Fresh sausage

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Fresh sausage

Post by LOUSANTELLO » Wed Jun 06, 2018 01:58

I`ve been making fresh sausage for a while and I remember somebody here suggesting a minimum of 1.5% salt. Is this a safety thing or a flavor thing? I have a buddy who wants to make the next batch with less salt. Suggestions?
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Post by Bob K » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:30

For fresh sausage that is refrigerated it is not a safety issue, however below 1% will affect protein extraction and binding properties.
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Post by redzed » Wed Jun 06, 2018 14:17

Yes, no safety issues if the meat is refrigerated and used within two days. The excerpt below is from Joseph G. Sebranek, "Basic Curing Ingredients" in Rodrigo Tarté, Editor, Ingredients in Meat Products, pp. 7-8

Salt is widely recognized as a multifunctional ingredient in cured meats. Because salt
is highly water soluble and forms sodium (Na + ) and chloride (Cl - ) ions in solution, the
functions that salt provides in meat mixtures are largely determined by the dissociated
ions. The ionic strength, for example, is critical to solubilization and extraction of the
salt-soluble proteins that are necessary for stabilizing fat in emulsion products and
determining the product texture that results from heat-set protein gelation. An ionic
strength of 0.5 or more will cause muscle myofibrils to swell and disintegrate, depolymerize
myosin filaments, and solubilize the myofibrillar proteins (Hamm, 1986) . A salt concentration of 2% or more in most meat formulations will achieve the necessary ionic strength. However, even at lower concentrations such as 0.5-1.0% as used for many moisture-enhanced fresh meats, the Cl - ion from salt will interact with meat proteins to increase the negative electrical charges on the proteins and increase the water-binding properties of the meat mixture. This is an essential role of chloride ions in meat systems because the interaction with meat proteins that swells the protein structure is responsible for allowing the proteins to hold more of the weakly bound water within and between their structure. The increased retention of water by the protein structure in the presence of chloride ions has a major impact on cooking yields, juiciness, tenderness, and mouthfeel when the product is consumed. The chloride ion is much more important than the sodium ion for achieving increased water binding by meat proteins. The chloride ions from salt may also play a role in cured color because Cl - has been reported to accelerate cured color formation in cured meats by increasing the rate of nitric oxide formation from nitrite (Sebranek & Fox, 1991) .

Salt concentration plays an important role in the control of microbial growth as
described earlier. The available water ( A w ) in a meat system is significantly reduced
with addition of salt and this reduced A w is believed to be one of the primary antimicrobial
effects of salt in meat products. With all else equal, reducing the salt
content of heat-pasteurized cured meats will reduce product shelf life and may have
implications for increased risk of growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
While chloride ions play a major role in water binding by meat proteins, it is the
sodium ion that is responsible for the flavor that is derived from salt. An important function
of sodium in flavor perception is not only the saltiness contributed by sodium but
also the increased intensity of other flavors that result in the presence of sodium
(Ruusunen & Puolanne, 2005) . Thus, salt is not only an important flavor contributor but
also serves as a flavor enhancer for other flavor components in food. Despite extensive
research efforts, no suitable substitutes for the sodium flavor have been discovered. For
cured meats, the sodium concentration can be reduced by using a mixture of potassium
chloride with sodium chloride. Blends of up to 50:50 potassium chloride:sodium chloride
have been reported to provide acceptable flavor while maintaining sufficient chloride
concentration for adequate water binding (Romans et al., 2001) . It should be noted
that, because the molecular weight of potassium is greater than that of sodium, a 1:1
substitution of sodium chloride with potassium chloride will result in a somewhat lower
chloride ion concentration. This could have implications for the chloride ion-dependent
functionality of the meat proteins for water binding and fat emulsification. More than
50% substitution of sodium chloride with potassium chloride usually results in undesirable
flavors from the potassium ion. When considering sodium effects in meat systems
and sodium/potassium ratios, it is important to consider all ingredients being used that
may contribute sodium and potassium ions. Several ingredients contribute sodium
(sodium erythorbate, sodium phosphates, sodium lactate, and others) and some can be
used as potassium salts as well (potassium lactate, potassium nitrate, potassium nitrite).
Thus, it is important to consider all sources of sodium and potassium in a product formulation when considering substitution of sodium with potassium. Sodium chloride
concentration can also be reduced to less than 2.0% of the product if alkaline phosphates
are included to supplement the protein-based binding of water molecules.
However, these effects are very dependent upon specific product formulations and
product type; consequently sodium reduction efforts in cured meats must be done on a
case-by-case basis. It appears that less than about 1.5% sodium chloride, however, is
likely to result in significant changes in cured meat properties. Clearly, salt is an essential
ingredient in cured meats.
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Post by redzed » Wed Jun 06, 2018 14:28

Excerpt from Gerhard Feiner, Meat products handbook: Practical science and technology pp. 77-78

1 Salt is a flavour enhancer and no meat dish or meat product tastes good
with insufficient salt, even if spices are used in the preparation of the

2 Salt, in conjunction with phosphates, solubilizes protein, which in turn
can immobilize large amounts of added water and is also able to emulsify
fat in meat products. The addition of salt influences the interactions
between actin and myosin. These electrostatic interactions are based on
negative and positive charges, which attract or repel each other and the
addition of salt causes a repelling effect, obtaining larger gaps between
actin and myosin. Around 12 g of added salt per kilogram of meat
product is the lower limit to activate protein effectively.

3 The texture of meat products is also improved by activation of protein.

4 Salt lowers the Aw value (lowers the amount of free water within a
product). Therefore in meat products, such as raw fermented salami or
raw air-dried products, it is an important hurdle against microbiological
spoilage during the initial stages of the production.

5 The addition of salt favours the growth conditions for Gram-positive
bacteria instead of Gram-negative bacteria. Quite a few pathogens, such
as Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli, are Gram-negative bacteria.

6 Salt itself eventually becomes poisonous to bacteria by creating an
electrolyte imbalance within the cell.

7 The addition of salt to meat causes a slight move from the IEP of muscle
tissue towards a more acidic pH value. Depending on the amount of salt
added, the IEP can move from 5.2 to around 5.0. As a result, increased
levels of water can be bound without changing the pH value of the meat
itself, as the shift of the IEP from 5.2 to 5.0 widens the gap between
pH value present in the meat and the IEP. For example, prior to the
addition of salt, the pH gap in meat was 0.5 pH units (from 5.7 to 5.2)
and after the addition of salt, the gap is 0.7 pH units (from 5.7 to 5.0).
A larger gap between the two pH values increases the capillary effect of
the muscle fibres and an increased capillary effect causes increased
WBC once again.

Salt, or specifically the sodium part of salt, can lead to high blood pressure
if consumed in excess. `Light` meat products are available which have a
sodium level of around 450-750 ppm of sodium per 100 g of product (depending
on the food legislation in the respective country). In such products, only
around 8 g of salt (sodium chloride) are applied per kilogram of product and
potassium chloride is introduced instead so that the total level is 12-16 g of
salt per kilogram of product. When considering the sodium level of a meat
product, it should also not be forgotten that sodium is frequently added to
meat products in other forms, such as sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate and
sodium phosphates.
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