Fermentation: A Natural Tool For Meat Preservation, Food Safety and Flavor Enhancement

Many methods of food preservation are effective, but few are as long-established as fermentation. The natural process, in which microbial enzymes act on and convert a substrate, has been used for millennia, dating back to ancient Mesopotamia and the making of bread and beer.

Today, fermentation is still a method of choice for many food and beverage manufacturers, including meat and poultry processors. The original reasons for using this technique – to preserve food and enhance flavor – still drive the use of fermentation, along with other benefits relevant to today’s marketplace, from simpler ingredients to natural health benefits to more sustainable solutions.

In addition to such items as cultured dairy products, beers/ciders, kimchi, sauerkraut and coffee, many types of meat and poultry products can be fermented or produced through the fermentation process. Within the meat and poultry category, applications include traditional fermented products like sausage and salami and ready-to-eat (RTE) proteins.

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