Monday, July 15, 2024
General Agriculture

Meat Preservation and Handling Complete Guide

Meat can be defined as animal flesh used for human consumption. Usually, the skeletal muscle and the fat attached to it are referred to as meat, but some organs, like, lungs, liver; kidneys, brain, skin, bone marrow, etc. are also included in this term.

It is a collective term, used to denote a wide range of meat, obtained from different animals and birds.

The most common sources of meat are domesticated animal species such as cattle, pigs and poultry and to a lesser extent buffaloes, sheep and goats. In some regions other animal species such as camels, yaks, horses, ostriches and game animals are also eaten as meat.

To a limited extent, meat is also derived from exotic animals such as crocodiles, snakes and lizards.

For thousands of years, poultry supplied meat and eggs, cattle, sheep and goats provided meat and milk, and pigs provided a source of meat. These species are the main sources of animal protein for humans.

Read Also : 7 Meat Processing, Preservation, and Storage Methods

The meat derived from cattle is known as beef, meat derived from pigs as pork and from chickens as poultry.

In physical terms, drying is the lowering of the water activity aw in meat and meat products. Water activity is the measure of free unbound water available for microbial growth.

Microorganisms need certain amounts of free water for growth, and their growth is halted below defined minimum levels of moisture. Minimum levels vary from species to species of microorganisms.

Meat drying is not a clearly defined technology. Drying may be done for the single purpose of dehydrating fresh meat for extension of storage, but it may also be one of various processing steps during the manufacture of specific meat products.

The manufacture of fermented meat products, such as raw hams or dry sausages is an example, where drying is one processing component amongst several others.

To have an extended shelf life, fermented products need to lose moisture during their fermentation, they are dehydrated or “dried” to a certain extend.

Drying and fermentation must go hand in hand to achieve the desired flavor and shelf life. The drying of such products is mostly done in climatized chambers with exact temperature and humidity parameters.

Drying under natural conditions is increasingly rare. Another example is the drying of meat preparations in ovens with temperatures in the range of 70-80°C, to become fast-dried products such as beef sticks formed of ground, salted and flavored meat.

Furthermore, for a number of indigenous meat products, moderate drying is part of the manufacturing technique with the aim of lowering the water activity (a), thus curbing microbial growth.

The objectives of dry meat include the following;

  • To make dry meat available in market
  • To increase the product quality
  • To increase shelf life

Preparation of Meat for Drying

The meat is exposed to the open air and intermittent solar radiation and quickly loses substantial amounts of its tissue moisture. The drying process will be faster the shorter the distance from the centre   of the meat piece to its surface.

In order to accelerate the drying process in particular from the inner layers of the meat, it is therefore common practice to cut the meat in narrow strips or in flat pieces.

Sun Drying Procedure

The basic traditional drying method is called sun drying, characterized by direct solar radiation and natural air circulation on the product. Meat pieces are cut into strips or flat leaf-shaped pieces as described above.

Then suspended in the open air or spread on drying trays made of fibre or wire mesh with a wooden or metallic frame.

For sun drying, in particular for the suspension method, the meat is sometimes dipped in salt solution (approx. 14% common salt). This helps to limit microbial growth on the meat surfaces and protects to some extend against insects.

The drying of such products is mostly done in climatized chambers with exact temperature and humidity parameters. Drying under natural conditions is increasingly rare.

Another example is the drying of meat preparations in ovens with temperatures in the range of 70-80°C, to become fast-dried products such as beef sticks formed of ground, salted and flavored meat.

Simple Methods of Chemical Analysis (Protein, Fat, Water, Ashes)

Chemical analyses to determine the content of protein, fat, water and minerals (ashes) of processed meat products are carried out to establish the nutritive and economic value of the products.

Meat Preservation and Handling Complete Guide

Samples of the meat product are finely ground and weighed accurately for each respective chemical analysis.

The determination of the moisture content (or water content) is done by drying an appropriate amount of the sample. The difference in weight between the fresh and dried samples represents the water content. For rapid determination of moisture content a microwave oven is useful

Moisture Analysis (Microwave Drying)


Samples are dried in a microwave oven and the loss of weight upon drying is expressed as percent moisture content.


This method may be used to determine the moisture content of fresh meat, semi-processed meat, meat mixes and processed meat products.


  • Mincer with 6mm plates or heavy duty food processor
  • Balance with at least 0.1g sensitivity.
  • Desiccators with silica gel.
  • Beaker Filter papers, 7cm diameter or open weave disposable kitchen cloth.
  • Silicon carbide (carborandum) finely ground.


  • Prepare the sample by mincing or chopping as described in sample preparation.
  • Preheat the oven
  • Determine the heating time necessary to completely dry the samples in the microwave oven.
  • Weigh an empty crucible.
  • Weigh about 10 grams of sample.
  • For meat samples, spread the samples into a thin layer around the lower wall of the container with spatula or spoon.
  • Place the samples in the preheated oven.
  • Cool the samples in desiccators and accurately weigh the crucible & dried sample.
  • Repeat drying until constant weight is obtained.
  • Fat analysis

Fat determination using samples dried from the microwave oven

  • Get the weight of the dried sample.
  • Put the dried sample.
  • Place the dried sample inside the sox let extraction tube connected to the sox let flask.
  • Pour enough ether into the extraction tube.
  • Extract for 10 hours, at 3-4 drops per second.
  • After extraction, take out the defatted sample from the extraction tube and air dry the sample for traces of ether. Dry further in an oven at 100°C and cool in a dessicator.
  • Weigh the defatted cooled samples to constant weight.
  • %Fat = Weight of dried sample – Weight of defatted sample / Original weight of the sample x 100Ash determination
  • The defatted sample is placed in a constant weight porcelain crucible with cover.
  • The crucible is then placed in a muffle furnace, and at a temperature of 600°C the sample is ignited for two hours.
  • After ignition the crucible is placed in the oven to bring down the temperature for about 30 minutes, and then cool in a desecrator for another 30 minutes.
  • The sample is then weighed to constant weight.
  • % Ash = (Wt. of crucible with cover + ash) – wt. of crucible with cover / original wt. of sample x 100

Protein Content

Calculation of the approximate protein content for pure meat and meat products

% Protein = 100% – (%water + % ash + % fat)

Microbiological Sampling and Testing

Meat Preservation and Handling Complete Guide

The purpose of microbiological testing is to determine the degree of bacterial contamination on surfaces of equipment, tools, and premises as well as in meat and meat products.

This testing can be done qualitatively as microbiological screening, for example by contact such as using an impression plate or quantitatively by determining the exact number of microorganism per sample unit (in cm2 or grams) by using the swab or the destructive method.

Read Also : The Different Properties of Fresh Meat

Quantitative testing can be either determination of the entire contaminating flora, also called “total plate count” or determination of a specific group of microorganisms out of the entire flora, also called “selective plate count”.

In summary,dry meat processing & preservation in food industries is the name of the project. Many materials, ingredient, methods & machineries are applied this project. Many methods are:

  • Moisture Analysis, Result- Moisture Content 12%
  • Fat Analysis Result- Fat Content 0.13%
  • Ash Analysis Result- Ash Content 2.11%
  • Protein Analysis Result- Protein Content 85.76%
  • Also microbial analyses were applied such:
  • Microorganisms
  • The pH
  • Relative humidity
  • All kinds of tests & methods are carefully completed.

Acceptability of this type of products depends on sensory test report. If the products win by sensory test then it will be success in the market. According to this type of theory topic of study “dry meat” was won success.

According to the raw materials these products are easy to manufacture in our country, because of that meat is the main raw materials of the products and this available in our around.

Others raw materials of these items are available in our market. For this project needed to some light machineries.

These types of machineries we will get in low cost, so we can manufacture the dry meat easily. After the products of good it will be tested by the quality control department.

They will check appearance, color, odor & pH this product will pass or approved for sale and marketing. This product is beneficiary to us and the people of our country will benefited by the project.

Read Also : Best Methods of Improving Drink


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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