Sausages – How to make your product better?

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Sausages are the most numerous group of meat products with several hundred types and thousands commercial names. These are products that are obtained by stuffing, natural or artificial covers, a mixture of different types and amounts of minced meat, adipose tissue, skin, offal, leftover connective tissue and additional ingredients. The characteristic properties of sausages come from the specificity of their production with with regard to the composition, shape, size, preparation of the filling, and especially with regard to the types and quantities added spices and additives.

In many Mediterranean and Balkan countries, the following are produced and marketed sausage groups:

1) permanent,

2) semi-dry,

3) pasteurised,


1) Fermented sausages

Permanent sausages are the highest quality and most commercially valuable sausage product. They are made from the highest quality meat and undergo a longer and more expensive ripening process.

Optimal conditions for the production of kulen and sausages during different stages of production:

  • Filling temperature equalization: temperature 20-25°C, pH < 6,0, Rh (%) 60-70, duration 6-7h
  • Premonition, smoking: temperature 18-20°C, pH 5,2-5,3, Rh (%) 70-90, duration 14 days
  • Maturation and storage “aging”: temperature 14-17°C, pH 5,3-5,8, Rh (%) 70-80, duration 60-120 days + 60 days

2) Semi-dry sausages

Semi-dry sausages are usually heated in the smokehouse to fully cook the product and partially dry it. Semi-dry sausages are semi-soft sausages with good keeping qualities due to their lactic acid fermentation.

The final pH of semi-dry sausages is explicitly acid (4.7 to 5.2 – 5.4). Semi-dry sausages are often smoked and slightly cooked by the heat used in the smokehouse, which occasionally reaches nearly 60 ° C for a strictly limited time. After smoking, the sausages may be air dried for a relatively short time.

3) Pasteurised sausages

Pasteurised sausages are products from different types of meat, adipose and connective tissue, mechanically separated meat and additional ingredients whose base filling is finely chopped.

Important parameters for the production of cooked sausages:

  • Raw material: warm meat, chilled +2°C, or frozen at minimum -18°C
  • Mincing: temperature 16-18°C, pH 5,7-6,2
  • Filling: temperature 20-22°C
  • Smoking + heat treatment: temperature of product 70-75°C, pH 5,8-6,3
  • Cooling: temperature -1 to +2°C, Rh > 90%
  • Storage: temperature: 8-10°C, Rh 80-85%
  • Packaging: temperature 12-15°C, Rh 70-75%
  • In store: temperature 5°C

To measure the pH value of the meat you can use Professional Portable Meat pH Meter – HI98163

The HI98163 is a rugged, waterproof, Foodcare portable pH meter that measures pH and temperature using the specialized FC2323 meat pH electrode with a stainless steel piercing blade. This professional, waterproof meter complies with IP67 standards. The HI98163 is supplied with all necessary accessories to perform a pH/temperature measurement packaged into a durable thermoformed carrying case that holds the meters, probes and calibration buffers securely in place.

Or you can use Portable Meat pH Meter – HI99163.

The HI99163 is a portable Foodcare pH/temperature meter specially designed for the meat processing industry. Automatic calibration is performed at one or two points with two sets of buffers. All calibration and measurement readings are automatically compensated for temperature variations.

The HI99163 uses the PVDF body FC2323 amplified pH electrode that offers numerous features to improve pH testing for meat processors. The probe comes with the FC099 removable stainless steel blade to help users perform non-intrusive measurements of meat products,  inside and out. The free diffusion junction helps to avoid a clogged reference and the external body material is non-toxic and food compatible.

For measuring temperature of the meat use Foodcare Thermistor Thermometer -HI93501

Designed with user functionality and performance in mind, the HI93501 is a waterproof thermistor thermometer that measures temperature from -50.0 to 150.0°C (-58.0 to 302.0°F). The included batteries provide up to 4500 hours of continuous use. CAL Check™ and the Battery Error Prevention System (BEPS) ensure the highest level of accuracy and confidence. The probe is replaceable and works with an assortment of specialized probes. This meter can be certified as traceable to NIST standards upon request.

If you like easier handling then this is for you Checktemp® 4 Folding Thermometer -HI151

The HI151 Checktemp® 4 is a folding thermistor thermometer that can measure temperature up to 300 °C (572 °F). These thermometers offer many advanced features including CAL-Check for an internal verification of the electronics and a motion sensor which eliminates the need of closing and reopening the probe when the meter enters a power saving mode. The Checktemp 4 is available in six different colors which can be assigned to different products to avoid cross contamination in the restaurant, kitchen or production facility.

Since relative humidity is an important parameter for cooling meat you should use Thermohygrometer with Dewpoint – HI9565

HI9565 is a portable thermohygrometer designed to provide peak performance in harsh environments. Measurements of temperature, relative humidity, and dew point are made easy with the rugged, water-resistant housing of the meter and durable casing of the HI706023 probe. HI9565 features a programmable auto-off function after 8 or 60 minutes, temperature readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, and dew point determination.

You should use Checkfridge Remote Sensor Thermometer -HI147 to monitor the temperatures of your refrigerators.

The HI147 is a remote temperature sensor ideal for monitoring in food care environments. It contains magnets for easy placement on a metal surface and delivers high accuracy measurements over a wide temperature range.

For recording temperature data and making logging easier there is Hanna solution Temperature Data Logger -HI148.

The HI148 is housed in a rugged, waterproof ABS casing with an IP67 rating, which protects against the ingress of dust and submersion in water at a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The HI148 temperature dataloggers are available in four different models. Models are available with one or two channels with a combination of internal and/or external sensors. Loggers with an external temperature sensor feature a stainless steel probe on a 1 m (3.3’) flexible silicone cable. The thermologgers feature extensive memory capacity: 16,000 samples for 1-channel models and 8,000 samples/channel for 2-channel models.

Author: Tajana Mokrović, mag.nutr.