Meat and meat products represent a particularly favorable environment for bacterial growth, which have high activity in water. Initially, the meat is sterile, but during the cutting surface of the cut under the influence of air stimulates bacteria reproduction. This process is getting even worse in case of sliced meat. In this regard, hygiene during processing and packaging plays a vital role: tools and equipment must be kept clean in order to reduce the risk.
Meat products are characterized by different composition of microflora
The main cause of meat products deterioration is microbes. The microflora of meat products becomes different during treatment processes, such as pickling, drying, smoking, fermentation, salt and cooking. In this regard, different gas mixtures are used for the packaging of different products. Carbon dioxide with low concentrations (20 - 50%) is commonly used to prevent products from turning sour.
Oxygen is needed for red meat
Special problems are associated with preservation of red meat, such as beef, which changes its colour from oxidation of red pigment. Therefore, modified gas atmospere for red meat usually contains a large amount of oxygen (60 - 80%), which maintains the red colour of myoglobint in the meat. Red meat such as beef, requires a higher oxygen content than, for example, pork. Right gas mixture can increase storage life of meat products from 2 - 4 to 5 - 8 days at + 4 ° C. Using of additional packaging allows to use higher levels of CO2, which increases the shelf life of products.