A Cured Meat Guide for Everyone

Meat Preserving And Curing Guide

The meat was originally processed to preserve it, but since the different procedures result in many changes in texture and flavor, it is also a way to add variety to the diet. Processing also makes it possible to mix the least desirable parts of the carcass with lean meat and is also a means of prolonging the meat supply by including other foodstuffs such as cereals in the product. extremely perishable product and quickly becomes unfit for consumption. may be hazardous to health due to microbial growth, chemical change and degradation by endogenous enzymes. These processes can be reduced by decreasing the temperature sufficiently to slow or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, by heating to destroy organisms and enzymes (cooking, canning) or by removal of water by drying or osmotic control (by binding water with salt or other substances so that it is no longer available for organizations). It is also possible to use chemicals to curb growth and, very recently, ionizing radiation (the latter possibility is not allowed in some countries, however). Traditional methods used for thousands of years involve drying by wind and sun, salting and smoking. Canning dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and preserves food for many years because it is sterilized and protected from further contamination. More here...

Meat Preserving And Curing Guide Summary


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Food Preservation

Preventing the growth and concurrent metabolic activities of microorganisms that cause spoilage and foodborne illness preserves the quality of food. Some methods of food preservation, such as drying and salting, have been known throughout the ages, whereas others have been discovered or developed more recently. The major methods of preserving foods high-temperature treatment, low-temperature storage, addition of antimicrobial chemicals and irradiation are briefly summarized here and described in more detail in chapter 5. added to a wide variety of foods primarily to inhibit fungal growth. Nitrates are added to cured meats to inhibit growth of Clostridium botulinum and other organisms. Wine, fruit juices, and other products are preserved by the addition of sulfur dioxide. chemical preservatives, p. 124

Stress Adaptation and the General Stress Response

Exposure of a microorganism to stress triggers a series of metabolic responses that may adapt the cell to subsequent lethal levels of the same type of stress or to multiple lethal stresses. The cell's adaptive response is generally referred to as stress adaptation. Stress, ensuing adaptive response, and the manifestation of this phenomenon in food preservation are collectively described as stress hardening. Food microbiota are regularly subjected to stress hardening. Therefore, the stress adaptation phenomenon is of paramount importance

Cancer And Phytoestrogens

A further human study in Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed no significant association between reported consumption of soy and breast cancer risk.26 The 34,759 women in the Life Span Study cohort in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who were alive at the time the atomic bombs were dropped and therefore exposed to radiation, completed dietary questionnaires in 1969-1970 or 1979-1981 and were followed until 1993. Among the 19 foods examined, the only statistically significant associations between breast cancer risk and diet were an increase in risk with increasing consumption of pickled vegetables and a decrease in risk with an increasing consumption of dried fish. These associations may be due to chance because of the large number of comparisons and because no plausible explanation can be given for pickled vegetables. There was no significant association between tofu or miso soup and reduction of breast cancer risk. The radiation exposure from the 1945 atomic bombs was a potential confounder of any...

About the Editors

McKellar is a senior research scientist who obtained a B.Sc. in biology and chemistry, an M.Sc. in microbiology from the University of Waterloo, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Ottawa. Dr. McKellar joined the Food Research Institute in Ottawa in 1979 to study the problem of psychrotrophic bacteria in milk. After the formation of the Centre for Food and Animal Research, he served as team leader of the Food Safety Team and initiated a research program on the control of food-borne pathogens. He relocated to Guelph in 1996, and now serves as program science advisor for Theme 410 (Food Safety), and research leader of the Food Preservation Technologies section at the Food Research Program. He has been actively involved in research in such areas as quality of dairy products enzymatic and microbiological methods development characterization of the virulence factors of food-borne pathogens control of pathogens using antimicrobial agents use of the electronic nose to...


We would like to point out that the relatively fewer food items (n 45) in our study questionnaire (compared with the usual 120 to 160 food items listed on validated food questionnaires for Western populations) was a reflection of the limited choices available to residents of China until the late 1980s. In fact, protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and milk were rationed in China from the 1950s through the 1970s. At the time of our cohort accrual, only warm water fish were commonly available in Shanghai. The three seafood items (fresh fish, salted fish, and shellfish) listed in the study questionnaire encompassed all commonly available seafood in Shanghai in the early 1980s.

Extreme Halophiles

The extreme halophiles are found in very high numbers in highsalt environments such as salt lakes, soda lakes, and brines used for curing fish. Most can grow well in a saturated salt solution (32 NaCl), and they require a minimum of about 9 NaCl. Because they produce pigments, their growth can be seen as red patches on salted fish and pink blooms in concentrated salt water ponds (figure 11.31).

Water Availability

Most bacteria require an aw above 0.90 for growth, which explains why fresh moist foods spoil more quickly than dried, sugary, or salted foods. Fungi can grow at an aw as low as 0.80, which explains why forgotten bread, cheese, jam, and dried foods often become moldy. Staphylococcus species, which are adapted to grow on the dry, salty surfaces of human skin, can grow at an aw of 0.86, which is lower than the minimum required by most common spoilage bacteria. Staphylococcus species normally do not compete well with other bacteria, but on salty products, such as ham and other cured meats, they can multiply with little competition. Ham, when improperly handled, is a common vehicle for S. aureus food poisoning. Staphylococcus aureus foodborne illness, p. 812

Noxious Theories

Over the years, the susceptibility to various cancers has been associated with nutritional habits. In 1981, Doll and Peto 1981 estimated that 35 of cancer deaths in the United States were attributable to dietary factors. The Western European diet is rich in meat and correlates with a high incidence of colon cancer. Nasopharyngeal cancer is among the most widespread tumors in Southeast Asia, possibly supported by the ingestion of salted fish. Esophageal cancer typically occurs in conjunction with alcoholism. The growing health conscience in the late years of the 20th century, combined with insights into the potential carcinogenic properties of reactive oxygen intermediates prompted multiple studies into cancer preventive capacities of antioxidants as nutrition supplements. It was soon found that while

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