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Meat products from camel meat (p. 137-139)
K. Ulmer, K. Herrmann and A. Fischer
As a general principle, the production and storage of meat products from camel meat requires certain basic technical facilities and also supplies of drinking water, electricity and consumables. Care should also be taken to make sure that the shelf life of the products is adapted to the climatic conditions. Seasonal variations in climate, for example, should be taken into account in the manufacture of dried products. Mention should also be made of technological problems in the production of camel meat products which result from the poor emulsifiability of camel fat. Camel meat products can be classified into different groups. The criteria for this are the type of preservation and the type of manufacture.
9.1 Product groups
9.1.1 Dried products
Dried products means meat products from which so much water is removed by drying that they are microbiologically stable without refrigeration. The water activity, as a measure of the amount of free water in a product, is determinative for adequate drying. In the case of dried meat products in tropical countries this value should be below 0.6. The water activity is mainly determined by the weight loss, but also by the additives used, such as sugar or salt content and the recipe. This means that the higher the proportion of salt, sugar or fat in the product the lower is the water activity for identical drying. The weight loss needed for keeping quality is stated for each of the recipes given. The loss is about 35–60%, depending on the product. In the case of the dried products it is important that they are stored properly after manufacture.
If the products are not packaged, they must be stored in dry, well aired places which are as dark as possible. If the products are packaged, this must take place in vacuum-packed bags or in air-permeable handle protection packages. If they are packaged in impermeable packages without vacuum there is a risk of condensation on the product surface and an undesirable layer of mould or yeast is formed. Dried products can normally be produced with little equipment and machinery. Apart from the basic premises and a table and knives the main requirement is a suitable device for drying the products.
The nature of this drying device is highly dependent on the climate of the region in question. In the case of the manufacture of the dried products described in this book it was possible to carry out drying without technical aids on simple wire gratings in shady places in the open air. This was due to the fact that in the region there were only short wet seasons and long dry seasons with daytime temperatures of 25–40ºC and low relative humidity of 30–50%. In climatic zones with high relative humidity, however, it is not possible to dry meat in this way. Solar dryers or special drying chambers in which the relative humidity and temperature can be regulated are then needed.
9.1.2 Tinned products
Tinned products are products which are normally packaged in aluminum or tinplate tins and preserved by heat treatment. Depending on the temperature and duration of heat treatment, tinned products can as a rule be kept for long periods without refrigeration (see Table 9.1). The shelf life is of course also dependent on the microbiological conditions of the processed meat and on the storage temperature of the product.