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Sausage casings ensure real flavours
Source：Food Bev Asia
Date Published：2/13/2019 10:02:45 AM
SNACKING is one of the continuing trends that Mintel sees in the food industry, and has become a way of life for some 83% of millennials living busy lifestyles. Among snacking products, sausage is a classic, whether as hot dog, currywurst or salami stick, whether meat or plant-based.
For such products, Hydrosol has developed a casing called SmartCasings based on alginate. By means of co-extrusion sausages can be made in all standard sizes.
SmartCasings is considered by Hydrosol as a small revolution in sausage-making. A liquid alginate layer is applied to the sausage mass and then hardened into a firm structure in a calcium bath. The result is a strong and edible casing that gives sausages a crisp bite. What’s more, this casing is and will remain available in unlimited quantity, and also offers processing advantages. “The stabilising system is based on a complex mix of highly reactive hydrocolloids and starch. Synergistic effects upon exposure to a calcium chloride solution lead to the formation of a casing with good elasticity and tensile strength,” explains Product Manager Florian Bark at Hydrosol, a company based in Germany.
With a liquid alginate added to the sausage mass and then hardened into a firm structure in a calcium bath, the casing becomes strong and edible.
Stabilisation and “packaging” from a single source
SmartCasings are suitable for fresh bratwurst, raw sausage and scalded sausage. They are highly tear-resistant, and with raw sausages in particular they give a pleasantly soft bite. The technology can also be made to work very well for scalded sausages, as Florian Bark reports: “Scalded sausages are a special challenge, as they are exposed to damp heat both during manufacture and later during preparation. So the casing needs to be not just tear-resistant, but also adhere to the sausage mass after cooking. To make sure it does, the sausages are cooked not by hanging in steam, but instead in a water bath using a special technique.”
Besides flavours, SmartCasings offer other advantages over conventional sausage casings. One is they allow continuous manufacturing process, which results in low production costs.
For best results, the casing and sausage mass should be well adapted to each other. This is true for all product categories, but especially for scalded sausage. “Here, our long experience in stabilising sausages is a great benefit, as in addition to the casing we can always offer the right stabilisation for the sausage mass. We take into account the specific phosphate content, salt content and viscosity of the mass. Thus, we offer the entire package for sausage-making, inside and out.”
Advantages of alginate casing
SmartCasings offer many advantages over conventional sausage casings. They permit a continuous manufacturing process, which results in low production costs. With SmartCasings there is no wastage or rework from intestine changes. Alginate cases also enable higher hourly throughput than is possible with conventional filling technology. The highly automated production technique requires less manual intervention and so has lower personnel costs. Furthermore, unlike cellulose casings there is no peeling step. There are also savings in material costs, as alginate casings are substantially more economical than natural intestine, collagen and cellulose casings.
Hydrosol SmartCasings also have another advantage – they are supplied as a powder. This gives them a much longer shelf life than finished pastes, rendering preservatives superfluous. Transportation and storage costs are also much lower with powder than with pastes. The SmartCasing powder can be made into a paste at any time. Hydrosol currently offers two powder versions, SmartCasing M as the standard version with animal protein and SmartCasing VR for vegetarian and vegan sausages. Hydrosol SmartCasings are available in halal and kosher versions.