Cooking loss and quality
Yields and cooking losses of products are important as these determine acceptability and economics of products. Higher cooking losses increase the production costs and result in less palatable products through loss of water, fat, flavour components and other nutrients and such products are poor in appearance, less juicy and lack slice- ability. Emulsion based products with less than 10 % cooking losses are rated good and 10 to 15 % losses tolerable. Cooking loss of products can be reduced by using meat with good functional properties and correct formulation with optimum lean meat to fat ratio. The frozen meat must be partially thawed before mincing. Meat and by- products should be handled at low temperatures (0°to 5°C). Ice flakes are used instead of chilled water in the formulation and the temperature of emulsion should not exceed 18°C. Proper sequence of addition of ingredients (lean meat, salt, polyphosphate, ice flakes, fat, seasoning, and binder/filler) is to be followed with optimum comminution to desired particle size. Finally proper cooking schedule followed avoiding high temperatures.