Meat Processing Industry – The History and Basics
Undeniably included among the fastest-growing businesses and industries in the world, the global meat industry has supplied over hundreds and millions of tons of meat all over the world. Meatpacking involved a lot more than just the edible meat products, like drumsticks and steak, that consumers know and love. Many of the inedible products may surprise consumers including leather, edible fat for cooking, animal feeds, glues, fertilizers and a number of the ingredients essential for cosmetics, come from animal byproducts. Hence, it’s no wonder that the meat industry hires thousands of people from various countries around the globe in order to keep up with demand.
Where are They Located?
Countries differ in a lot of aspects and that includes the rate of their export and consumption of meat products. Let take India for example, which has ranked high up on the list of largest meat exporter, despite the fact that cows are sacred in their country due to the majority being Hindu; the Hindu religion opposed the slaughtering of cows and thus the act is considered illegal. Taking this into account, India’s main meat export comes from water buffalo, which is also known as ‘carabeef.’ When talking about countries with the highest consumption and production of beef products, Brazil, the United States and a combined number of countries under the European Union would top the list. Meanwhile, China tops the rank in consumption and production of pork products.
The Processes Involved
The condition and environment experienced by the animal while it was alive will reflect on the quality of the meat. A lot can be seen in the meat that comes out after the slaughtering process like the quality of its feed, stress levels and living conditions; these are just some of the factors that play a crucial role in the meat quality. An animal is stunned before it can be slaughtered; by stunning the animal, it will not feel any kind of pain, thus making it a crucial step in the process. The next step after the slaughter would be bleeding the carcass out and it’s done through a slice on the throat. Every animal going through the process, and the kind of product they are intended for, makes use of different processes and even additional steps but meat packers must remove any dirt, hair and skin from the carcass. After the blood, hair, dirt and skin is removed, then the meat packers can work on cutting open the carcass in order to remove most of the internal organs. Carcasses that have gone through the entire cleaning process need to be refrigerated for not less than 24 hours before it can be cut and separated into retail, consumption and wholesale items. Majority of the meat packing companies hire skilled employees to manually cut the meat instead of just loading it into a specialized machine. This is done because cutting meat involves numerous considerations like meat quality and the depth of the bones.