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< prev - next > Food processing KnO 100641_How to make sausages (Printable PDF)
How to make sausages
Practical Action
Fresh sausages are best produced from warm slaughtered meat, before rigor mortis sets in.
This is because pre-rigor meat has a higher water-holding capacity that improves the structure
and yield of the sausages. Also pre-rigor meat maintains a red colour in fresh sausages for up
to 5 - 6 days of refrigerated storage and several weeks in frozen storage, whereas sausages
made from chilled meats can fade to a brown-grey colour during storage. Using pre-rigor meat
also gives savings in refrigeration costs.
Formulations for fresh sausages include the meat, added fat, iced water and a variety of
seasonings, herbs and spices (Table 1). This variety of ingredients is limited only by a
processor’s imagination and knowledge, but the formulation is always a compromise between
the expected quality of the finished product, the cost of raw materials and the processing
techniques that are applied. Common seasonings are salt, dextrose, black or white pepper,
mace, sage, chilli, red pepper, garlic, cinnamon, onion powder, cumin, monosodium glutamate
or celery salt. Seasoning formulae vary widely depending on particular market preferences, but
two common seasoning types are a sweet herb flavour or a hot seasoning. In some countries,
breadcrumbs or other binders (e.g. wheat flour and rusk, milk powder or soy protein) and
emulsifiers are also permitted to control shrinkage of the sausage during cooking. If binders
are used, the amount should not be more than 2-3% of the weight of the meat in a fresh pork
sausage formula or 1-2% in a fresh beef sausage formula. Extra dextrose or sugar helps to
brown the sausage rapidly during cooking.
1) Using 9 kg fresh pork trimmings (60-70%
lean meat) + 1 kg pork back fat:
seasoning =
180 g salt
15 g ground white pepper
10 g mace
20 g sage
10 g sugar
180 g salt
24 g pepper
11 g sage
15 g ginger
0.2 g chilli
2 g monosodium glutamate
1) Using 8.5-9 kg lean beef or beef
trimmings (30% beef may be substituted by
mutton) + 1-1.5 kg beef or mutton fat:
seasoning =
200 g salt
5 - 10 g red pepper
0.1 - 0.2 g chilli
2 - 6 g cardamom
2 g ginger
1 - 5 g fenugreek
2 - 6 g sugar
Rusk may be added to improve binding and
20-30 g salted water may be added to
facilitate stuffing
2) Using 6 kg pork belly + 4 kg lean pork:
2) Using 8.5 kg beef flank + 1.5 kg beef fat
seasoning =
(brisket fat, fat trimmings or mutton fat)
180 g salt
seasoning =
20 g pepper
180 g salt
10 g mace
2 - 22 g curry powder
10 g ginger
5 g sugar
4 g cardamom
20 g pepper
10 g lemon bark powder
1 g fresh garlic
Table 1. Examples of formulations for 10 kg of fresh sausages (Adapted from Savic, 1985)
In developing any product, processors should consider these formulations as a basic starting
point and spend time to test, modify and adjust them according to local preferences and
Good quality sausages cannot be made from inferior or unsatisfactory raw materials. Fresh
meat and other ingredients (especially spices) may contain bacteria that cause spoilage and/or
food poisoning. To minimise their growth, iced water is used to keep the temperature of
sausagemeat below around 4oC, and it should be processed as quickly as possible. Also, strict
attention is required to hygienic handling, sanitation and cleaning procedures to prevent