meat goes through the ripening phase, it dries out while developing its unique texture and taste. Meats which go through the ripening phase, get packaged and distributed raw. During the entire process, no heat is used at all.

By drying or dehydrating meats in either natural or artificially created environments, you effectively make them processed, dried meats. The fatty tissues of meats have fluid in them, and once it gets removed, the chances of the meats spoiling gets reduced. After extracting all the fluid from the fatty tissues, the lean parts of the meats get cut up, placed in uniform shape and left to dry. In addition to having extended shelf lives, dried meats are also able to retain their nutritional properties. In places such as Europe and South Africa, processing meats is a normal part of everyday culture. Processed meats come from the deli and frozen food sections in the US.

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