The shelf-life of meats is a linchpin in the retail landscape. Shelf-life denotes the period of time between packaging of the product and its end-use when the product properties remain acceptable to the product user.  Shelf-life properties can incorporate texture, appearance, nutritive value and color. In layman’s term, shelf-life is the amount of time which passes before meat becomes unfit or rancid for human consumption owing to the development of spoilage organisms.

Meat is generally delivered to a retail store through two general systems—as boxed meat or in case-ready package ready for display. Boxed meat is sealed in a vacuum package and thereafter opened at retail and cut into roasts and steaks. Subsequently, roasts and steaks are ideally re-packaged in an oxygen-permeable overwrapped film and placed in the retail case.

Meat is prone to foreign odors and remedial treatment can be costly. If the magnitude of the odor is momentous, there is high propensity of meat being spurned in the warehouse or cold store. In present scientific age, it is well comprehended proper food storage aids in suppressing and preventing the proliferation of micro-organisms. Raw meat should be in sealed containers to inhibit raw juices from contaminating other foods, states WHO.

Deep-Dive into Storing Meat

Pork                                            

Though German pig breeding came into existence by early 18th century, it got going in the mid-19th century.  Arguably, Germany’s favorite meat, pork is more popular than beef or poultry. The domestic pig today people are aware of is a cross between a European breed and an Asian breed.

Pork is used in range of dishes and is admired on its own as an oven-roasted or as a succulent chop, crackling-wrapped joint. When it comes to buying pork, it becomes imperative to ensure that the meat has a strong pink color and it is fine grained. If the meat is significantly pale or watery, it can allude to its inferior quality. As such, pertinent players in meatainers market have highly rated containers and packaging to offer best-possible product to consumers.

Lamb

Lamb is a sheep that are younger than one year old and connoisseurs consider it as one of the finest meats. Sheep have a history of being reared as domestic animals owing to it being an essential source of milk, wool and meat. With high-quality protein and many minerals and vitamins, lamb is a tremendous component of healthy diet.

Beef

Beef is the collective noun given to different types of cattle meat coming from male and female animals of different ages. Cattle meat is classified into following categories:

  • Bull meat;
  • Beef/ox meat;
  • Cow meat;
  • Heifer meat;
  • Calf/veal meat.

Even though retailers hardly label meat in line with the categories succinctly pointed above, consumers can find out what precisely they are buying through meticulously paying attention to the color of the meat—young bull is mid-red; veal is pale red; ox and heifer meat are bright red and cow meat is dark red.

The significance of meat container—metainer being the portmanteau, has risen so as to provide fresh meat to the consumers.

Poultry

Quite often used as the collective noun to elucidate domesticated birds which are kept for their meat or feathers or and eggs, poultry is a global food source. The meat offers plethora of essential nutrients and propels the balance diet and it provides high quality vitamins, protein, minerals and a range of fatty acids, substantiating the popularity of poultry. Given fresh poultry is sensitive, the significance of metainers becomes paramount. Meat are also kept in a biofresh compartment for up to 6 days.

Smart Packaging in Meat Industry

Over the years, the use of sensors in food packaging has grabbed the attention of manufacturers, however, its commercialization is still in the nascent stage. There are a few of the regulations that need to be adhered to:

  • The materials used in the meat packaging should by no means transfer their constituents to food
  • Meat packaging should not cause uncalled for change in food composition or affect the organoleptic characteristics.

The intelligent packaging technology has already been implemented in countries such as Australia. Intelligent packaging ensures food quality and safety in the meat industry, however, concerns lingers with respect to the legislative restrictions and high cost.

Ways to know if the Meat is Properly Cooked

It becomes sine quo non to cook all meat aptly to kill the bacterial which can lead to foodborne illness. WHO states that cooking times and temperature vary depending on the method of cooking and type of cut of meat.

Here are some of the tips to be pondered upon while preparing meat at home, as delineated by WHO:

  • There should not be pink meat left. Generally, meat changes color when it is cooked;
  • Juices should run clear if thickest part of the meat is pierced with a fork or skewer;
  • Meat need to be cut with a clean knife to check if it is piping hot all the way through—it should be steaming.
Author's Bio: 

Arslan Khan working on the client site as a Sr. Research Manager@ MRH. Our aim is to provide the best industry and market forecast reports to the seeker. Currently, Fact.MR is a one stop destination for all industry reports analysis.