After the batter has been sufficiently mixed, it is moved to a stuffer, a device that pumps the mix into casings. The casings are essentially long tubes that give the product its characteristic shape. The diameter of the casings can vary from less than 1.5 cm to more than 9 cm.As the tubes are filled, they are tied off or cut to give desired section lengths, again depending on the product being made. Lengths can vary from 5 cm to 100 cm. Shape and diameter size are important, not only because they are specific for a given product, but more importantly, because they influence the rate of drying, cooking, smoking, and ultimately the flavor and texture of the finished product. Casings must be permeable to both moisture and smoke.
Two general types of casing materials are used, natural and synthetic. These terms are somewhat nebulous, since the latter are often made from natural sources. Traditionally, casings were made of animal intestines. Although there is still a significant market for products made using natural casings, especially in Europe, synthetic casings have several advantages are now widely used.They are usually made using cellulose or collagen.
Pork Figure 6-1. Manufacture of fermented sausage.
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