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Video: The Meat We Buy
The meat we buy
According to statistics, every Russian consumes from 60 to 80 kilograms of meat per year, and although many experts note with satisfaction that this figure is as close as possible to European standards, the quality of meat that can be purchased on the Russian market sometimes does not correspond to that adopted in the EU.
Meat production is one of the most difficult to comply with the norms and standards of technologies, because in fact the main product - muscle mass and other parts of animals used for food begin to deteriorate immediately after the death of a cow or pig. There is only one truly safe way to prevent this process - refrigeration. However, in most cases, the meat undergoes many additional procedures that the buyer does not even know about.
In many factories and even small factories, meat is stuffed- injection of water or other substances using special equipment. Officially, this is done to kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, as well as to give the product a richer taste thanks to spices and brine. In reality, the purpose of injection is one - to increase the mass. They often syringe with water with a weak saline solution, this allows you to increase the weight of the product up to 20%, however, water tends to spread after a while, therefore, solutions are used based on substances that create a structure close to the natural one. First of all, soybeans and starch are used, the cost of raw materials for which is incomparable with meat. Cheaper genetically modified soy is often used, the properties of which and the effect on the human body are not fully understood and is the subject of fierce controversy. Any soy has a negative effect on the digestive system and can interfere with the full absorption of animal proteins.
Both soy and starch quickly make you feel full, although in reality the body does not get the required amount of animal proteins and fats. In addition to them, when stuffing, gum is injected - a high-molecular carbohydrate swelling in water (it is also part of many glues), which gives the meat an attractive appearance, muscle fibers are stretched as a result of pressure from the inside of the gel-like element made by injection. Such stuffing allows you to more than double the weight of the product.
How to tell the difference between stuffed meat? First of all, upon closer inspection, you can see traces of needles, most clearly visible not on muscle fibers, but on the skin (especially chicken - characteristic black and brown dots), tendons, and fat. Syringing partially destroys the fiber structure, which can also be noticeable with the naked eye. A product stuffed with soy or starch sometimes looks unnaturally swollen, and when you press on it, a puddle with a specific smell appears around it. When frying, such meat decreases several times more than usual. When pressed, normal meat should return to its original shape in less than 5 - 10 seconds, a cavity remains on the stuffed one.
In addition to the fact that the process of manufacturing meat products itself cannot be called low-cost, delivery and proper storage conditions are a serious item of producer's expenses.… In order to save money at this stage, there are various ways. Some factories put down the next day as the date of manufacture, others use less innocuous methods - change the packaging, re-freeze the already defrosted product (it can be determined by the presence of ice crystals in the cuts and increased softness). All these techniques pose a particular danger to humans, because, unlike vegetables and fruits, pathogenic microorganisms quickly begin to develop in meat. In order to prevent this and prevent the expired or defrosted product from spoiling, they resort to such procedures as soaking in a solution of potassium permanganate or cheap antibiotics. The latter method is used for long-distance transportation, for example, from Brazil, where Russia regularly purchases meat. And although this import passes strict control and, at the slightest deviation, the examination rejects the batch, the likelihood of the import of low-quality meat still remains.
So what should you look for when choosing fresh meat products? The color should be light (young animals) to dark (adults) red, the cuts should look dry and supple. When touched, quality meat does not stick to the fingers, marks and dents are smoothed out. One of the best signs of clean meat is its fresh aroma; stuffed and expired foods have an unpleasant sour smell. Frozen meat should emit a characteristic sound from finger strikes, and when the palm is touched, a red spot forms on its surface.
When buying, it is important to trust your feelings, not to purchase goods from little-known companies and at a deliberately very low price. If the product is packaged, be sure to check the expiration date. The greatest risk of food poisoning is in spring and summer, at which time you should be most vigilant.
Author: Maria Lev (specially for Calorizator.ru)
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