Meat consumption in developing countries has been continuously increasing from a modest average annual per capita consumption of 10 kg in the 1960s to 26 kg in 2000 and will reach 37 kg around the year 2030 according to FAO projections. Meat processing technologies were developed particularly in Europe and Asia. The European technologies obviously were more successful, as they were disseminated and adopted to a considerable extent in other regions of the world – by way of their main creations of burger patties, frankfurter-type sausages and cooked ham. The traditional Asian products, many of them of the fermented type, are still popular in their countries of origin.
But Western-style products have gained the upper hand and achieved a higher market share than those traditional products. In regions where processed meat products are widely popular and therefore produced in great variety, the consumer may get confused with the multitude of different products and product names. In meat-product manufacturing, the basic processing technologies, such as cutting and mixing, are accompanied by various additional treatments and procedures, depending on the type and quality of the final product. Such treatments involve curing, seasoning, smoking, filling into casings or rigid containers, vacuum packaging, cooking or canning/sterilization.
Due to the importance of these procedures, suitable and up-to-date techniques for carrying out these processes and the equipment needed are described in separate chapters but are also referred to in the manual in connection with the respective product groups. Processing technologies for meat products will not deliver satisfactory results if there is no adequate meat hygiene in place. In the interest of food safety and consumer protection, increasingly stringent hygiene measures are required at national and international trade levels. Key issues in this respect are Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Schemes (HACCP).