Theron`s Meat, taking Food safety and Hygiene to the next level! - Theron's Meat Products

Theron`s Meat, taking Food safety and Hygiene to the next level!

Gepubliseer deur Sonja-Liezel Theron  · 21 Julie 2020  ·

Theron`s Meat, taking Food safety and Hygiene to the next level!

We are cutting costs in production without cutting QUALITY!

According to a familiar proverb, necessity is the mother of invention and this rings just as true in the food and drink market as anywhere else. You will find it interesting that as meat manufacturers, we are open to some vegan products in order to produce HEALTHY yet COST-EFFECTIVE QUALITY meat products.

Ever thought you could incorporate the healing benefits of seaweed into your diet? Seaweed is also known as algae, (the good kind.)

Seaweed to the rescue!

For years, sausage manufacturers have debated the differing virtues of natural and artificial cases, with most coming down firmly on one side of the camp or the other. Yet, as consumption trends move on and today’s shoppers look for products that fulfill their expectations on myriad different fronts – from meat-based to flexitarian, vegan, and vegetarian and from local provenance to sustainably sourced foods – the need for an alternative option has been growing momentum.

DID YOU KNOW the most expensive part of a sausage is its casing?

Sausage casing, or sausage skin, is the material that encloses the filling of a sausage. In the past, sausages were produced using naturally available casings such as the intestines of pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, and sometimes horses.

Because of the shortage of natural sources, nowadays sausage casings are mainly made from film-forming polymers, utilizing collagen, cellulose, and plastics such as polyamide, polypropylene, and polyethylene. (Yes, I can just “hear” you take in your breath.)


Some companies use polyamide, polypropylene, and polyethylene to form sausages, and then the plastic casings are removed to produce a perfectly formed skinless sausage. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of waste plastic in an industry that produces tons of food and is working very hard to find solutions to get rid of plastics in production processes.

At Theron`s, we pride ourselves in using natural casings, either from animals or collagen casings, in order to keep our environment as clean and safe as possible. This way of manufacturing sausages is the most expensive, as you can imagine.

How did seaweed (or algae) find its way into becoming sausage casings?

A few years ago, we investigated the process of using natural seaweed, (algae) in the forming of a natural casing around sausages.

In a process called “Alginate,” natural seaweed can provide a layer of protective film on the sausage through its gel formation with calcium ions.

Alginate is a gel obtained from algae. It is a natural product and purely vegetable-based. The alginate encapsulates the sausage in a transparent skin, allowing the product to remain visible. It imparts a good texture and a pleasant mouthfeel. After curing, it feels perfectly cool and dry. It does not soften again, even when exposed to hot water.

During the production process, the meat mixture is extruded to form the core, and a layer of sodium alginate is first coated before being subjected to an aqueous calcium chloride solution to induce gelation. A layer of calcium alginate film is then formed on the sausage, which is heat stable and can offer a strong casing for the sausage. It has the required strength and flexibility and can protect the sausage against water and oil losses.

At Theron`s, we produce two of our FLAGSHIP RUSSIAN SAUSAGE products using alginate casings. Alginate casings are a cost-effective alternative to more expensive natural casings and collagen casings and can significantly lower sausage production costs. The BIG BENEFIT, however, is the fact that human intervention in the process is totally ruled out, which makes this process extremely food-safe and hygienic!

Alginate Production Lines are ideal for the production of fresh sausage links, breakfast sausage, and long smoked sausages and snack sticks. Alginate casings have an exceptional ability to retain the aroma of smoke, making them perfectly suited for smoked products. Alginate casings also allow for the production of a pure vegetarian sausage.

At Theron`s, we use the Vemag Alginate machine. The Vemag Alginate Line is a continuous coextrusion system and consists of two Vemag stuffers – one to portion the sausage meat, the other to pump the alginate. Both meat and alginate are delivered to the Vemag CC215 coextrusion head where the meat is encased in an alginate casing of uniform thickness. Upon exit from the coextrusion head, the alginate-encased sausage is sprayed with a calcium chloride solution to immediately begin the curing process of the alginate. From there, the CC215 can then output individual sausages onto a moving belt or output strings of sausage onto the Vemag AH212 Hanging Machine for smoking or cooking.

The CC215 features extra-long dividing belts to ensure cleanly divided sausages with portioning rates of up to 800 pieces per minute. It can produce sausages with diameters ranging from 10 – 32 mm. The thickness of the alginate casing is highly accurate, ensuring a uniform product with a consistent appearance, “bite”, and cost.

For more details on the Vemag CC215 or how Reiser can help you maximize your productivity and efficiency contact

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