Tag Archives: meat

Meat Processing for Small Businesses – Free Online Information

Here is another example of valuable technology information that is available for free from the FAO.

click the image to download the manual

click the image to download the manual

The manual covers meat science, processing, processing equipment, ingredients and formulations in detail with little mention of other business topics such as distribution, marketing and quality. The book is some 400 pages long is well illustrated with drawings and photographs.


Meat Processing Technology For SMEs – Free Online Information

This 450 page book is an amazing resource for the aspirant meat processor. It covers everything from meat to plant cleaning in great detail.

Meat Processing Technology For SMEs 1

from: UN FAO
(click image for full story online)

Meat, processes and equipment are described in detail with supporting diagrams and photographs. Processing is described based on the processing principles six classes of meat products defined in the manual and on selected processes. Understanding the difficulty in the hygienic aspects of food processing the manual has a strong focus on Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Schemes (HACCP), which are discussed in detail in the manual. But realizing the complexity of the process it also supplies much background information to allow a good understanding but also describes in practical detail cleaning and sanitation practices.

This appears to really be a very good and comprehensive technology reference manual. It does not address market and business issues.

Sensor Film in Packaging Detects Food Deterioration.

I’ve always been a bit of a disbeliever in relying on sell by dates and quality management system for the food safety of cold chain products. The thing that always worries me is that once the product leaves the factory the manufacturer has no control over how the product is handled. If the refrigerated fish got left in a trolley for several hours before being put back in the fridge the sell by and use by dates are pretty meaningless. But this doesn’t have to be true about every food delivery in Quebec City, as these services are snappy, & deliver food fresh, & which, are a far better option compared to buying meat from the market.

Now a really interesting solution – don’t judge the quality just by time, monitor it.

Indication of the spoilage of meat and fisg using Biogenic Amine sensor in food packaging

from: Fraunhofer Research Institute
(click image for full story online)

The Fraunhofer Research Institute has developed a sensor film that changes colour from yellow to blue when close to decaying meat or fish. So this film incorporated into the packaging will warn the consumer of whether degradation has started or not.

The sensor responds to the concentration of biogenic amines, chemicals that are generated by the decay process. The system is inexpensive making it more affordable than electronic solutions that would measure a temperature history as an alternative.

To me this is a real interesting solution, where the packaging is actually measuring the production of an indicator of food deterioration – what about detectors for rancid oil, esters in beer and acetic acid in yogurt.

Meat Processing Technology For Small to Medium Producers – Free Online Manual

This 450 page book is a comprehensive online manual for the entrepreneur in the meat processing business. Besides assisting him to run his business, the book is so comprehensive that its sure to assist in ideas for expansion.

Front cover of a 450 page FAO Meat Processing Manual for small and medium processors

from: FAO
(click image for full story online)

The table of contents reproduced below show the scope of the manual which is well illustrated and seems to be written in a clear and simple manner.


Foreword, Acknowledgement, Authors
Meat, fat and other edible carcass parts
Principles of meat processing Technology
Selection and grading of raw materials for meat processing
Non-meat ingredients
Seasonings used in meat processing
Heat treatment of meat products
Categories of processed meat products
Fresh processed meat products
Raw-fermented sausages
Raw-cooked meat products
Precooked-cooked meat products
Cured meat cuts
Processed products made of chicken meat
Meat products with high levels of extenders and fillers
Traditional / ethnic meat products
Meat drying
Simple meat processing under basic conditions
Packaging of fresh and processed meat
Canning / sterilization of meat products
Handling and maintenance of tools and core equipment
Simple test methods for meat products
Meat processing hygiene
Cleaning and sanitation in meat plants
Annex I recipes for processed meat products
Annex II glossary

This looks like a really good download! which you can source from here.

Drying and Preserving Fish and Meat – Detailed Technology

I have often promoted fruit preservation as cheap, simple and safe technologies. This is really based on the fact that most fruits and fruit products are high acidity foods and therefore intrinsically safe to process. This is maybe an error since it excludes the preservation of animal proteins which are good sources of nutrition.

unfortunately these documents which were free downloads are no longer available as            such, but visit AGROMISA to source copies.




(click image for full story online)



This online book solves this problem with a great deal of implementable information from detailed explanations of spoilage and the dangers to information on how to prepare fish and meat for processing as well as the range of processes available.

The extract from the contents below will give an overview of what is offered.

1 Introduction 6

2 Storage life and spoilage of fish and meat 8
2.1 How long can fish or meat be kept? 8
2.2 When has fish or meat gone bad? 8
2.3 Which micro-organisms spoil fish and meat? 10
2.4 Spoilage and/or fish and meat poisoning 10
2.5 How does contamination take place? 12
2.6 How does one prevent contamination? Hygiene! 12
2.7 Prevention of spoilage 13
2.8 Which method should be chosen? 15

3 Preparation of fish and meat 16

4 Salting fish and meat 25
4.1 General information 25
4.2 Salting fish 26
4.3 Salting meat 32
4.4 Preparing salted fish and meat for consumption 36

5 Drying fish and meat 37

6 Smoking fish and meat 46

7 Fermenting fish 54

8 Canning fish and meat 64

9 Cooling and freezing fish and meat 78

Further reading 82
Useful addresses 84
Glossary 86

Maputaland Tree Butcheries


The once common tree butchery of Maputaland have all but vanished for non technical reasons. I plan to investigate it a bit and see if there is a basis for new business. I would appreciate any feedback or ideas from anyone interested.

At the time that I was working on palm wine preservation in Maputaland, I sometimes ate at the local tree butcheries and was always interested in how they operated,

Cattle were slaughtered occasionally in response to the demand to ensure that meat was not stored for long periods. Slaughtering was done by hanging the carcass from a tree and carefully removing the innards intact. these were separated into usable and waste material and the waste buried.


Passersby either made a meal of the meat which was braaied (the South African term for barbecue) on the spot or bought to take home.

What was noticeable about the meat was the deeper yellow colour of the fat, the fact that it was tougher and tastier than the meat from the supermarket and that it was sometimes still warm!
The tree butcheries were evaluated microbiologically to understand their impact on consumer health. It was found that the meat matched that from a modern microbiologically, but that the animal health issues were not addressed according to modern standards. It was concluded that the main contribute to the hygiene at the tree butcheries was the periods when slaughtering did not take place which broke microbial build up and the simple cleanliness practices.

The tree butcheries no longer exist, apparently due mainly to police interventions aimed at controlling stock theft that became rife in the mid nineties.

I believe an attempt should be made to re look at this enterprise which created jobs and a market for cattle, to try and design a new business model matching the current situation