A sausage chain is made out of minced meat, fat, seasonings and occasionally fillings. Individual chain links are formed by packing them in a shell and then tying or twisting it at intervals. Sausages are traditionally filled with natural casings produced from animal intestines, but synthetic casings are also available and are now used in the majority of commercial sausages.
Casings have been used in the preparation of sausage and processed meat products for many years. Sausage casings have been described as the oldest type of sausage packing material. Sausage casings are used as processing molds, handling and shipping containers and display merchandising units.
However, the sausage manufacturer has limited its sausage production and depends only on the availability of animal intestines. The mucosa, as well as other unwanted materials such as fat, threads and animal secretion are removed before casings are made. A series of hot and cold water soaks aid in the elimination process then placed in a saturated salt environment. After that, the casings are sorted into different grades and diameters.
Animal Intestine Casing
The natural casing may have originated around 4000 BC when cooked meat was placed into the stomachs of goats. But later on, they use the submucosa of the gastrointestinal tract of farm animals. This method of wrapping sausages has been around for centuries although automation has replaced the need to manually clean the intestines before use and it is the only type of casing that may be used to make organic sausages.
Taste and visible effects are two advantages of natural animal casings. The taste of the sausage is deeper and richer because the natural casing breathes, allowing the aromas of smoke and heat to penetrate the casing and into the meat. Because the casing is all-natural, the sausage’s shape and size are a little uneven and look quite natural.
Below are some types of animal casing:
Beef bung caps, beef rounds and beef middles are the three most common beef casings. Depending on which type is utilized, the beef casings come in a variety of sizes. Large diameter sausages, such as bologna and salami, are wrapped in beef bung caps. However, some large diameter sausages, such as specialty sausages, can also be made with beef bladders. Beef rounds are known for their ring or round shape, which is used to make ring bologna and polish sausage. Beef middles can be sewed together to provide a finished product with consistent diameter and length.
Smaller diameter sausages are made with hog casings. These casings are suitable for both fresh and fully cooked smoked sausage. Hog casings are measured or sized after the cleansing process to ensure a more uniform size and shape for consistent portion control of the finished product. Cleaning is very crucial to make it more appealing to customers. They are translucent so that the consumer can see the meat particle definition and the sausage’s ingredients.
Individual hog bungs are also available and are mostly used for liver sausage and braunschweiger. To achieve a larger, more homogeneous finished product, sewn hog bungs are offered in double-walled and single-walled types.