This post is also available in: Persian
The history of producing and the processing of sausage goes back to the human kind civilization beginning time. Since human kind started nutrition from meat, natural cow intestine has been used for preserving sausage. Meanwhile, beside edible usages, natural cow intestine is used in industrial areas such as anti-flat tire and tennis racket.
Nowadays there are thousands of sausage producer all over the world.
Sausage producers of America association has tried to fill all the information gap, all the members of this association all over the world, share their knowledge together, in order to increase the quality of sausage. This industry is transmitted generation by generation in a family and a few generations use all their skills and abilities.
Distinctly, natural cow intestine is used for casing sausage in everywhere, and producing sausage by using natural cow intestine is one of the oldest ways of preserving food, which has been so welcomed recently because of its benefits and great taste.
Different types of intestines are used in food industry, such as sheep intestine, natural cow intestine, pig intestine. In which in Iran just natural cow intestine and sheep intestine are produces, used and exported.
This type of natural cow intestine is edible and has 2 types:
The first type is specially for hot dog which does not have any holes in it, and it is just used when the meat is emulsion.
The other types of sheep intestine which are used for sausage based on their sickness. The sheep intestine thickness is between 16 -28 millimeters and in natural cow intestine is between 32 – 50 millimeters and each hang can be filled with between 40 – 60 pounds of meat based on its sickness, each hang is averagely between 100 yards or 91 meters.
Sheep intestine has the highest quality among all the narrow intestines used for sausage casing, this intestine has the sufficient and durability for filling, cooking and smoking stages.
Reasons for using natural cow intestine:
Natural cow intestine is made by “sub mucosa”. Lots of collagen (main protein fiber former of bone tissue and related tissues) form the layers of natural cow intestine. Fat and mucosa layers are removed before sorting step. Permeability against smoke, lets the smoke thorough out the sausage and gives it a great taste. And allow inhalation to the gradients of sausage which keeps it fresh During making.
Natural cow intestine helps the sausage to preserve its scent, taste and added spices. Sausages in natural cow intestine remain lush, crispy, fresh and it has more durability. The osmosis pressure lets the inside and outside taste of sausage get mixed to each other during cooking process. By just eating small bite of sausage cooked with natural cow intestine you will understand that just natural cow intestine can provide such great taste. Elasticity resistance of natural cow intestine brings high efficiency for producers because it fills easily, it has good properties and looks great.
Usage of natural cow intestine
Intestine of domestic animals as slaughterhouse by products Non edible use: surgical catguts, sports guts, musical strings and collagen sheets. Edible use: When part of the processed intestine used as food container called casing.
Casings Definition: Alimentary tract of sheep, goat, cattle and pigs, sometimes urinary bladder when used as food containers are called Casings. Or Casings are soft cylindrical containers used to contain sausage mixes
Natural Casings Natural casings are mainly derived from small and large intestines from sheep, goats and pigs, but also from cattle and horses. They 1. Are strong enough to resist the pressure produced by filling them with sausage mix 2. Are permeable to water vapor and gases, thus allowing fillings to dry 3. Absorb smoke for additional flavor and preservation 4. Expand or shrink firmly attached to the sausage mix and 5. Can be closed at the ends by tying or clipping.
Characters: Variable strength & length – Low cost – Best smoke penetration – Stored in salted condition – Most tender – Breakage during processing – Suspected quality (hole – tear, microbial)
Factors influencing quality: Health of the animal, Species, age, breed, Fodder consumed, Conditions under which the animal was raised, Portion of the intestinal tract utilized, and how the product is handled and Processed after the animal is slaughtered etc.
Cleanliness: Clean & sound, stain free, devoid of fat, parasite nodules, ulcer , defects – Strength: Strong enough to withstand pressure during filling, stuffing & processing – Length: Standardized (sheep & hog-91.4 m, beef round-180 m) – Caliber (thickness): Sheep-14 mm, hog-35 mm, beef-35 mm ØCuring: Two types, salted & cleaned, sometime it may be dried ØPackaging: Mainly wooden and plastic container factors influence the quality of casing.
Approximate length of casing from animal Species Type Length:
– Cattle Runner 25-40(meters) 90-135(feet)
– Middle 5.5-7.5(meters) 20-25(feet)
– Bung 1-1.5(meters) 4-4.5(feet)
– Weasand 5.5(meters) 18-20(feet)
– Bladder(feet) 20-35 cm wide 8-15 inches’ wide
– Sheep Round 27(meters) 90(feet)
– Goat Round 22(meters) 75(feet)
Storage of casings: Sheep and Goat casings are generally stored wet and salted – called salted sheep casings/salted goat casings. Cattle casings are generally dried in processing and sprinkled with insecticide
dried cattle casings A. For salted sheep / goat casings, 1 hank= 91.4 m B. For dried cattle casings, 1 Hank= 180m in case of runner and 90 m in case of middles.
Casings should be manufactured from gut of healthy animals 2. Intestines for processing should not have ulcers and heavy parasitic infestation with nodules. 3. Sanitary handling conditions should be maintained from slaughter till final packaging. 4. The product should be clean with good color and without objectionable odour. 5. It should have proper length and be sufficiently cured