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Dehydrated Meat Products: A Review

Authors:
  • College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar

Abstract

The demand for processed meat products is increasing globally due to the rapid urbanization, improving living standards and changing life styles of the people. Processed meat products provide tasty and convenience foods to the meat consumers. The shelf life of meat products is limited to enzymatic and microbiological spoilages. Their high perishability causes their storage and marketing, demanding considerable amount of energy input, with regard to refrigeration and freezing, which is costly and inadequate in India and other developing countries. Dependence on cold chain for marketing resulted in slower growth of processed meat sectors in various countries. Therefore, development of technologies for production of low-cost, safe and acceptable shelf stable dehydrated meat products which can be stored / marketed without refrigeration facility is need of the hour. The review is intended to provide an overview of the present status of the dehydrated meat products as well as the effect of drying on physico-chemical, microbiological and sensory properties of dehydrated meat products.
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Review Article
Dehydrated Meat Products- A Review
B. P. Mishra1, J. Mishra2, P. K. Pati3 and P. K. Rath4
1Assistant Professor, Department of Livestock Products Technology, College of Veterinary Science &
Animal Husbandry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, INDIA
2 Scientist (Animal Science) Krushi Vingyan Kendra, Sambalapur, OUAT, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, INDIA
3Professor & Head, Department of Livestock Products Technology, College of Veterinary Science &
Animal Husbandry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, INDIA
4Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Science & Animal
Husbandry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, INDIA
*Corresponding author: bidyutmishraivri@gmail.com
Rec. Date:
Jul 04, 2017 12:39
Accept Date:
Aug 12, 2017 15:56
Published Online:
October 30, 2017
DOI
10.5455/ijlr.20170812035616
Abstract
The demand for processed meat products is increasing globally due to the rapid urbanization, improving
living standards and changing life styles of the people. Processed meat products provide tasty and
convenience foods to the meat consumers. The shelf life of meat products is limited to enzymatic and
microbiological spoilages. Their high perishability causes their storage and marketing, demanding
considerable amount of energy input, with regard to refrigeration and freezing, which is costly and
inadequate in India and other developing countries. Dependence on cold chain for marketing resulted in
slower growth of processed meat sectors in various countries. Therefore, development of technologies for
production of low-cost, safe and acceptable shelf stable dehydrated meat products which can be stored /
marketed without refrigeration facility is need of the hour. The review is intended to provide an overview
of the present status of the dehydrated meat products as well as the effect of drying on physico-chemical,
microbiological and sensory properties of dehydrated meat products.
Keywords: Dehydrated Meat Products, Microbiological Properties, Physico-chemical Properties, Sensory
Properties, Shelf Stable
How to cite: Mishra, B., Mishra, J., Pati, P., & Rath, P. (2017). Dehydrated Meat Products- A
Review. International Journal of Livestock Research, 7(11), 10-22.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20170812035616
Introduction
The health conscious consumers always demand nutritious and convenient food item which can be best
suited for their busy life. Meat is a highly valued food product for human consumption because it is a
good source of essential amino acids and B-complex vitamins and minerals. The unique composition and
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structure of muscle gives rise to the characteristic properties of meat (Macrae et al., 1997). Its distinctive
flavour makes it one of the most preferred foods (Rahman et al., 2005). However, due to the intrinsic
properties of fresh meat like relatively high water activity (aw), slightly acidic pH and the availability of
carbohydrate (glycogen) and proteins, it becomes a good substrate for microbial growth and considered as
a highly perishable commodity ( Mishra et al., 2013; Ayanwale et al., 2007). Shelf life of meat and meat
products can be enhanced by applying various preservation methods. The principle of meat preservation
is concerned, mainly with preventing or delaying microbial spoilage, autolysis, avoidance of weight loss
and any changes in taste or texture (Macrae et al., 1997; Ayanwale et al., 2007). Preservation methods
include use of low or high temperatures, reduction of aw or water contents or use of chemical
preservatives. Drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation and processing (Hotchkiss and
Potter 1995; Ayanwale et al., 2007; Vadivambal and Jayas 2007). FAO (2001) reported that in the
absence of a cold chain, meat drying remains the most practical way of preserving and storing meat in
developing countries with hot and humid climate. Drying is a process in which water is removed from a
material by evaporation or sublimation (Lewicki, 2004). The advantages of dried products are shelf
stability, less storage space, ease of transport and most importantly, convenience and useful in natural
disasters such as cyclones, floods earthquakes etc. Dried meat and meat products may play a major role in
providing protein rich food to under nourished people in underdeveloped and developing nations. These
products are of much interest since they do not require refrigeration during marketing as well as storage.
Drying of meat has been practiced since time immemorial. Sharp (1953) proposed that the term
‘dehydrated’ be used to denote drying carried out under technically controlled conditions independent of
external climatic conditions. Traditional dried, desiccated or low moisture foods are those that generally
do not contain more than 25% moisture and have aw within 0.00 to 0.60. Whereas shelf stable foods
known as intermediate moisture foods contain moisture between 15%-50% and aw between 0.60-0.85 (Jay
et al., 2005).
Drying of Meat and Meat Products
In general, drying is the lowering of aw of perishable products accomplished by removing water, which
restricts the growth of micro-organisms (Thiagarajan, 2008). It is a complex operation involving transient
heat and mass transfer along with physical transformations such as shrinkage, puffing, crystallization or
glass transition and chemical or biochemical reactions which cause changes in colour, texture, odour etc.
according to Mujumdar and Devahastin, 2000. Evaporation of water from the surface of food material
takes place at any temperature, but at higher temperature, the rate of drying is higher, especially at the
beginning of the process. Drying at a very high temperature results in an improperly dried product due to
the case hardening effect. Nevertheless, temperature and relative humidity of the environment and
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characteristics of boundary layer are also important (Simal et al., 2003). Predrying treatments like
mincing, heating, cooking, freezing and thawing help to reduce the internal resistance to mass transfer.
Cooking causes protein denaturation resulting in easier water movement and huge water losses from
hydration shells (Mishra, 2012). Drying is an energy intensive food preservation process (Ratti, 2001).
There are different types of dryers used in food industry. According to Vega-Mercado et al. (2001) dryer
used in food industry falls into four generations. First generation dryers comprise of cabinet and bed type
dryers (i.e. kiln, tray, truck tray, tunnel and rotary dryers) employ hot air, suited for fruits, vegetables,
chunked products etc. Second generation dryers include spray and drum dryers, intended for dehydrated
powders and flakes. Third generation dryers include freeze and osmotic dryers used for plasma and
biological products. Fourth generation dehydration technology involves high vacuum, fluidization and use
of microwaves, radio frequency, refractance window and hurdle approach which represents the latest
advances in the area of food processing sectors. Bimbenet et al. (2002) concluded that food drying is
achieved by means of different techniques such as utilizing heat or pressure sources to remove water
from the interior of the product and mechanical energy to remove water from its surface (convection, drip
etc). Sun drying is the oldest and widely used method of drying by many peasant farmers in recent times
(Kuponiy et al., 1984; Talib et al., 2014). It is a longer process and exposes meat to an extensive
contamination by micro organisms and dirts (Gailani 1988). This contamination can be avoided by drying
of meat in mechanical dryers. The sun dried samples have higher functional properties, acceptability
level, proteins and lower fat contents as compared to oven-dried samples. Sun drying of the meat samples
is recommended provided it is done under hygienic conditions (Ayanwale et al., 2007). Combinations of
sodium chloride and sub inhibitory levels of anti microbial agents are highly effective in
controlling/inhibiting microbial growth during sun-drying process (Brewer et al., 1995; Talib et al.,
2007). Recent efforts to improve sun-drying have led to solar drying. It utilises the sun as the heating
source, but specially designed dehydrator increases the temperature and air current to accelerate the
drying time (Susan, 1993). Convention drying process of food products is extensively employed as a
preservation technique but oven drying is the simplest and faster than the sun drying (Mishra et al., 2013).
Solar drying is considered as the best due to its low cost and less number of microorganisms as compared
to oven drying process (Talib et al., 2014). Hot air convectional drying is a process where drying is
achieved by circulating hot air in closed cabinets. In this process, heat is transferred from hot air to solid
surface (Ratti, 2001; Lewicki, 2004; Mishra et al., 2013; Nayar et al., 2014) which is thus transferred
from the surface to the interior by conduction and shrinkage is excessive, around 80% (Ratti, 2001).
Microwave drying is a faster method because of volumetric heating. Here the microwave energy absorbed
by the food material is converted into heat (Uprit and Mishra, 2003). Microwave heating produces
significant advantages over conventional drying in reducing time and improving food quality (Dar et al.,
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2010). Microwave dried meat products have better rehydration property and lower aw and better microbial
quality than hot air dried meat products (Nayar et al., 2014). Higher microwave radiations increase the
outward flux of vapour preventing the collapse of tissue structure and increasing the rehydration capacity
of the dried products (Duan et al., 2011).
Dried Meat Products
Dried meat and meat products can be defined as whole muscle or ground and formed meat products
which have been subjected to dehydration, resulting in unique sensory properties and enhanced stability
(Skandamis and Gounadaki, 2009). Most common cured air dried products include cured hams, biltong
(South Africa), pastirma (Turkey), bundner fleisch (Switzerland), beef jerky (USA), rougan and shafu
(PR China) etc. (Feiner, 2006). Jerky is classified by U.S. D.A. as a heat-treated and shelf stable ready-to-
eat meat product with an aw of 0.85 and moisture-to-protein ratio of 0.75:1 (Nummer et al., 2004). Kilishi
is an intermediate moisture meat product of the tropics prepared from sun dried lean beef infused with
spices and defatted groundnut paste. It is a rich nourishing snack with extended shelf life at room
temperature for several months (Ogunsola and Omojola, 2008). Kargyong (smoked and dried sausages),
Satchu (air dried/smoked beef or yak meat) and Suka ko masu (air dried/smoked chevon/buffalo meat)
were reported as the ethnic meat products of Eastern Himalayas (Rai et al., 2010). A variety of
dehydrated or shelf stable meat products such as dehydrated goat meat (Babji 1993; Rahman et al.,
2005), hurdle treated caprine keema (Karthikeyan et al., 2000), chicken snacks (Singh et al., 2002);
chicken chips (Sharma and Nanda, 2002); dehydrated chicken pulav (Das and Jayaraman, 2003), popped
cereal snacks with spent hen meat (Lee et al., 2003), dehydrated chicken chunks (Hameed et al., 2007),
dehydrated chicken kebab mix (Modi et al., 2007), shelf stable microwaved ready-to-eat snacks from
spent animal meat of different species (Meshram et al., 2012), dehydrated chicken meat rings (Mishra et
al., 2013), dehydrated meat rings (Soni et al., 2013), extended and dehydrated goat meat cubes (Nayar et
al., 2014) etc. were also developed.
Non Meat Ingredients in Dehydrated Meat Products
Spices and Condiments
Spice is any aromatic vegetable substance used as a whole, broken or ground form primarily to season
food rather than contributing nutrients (Curry and Nip, 2008). Spice mix significantly reduces the thio
barbituric acid value (TBA) in pre cooked dehydrated meat products (Kharb and Ahlawat, 2010). In
addition to their flavoring effects, some have antimicrobial effects on plant and human pathogens (Brandi
et al., 2006). It can also improve shelf life of food products naturally and safely (Holley and Patel, 2005).
Condiment is the dried green curry stuff like garlic, ginger and onion help to improve the flavour of dried
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meat and meat products. During the last decade, the antimicrobial activity of garlic and garlic derived
organo-sulphur compounds were widely investigated against both food spoilage bacteria and food borne
pathogens (Leuschner and Ielsch, 2003; Naidu, 2000; Unal et al., 2001). In addition to its antimicrobial
effect, garlic also showed effective antioxidant activity both in vivo and in vitro (Jackson et al., 2002;
Prasad et al., 1995). Besides antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal, it also has beneficial
effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems (Harris et al., 2001). Antimicrobial effects of several
spices and condiments like garlic (Yadav et al., 2002), cinnamon (Yadav et al., 2002; Yadav et al.,
2004a), turmeric (Yadav et al., 2004b), ginger and mint (Pappachan et al., 2007) have been studied.
Common Salt
Sodium chloride (NaCl) is an essential ingredient which provides a number of different features and has
been used as a preservative to prevent spoilage and to increase the shelf life of processed meat, in addition
to providing characteristic flavour, colour and tenderness (Talib et al., 2014). The major function of salt is
to bind water molecules and to reduce the water activity (aw) of the product causing dehydrating effect
(Henning, 2004). A high level of salinity may impair the conditions under which pathogens can survive
(Thiagarajan, 2008). Salt added during processing has an influence in changing the ability of lean meat to
retain water (Ranken, 2000). Addition of common salt to processed meat products influences not only
flavour but also binding and preservation (Marsden, 1980; Hauschild, 1982). However, sodium chloride is
considered as a pro oxidant in manufactured meat products which accelerates oxidative reactions leading
to rancidity (Gray, 1978; Obanu et al., 1980) and promotes the formation of metmyoglobin and causing
meat discoloration (Gheisari and Motamedi, 2010).
Physico-chemical Characteristics
pH
pH is one of the most important quality parameters of meat which has a direct bearing on the functional
properties, eating and keeping quality of meat. Different drying methods, packaging techniques, storage
temperatures have significant influence on the pH of the dehydrated meat products. Air dried meat
products show higher pH value than freeze dried meat products (Rahman et al., 2005). The difference in
pH values is due to loss of free acidic groups depending on drying procedures (Nayar et al., 2014).
Dehydrated meat products show higher pH value during storage at ambient temperature compared to
storage at refrigerated temperature (Das and Jayraman, 2003) which is due to production of amines from
meat proteins during storage. Precooking of meat also increases the pH value in dried meat products due
to change in net charge of proteins during denaturization (Babu et al., 1994; Kharb and Ahlawat, 2010).
Rehydration Ratio
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Rehydration is a complex process aimed at the restoration of raw material properties when dried material
is contacted with water. During rehydration, the ratio between the dry material mass and water mass
varies from 1:5 to 1:50, temperature of rehydrating water is from room temperature to boiling and time of
rehydration varies from 2 min. to 24 h and the rehydrating water is either still or occasionally stirred
(Lewicki, 1998). Different drying techniques have also significant effects on the rehydration capacity of
dehydrated meat products. Drying techniques have significant role in the development of porosity in the
meat samples. Higher the porosity in meat structure, higher will be the rehydration ration in the dried
meat product (Rahman et al., 2005). Rehydration depends on the water absorption capacity, water holding
capacity of muscle fibres and the formation of spaces within muscle fibres, affecting dehydration,
rehydration and textural quality of meat (Laopoolkit and Suwannaporn, 2011). The lower water
absorption capacity of dried samples of chicken, chevon or beef is due to the low carbohydrate content of
the dried samples, which usually resulting in lesser starch swelling, due to structural change in the starch
and proteins present in the meat samples. The size and shape of the starch granules as well as the
distribution of the protein clusters have an important effect on the Water Absorption Capacity (WAC)
(Muir et al., 2000; Ayanwale et al., 2007).
Water Activity (aw)
The water in food, its location and availability, is one of the most important factors influencing microbial
growth and enzymatic activity (Frazier, 1991).The state of water in food is expressed by its activity
coefficient, a measure of the thermodynamic chemical potential of water in the system. Activity
coefficient or water activity (aw) is expressed as the ratio of vapour pressure of water in food (p) to the
vapour pressure of pure water (p0) at the same temperature (Scott, 1957). Dried products usually have aw
below 0.7 (Lewicki, 2004). Lower the water content, lesser is the water activity, but water content and aw
is not directly proportional. Addition of sodium chloride not only helps in drying but also depresses the aw
level of food (Lewicki, 2004; Rahman and Labuza 2007). Active water could be more important for the
stability of foods than the total amount of water present (Rahman and Labuza, 2007). Lipid oxidation is
highest at very high and very low water activities, because there is increased movement of pro-oxidants in
the former and oxidation increases in the later case (Weiss et al., 2010). Water inhibits incipient oxidation
of lipids but promotes secondary reaction of lipid degradation products with protein at increasing aw
(Mgbemere et al., 2011).
Lipid Oxidation
The oxidation of lipids leading to rancidity is one of the most important changes during food storage and
production (Melton 1983; Rosmini et al., 1996). Lipid oxidation may change the colour, aroma, flavor,
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texture and even the nutritive value of the food (Fernandez et al., 1997). Lipid oxidation is initiated
during cooking and storage. During cooking the level of ferrous ion is greatly increased due to increase of
non-heme iron and breakdown of heme pigments catalysing auto oxidation leading to rancidity in cooked
or dehydrated meat and meat products. The development of lipid oxidation is accelerated by cooking
(Abd El-Alim et al., 1999) and rate of cooking (Dunlavey and Lamkey, 1995). There is also protein
denaturation, loss of antioxidant and enzyme activity which explores oxidation (Jayathilakan et al., 2007).
Poultry meat with higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids is more susceptible to rancidity than pork
which is more susceptible than beef and lamb (Wilson et al., 1976). The TBA assay is reported to be the
most popular method for measuring the oxidative deterioration of lipids in muscle foods (Ockerman
1981; Melton, 1983). Increase in storage temperature has also a tendency to increase thio barbituric acid
reacting substance (TBARS) (Abd El-Alim et al., 1999). The TBA value increases with the increase in fat
content (Jo et al., 1999). TBARS value remains higher in dehydrated meat products as compared to fresh
and smoked meat products (Sampels et al., 2004). Freeze drying has significant effect in enhancing the
peroxide value of dehydrated meat products (Rahman et al., 2005). Lipase action in meat products during
storage causes a gradual increase in FFA values in dehydrated meat products (Modi et al., 2007, Chukwu
and Imodiboh 2009). Low fat content and good storage conditions slow down the rate of production of
TBA in dehydrated meat products (Singh et al., 2009). Pre cooking also increases the TBA value in
dehydrated meat products (Babu et al., 1994; Kharb and Ahlawat, 2010). Initially the TBARS value
shows higher in dehydrated meat products due to mincing, mixing, cooking and drying processes
resulting in extensive destruction of cellular structures, allowing mixing of various meat constituents and
pro- oxidants (Rhee and Myers, 2003).
Proximate Composition
Dehydrated meat products with higher meat content have higher moisture and bound water (Sharma and
Nanda, 2002, Singh et al., 2002). Drying process also significantly affects the total moisture content, total
fat and fatty acid composition of dried meat and meat products. Sun dried meat products have higher
moisture content than air dried meat products and air dried meat products have higher moisture content as
compared to freeze dried meat products. Vacuum drying significantly increases the total fat content
whereas freeze and modified atmosphere drying reduces it (Rahman et al., 2005). Pre cooked dehydrated
meat products have lower moisture, fat and ash content than raw dehydrated meat products (Kharb and
Ahlawat, 2010). An increase in meat content in dehydrated meat products also increases the fat and
protein content of the products (Lee et al., 2003, Berwal et al., 1996)). Use of condiments in dehydrated
meat products also increases the ash content of the products (Chukwu and Imodiboh, 2009). The dry
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matter and protein contents are lower in the fresh meat than the dried samples while fat, carbohydrates
and energy are higher in the fresh meat than the dried samples (Ayanwale et al., 2007).
Colour
The drying methods have significant effect on the lightness (L), redness (a) and yellowness (b) values,
which reflect the degree of browning during drying as well as being a cause of variation in light scattering
from the surface of the meat (Van Oeckel et al., 1999). A higher meat percentage in the product increases
Hunter a and b value and decreases L value in the dehydrated meat products (Lee et al., 2003). Addition
of grains (potato starch, corn starch and rice flour) in the formulation of dehydrated meat products also
decreases the L value of the product (Lee et al., 2003). Different drying methods also have significant
effect on the colour of the product. Freeze dried meat samples have a whiter colour, completely different
from sun/air/vacuum/ modified atmosphere dried samples and it is mainly due to uniform light reflection
from the surface due to high pores (Rahman et al., 2005). The microwave drying of meat produces darker
brown colour as compared to conventional air-dried ones; the increase in redness indicative of browning
reactions (Nayar et al., 2014). Chicken based dehydrated meat products have comparatively lower values
for redness, yellowness and chroma than chevon, mutton and pork based dehydrated meat products
(Meshram et al., 2012).
Sensory Characteristics
Drying of meat with 5% salt and 1% agar prevents the development of case hardening and improves the
texture of the dehydrated product (Babji et al., 1993). Storage of dehydrated meat products at ambient
temperature significantly decreases colour, flavour and overall acceptability of the product as compared to
storage at chilling temperature (Das and Jayaraman, 2003). Different packaging methods, packaging
materials and days of storage (Modi et al., 2007; Mishra, 2012) have also significant effects on the
sensory qualities of the products. All the sensory characteristics of aerobically packaged dehydrated meat
products decrease with increase in the storage period as compared to vacuum packaged products (Singh et
al., 2009). In micro wave drying of meat products, final product temperature is difficult to control and
excessive temperature along edges & corners of products lead to overheating, scorching and development
of off flavours (Zhang et al., 2006). Texture and flavour scores of micro wave treated dehydrated meat
products are usually lower as compared to other drying methods (Nayar et al., 2014).
Microbiological Characteristics
Hurdle technology treated foods are microbiologically stable, safer during storage, especially at ambient
temperature due to auto sterilization (Leistner, 2000). Many pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella,
Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridia etc. originating from raw meat may survive the drying processes.
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However, the main spoilage organisms associated with dried meat & meat products are molds requiring
low aw (Skandamis and Gounadaki, 2009). Precooking of meat causes thermal destruction of microbes.
So, dried meat products obtained from precooked meat are generally lower in bacterial counts and
absence of coli forms during the storage as compared to raw dehydrated meat products (Kharb et al.,
2008). Micro-wave dried meat products have higher microbial quality as compared to dried by
conventional methods as the destruction of bacteria occurs by microwaves (Decareau 1995; Nayar et al.,
2014,).
Conclusion
Meat products during storage are highly liable to quality deterioration through enzymatic and
microbiological spoilage. Due to high aw, slightly acidic pH and the availability of carbohydrate
(glycogen) and proteins, meat becomes a good substrate for microbial growth and causes these products
to have a relatively short shelf life. Shelf life of meat and meat products can be enhanced by applying
drying or dehydration technology, which causes in the lowering of water activity of the product
accomplished by removing water, where micro-organisms would not be able to get sufficient water for
survival. Shelf stability, less storage space, ease of transport and most importantly, convenience and
nutritional self sufficiency has made the dehydrated meat its own image today in the society. The further
technological developments in production and processing of dehydrated meat products can fetch extreme
popularity in coming future.
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