Meat Products: The Source of Essential Amino Acids, Vitamins, and Minerals
Meats are treated as the best source of protein. In today’s supermarkets, you can find a variety of meat products with different flavors. These products are widely known as processed meat products as these products are preserved by adding various sauces, seasonings, smoke, probiotics, oils, and many more. This process of preservation is mainly carried out to control spoilage by restricting the growth of micro-organisms. In addition, many leading meat products manufacturing companies are aiming to develop meat products with improvised formulations, such as reduced fat and higher fiber to impart health benefits.
Meats are protein-rich food products extracted from different animals which are highly consumable among individuals of various developing as well as developed nations worldwide. According to studies, the supply of meat products across nations has a higher rate than that of cereals, nowadays. The easy availability of several meat products in supermarkets is the key factor for the increasing demand and consumption of meat products. Meats of different animals have a high amount of protein with all the essential amino acids for the human body. Moreover, apart from meat other organs of animals, such as their kidney, hearts, livers, and others are considered the excellent source of necessary vitamins and minerals. It is often recommended for women to take meats at a regular interval as they are a good source of iron too.
Why is Preservation of Meat Products Important?
Preservation and storage hold an important role in maintaining and providing quality meat products to consumers. Meats have their chemical properties, such as moisture content and pH that can allow the microorganisms to grow if not stored properly. Prevention of meat products with various additives, such as vegetable oil, probiotics, seasoning, and many more, prevent the products from spoilage by impeding the growth of microorganisms, promoting rancidity, slowing down the enzymatic activity, and preventing the oxidation of fatty acids.
What are the Effective Processes of Preserving Meat Products?
Meat products can be stored in a number of ways. Consumers can store the meat products at their convenience to keep the products safe for a longer period and use them anytime with good quality. The various ways of preserving meat products are discussed below:
- Drying: In this process, the water content of meat is removed which helps to increase the concentration of water-soluble nutrients in the meat and hence prevents the growth of the microbes. This drying process is also known as dehydration and there exist various types of drying, such as sun-drying, mechanical drying, and freeze-drying. Sun-drying is an old practice of preserving meat, nowadays, freeze-drying is a widely used process of preserving meat by many renowned meat processing organizations. This particular process helps to create reconstructive properties and better nutritive quality of meats. In this process, at first, the water is removed from the food by keeping it in a frozen state and then allowing it to dry under a vacuum at a low temperature.
- Curing: It is also an old practice of storing meat which is also popularly known as salting. Presently, mild curing is mainly carried out to develop specific flavor and color. Common salt is added to meat products to slow down the activity of the proteolytic enzymes in the meats, interact with the existing fatty acids for enhancing the flavor of the meat, also at the same time increase the tenderness of the meat product. Sodium nitrate, sodium chloride, and sodium nitrite are some of the widely used curing ingredients.
- Cold Storage: Temperature is a prime factor that influences bacterial growth. Generally, pathogenic bacteria do not grow at temperatures under 3 degrees Celsius. Therefore, refrigerated storage is one of the most common and effective procedures of meat storage. It limits the air contact of meat products and hence, prevents moisture loss during the storage.
- Canning: It is one of the common methods of preserving the meat products which involves sealing the meat in a container and then heating it under a controlled atmosphere to kill all the microorganisms that are capable of food spoilage. These canned meat products can be stored safely under room temperature for an indefinite period.
- Fermentation: This process involves the addition of certain harmless bacteria to meat products. These fermenting bacteria produce a certain amount of acid that helps in lowering the pH of the meat and inhibiting the growth of the various pathogenic bacteria.
The Future Landscape of the Meat Products Market
With the increasing demand for ready-to-eat meat products all across the world, the global meat products market is expected to experience remarkable growth in the approaching years. The market is anticipated to generate a revenue of $387.6 billion and grow at a CAGR of 3.95% during the forecast timeframe from 2022 to 2030. Moreover, the increasing adoption of processed meat products among individuals to add some protein-rich food to their diets with their hectic work schedules is expected to boost the growth of the market in the ahead years.
The Bottom Line
The increasing ease of availability of various kinds of meat products including meats of cattle, lamb, pig, sheep, and many more in the supermarkets with improvised packaging is expected to uplift the demand for meat products consumption in the upcoming days. These various types of meat products with good quality can help individuals to cope with the fast-running world, and to keep themselves active, fit and energetic to chase their goals.
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