Review of comminuted and cooked meat product properties from a sol, gel and polymer viewpoint.

November 1992
R. A. LaBudde


Dr RA LaBudde does a great treatment of fine emulsions. There are of course many other excellent works on the subject but the language LaBudde used, I can understand!

I give the work of Dr LaBudde on the subject here in its entirety. It is important to remember that this is only one half of the equation. Meat processing is an art as much as it is a science. For the “art” we will feature the work of the Master Butcher from Saint Petersburg, from Russia, who gave the world fine meat emulsions, Petr Pakhomov.

The fact that we call the most famous fine emulsion sausage in South Africa, a Russian, comes from its Russian origin and was either introduced to South Africa by early immigrants or, more likely, by Russian volunteer who fought on the side of the Boers in the Anglo Boer War. Not just the Russians, but the people from the Balkans and Eastern Europe specialised in this and it was the Russians and East Europeans who brought this technology to America following World War One. People from the Russian steppe and surrounding regions pioneered the use of meat extenders and emulsifiers and fillers which probably developed from their milennia old soup technology. Fine emulsion sausages became important in America, after the war during sivere meat shortages. In central Africa the same sausage sold in South Africa as a Russian is called an Hungarian after the people who brough them the technology and traded it across the region. They produce it minus the showpieces and omitting these may be a later adaptation.

Petr Pakhomov is not just a Master Butcher, he is an artist and one of the best exponents of the art of fine meat emulsion. In a 2020 book he published on the subject, he writes: “This publication includes recipes for sausages from offal – an undervalued and rarely used raw material by sausages. On the counters of butcher shops there are hearts, liver, tongues – only these offal are well known to the townspeople and are in demand with them. The rumen, kidneys, brains, lungs, udders, properly prepared and cooked, are sometimes a discovery for people far from rural life. By-products allow you to create unusual in texture, very tasty, with a beautiful pattern on the cut, brawn, jellied, pate. A readily available and easy-to-use raw material is poultry meat. It serves as an excellent base for sausages and sausages, allowing you to play with taste thanks to the addition of various spice mixtures. The pale pink minced meat is a great backdrop for unusual cut patterns.”

“Of course, I have not ignored pork and beef products. My credo can be expressed by the words: “I paint with meat!” To make the sausage original, standing out on the counter among the usual – this task fascinates me. The appearance of the sausage product, the drawing on the cut should catch the eye of the buyer. Then comes the turn of consistency and taste, a successful combination of textures and spices.”

In this Petr strikes every single cord close to my hear and so, in celebration of his art and the science of Dr LaBudde I feature Petr’s work throughout the work of Dr LaBudde.


Comminuted and cooked meat products are viewed as water-plasticized, filled cell mixed-composite thermosetting plastic bio-polymer. This theoretical model is used to explain many factors influencing finished product quality attributes and to conjecture possible interactions between materials used in formulation. The relation between product texture and “bind” and “gel-strength” is described.


  1. Introduction
  2. Meat Process Control Concepts
  3. Meat Product Non-Chemical Properties
  4. Meat as a Polymer System
  5. Testing General Polymer Strength
  6. Testing Meat Product Gel Strength Properties
  7. Effects of Materials and Processing on Gel Strength
  8. Skin vs Bulk Strength
  9. Sensory Properties Influenced by Gel Strength
  10. Typical Lot-to-Lot Variation in a Frankfurter’s Texture

Exhibit 1: Process Control Logic
Exhibit 2: Force-Deformation Curve for Brittle Plastics
Exhibit 3: Force-Deformation Curve for Ductile Rubbers
Exhibit 4: Stress-Strain Relationship for Meats
Exhibit 5: Typical Lot-to-Lot Variation in Stress for a Frank

Appendix 1: Glossary
Appendix 2: Bibliography


Comminuted meat products include a wide range of consumable sausages: frankfurters, bologna, luncheon meats, smoked sausage, bratwursts, fresh sausage, ground meat, dry sausages and many others. We shall be principally concerned with cooked sausage which is intended to be bound together with some degree of strength in its manufacture. This is not intended to mean that this discussion is limited in applicability to these types of products, or even meat products in general, but to provide an example set of products for which the concepts described provide critical insight.

Most of the time we will be even more specific: the most frequent product examples used will be a frankfurter (cooked, fine-cut, eaten hot), a bologna (cooked, fine-cut, eaten cold) and a smoked sausage (cooked, ground, eaten hot). These particular products are sensitive to consumer perception of texture, represent a large volume of North American production and exemplify broad ranges of product categories.

Cooked sausage production of the frankfurter, bologna or smoked sausage types occurs in the following sequence of typical steps:

  1. The raw meats to be used are first ground to medium fineness. For lean meats (< 30% fat) this means to 3/16″ (5 mm) and for fat meats (> 30% fat) to 3/8″ (10 mm) or larger.
  2. The bulk of the meats used, together with 15% water and 2.5% salt and possibly sodium nitrite, are mixed together for 5 to 15 minutes at slow speed and dumped into vats.
  3. The “preblended” meats of Step 2 are left to age for 8 to 24 hours.
  4. A “final blend” is performed by mixing the “preblend” plus additional water together with sweeteners, spices and flavorings for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. The “final blend” is dumped into an emulsification mill(s) or a fine grinder (< 1/8″ or 3mm).
  6. The fine-cut meat batter is stuffed into casings.
  7. The stuffed product is showered with liquid smoke and 2 – 4 % acetic acid.
  8. The product is cooked in a humidity and temperature controlled oven. A typical cook schedule might be: 30 min. @ 130 F (54 C), 30 min. @ 190 F (88 C). The humidity is low in the first stage, allowing the product to “shrink” and form a “skin”. The second stage will have a controlled humidity of at least 40% to promote rapid heat transfer. The product center temperature will be 160 to 170 F (71 to 77 C) leaving the oven.
  9. The cooked product is showered with cold water or brine for 15 to 30 minutes to bring its temperature to 35 F (2 C).
  10. The casings, if inedible, are removed by slitting and peeling.
  11. The product is packaged under vacuum or modified atmosphere.
    Cooked meat products are composed of a variety of basic substances: moisture, fat and protein (comprising some 94% of the weight), salts (2 – 3%) and carbohydrates (3 – 4%). The carbohydrates include starches, sugars and fiber. These constituents are the real raw materials used in making meat products: the raw meats are simply variable “preblends” of moisture, fat, protein, etc.


Process control is composed of five basic steps (see Exhibit 1):
1) Measurement,
2) Standards or Targets,
3) Comparison of Measured to Standards,
4) Plan of Action, and
5) Implementation of the Indicated Action.

Obviously no control will be exerted if no observations of the process output are made (“open loop”). Similarly, measurements by themselves would supply little value if there were not a desired target to compare to, and if this comparison is not made, the size, if any, of the correction needed would be indeterminate. A pre-defined plan of action is essential to avoid “human-in-the-loop” over- and under-correction. The selection of which, if any, corrective action is needed must be based on the objective size of the difference from targets or standards.

It is very important to realize that proper control requires not only the measurements of the process average and its deviation from target, but also the process variation and its deviation from its standard operating range. Only after the process variation is brought under control is the process average a meaningful quantity.

Process control on cooked sausage involves measurement of average values and variation on basic analytical, nutritional, microbiological and sensory properties.

Generally by government regulation or company-imposed standards, the moisture, fat, protein, salt and nutritional content (calories, type of fat, cholesterol, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates) and microbiological content of the product will be constrained to at least onesided limits.

Process planning and control on such analytical attributes is based on the following typical steps:

  1. Each raw material used (meats, flavorings, etc.) is characterized by laboratory analysis of successive lot samples. The frequency of sampling and accuracy of analysis is tailored to be sufficiently predictive without excess expense.
  2. Each product batch is formulated to obtain a desired target value on each attribute. The target is designed to provide protection against process and material variability causing the actual production lot value from violating the outgoing specification requirement.
  3. For easily measured attributes (moisture, fat, protein), a laboratory analysis of the production blend may be performed, and the error in target reduced by addition of “correction” materials in the final blend.
  4. Samples of production lots are taken as packaged and subjected to quality assurance testing to verify compliance with outgoing specifications.

In addition to analyte attribute control, consumer acceptance of a product requires sufficient consistency in certain sensory properties of the cooked sausage. The attributes of most importance include:

  1. Skin Texture
  2. Bulk Texture or “Bind”
  3. Skin Color
  4. Bulk Color
  5. Saltiness
  6. Sweetness
  7. Flavor (from spice, etc.)
  8. Purge loss
  9. Net Weight
  10. Shrinkage (Moisture loss in processing)

With the exception of net weight, these attributes are subject to only internally-imposed limits. Consequently the means of their control require development of methods not required or sponsored by regulatory organizations. The development of methods of measurement and control has therefore been left to company or university research and has lagged behind the other attributes non-specific to meat products.


The cooked sausage non-analytical properties mentioned above (texture, color, etc.), although not determinable by chemical analysis, are still important to monitor and control.

Skin texture is the chief component of the “bite” of a product. The skin is “tougher” than the product interior provides an initial “snap” during eating. Products with edible (natural or collagen) casings can be manufactured as tough as desired. Skinless products only retain a softer protein-based skin due to smoke, acid and initial oven treatments. A proper balance between skin and internal texture is necessary. Too tough a skin will create the sensation of a “mushy” interior, which may be squeezed out of the skin during biting. Too soft a skin will cause the product to be uniform in texture with little “snap”.

Skin color is principally determined by smoke and acid treatments, and secondarily by the initial oven stage (temperature and humidity) and meat pigment content. Skin color is of importance only in small diameter product, and its darkness is a matter of taste. In products where skin color is important, consistency from batch-to-batch and within-batch is the primary issue.

Bulk texture is the chief component of the “chew” or intermediate and final texture on eating. Too weak a bulk texture and the product will seem “mushy”, too tough and the product will seem “rubbery”. Bulk texture is of critical importance in sliced product, or product with special strength needs, such as corn dogs.

Similarly, bulk color is of importance only in sliced products. Bulk color is determined almost entirely by nitrite level, meat pigment content and the final cook stage time and temperature. Preblend holding time is also a factor.

Saltiness, sweetness and flavor are normally controlled by set addition levels of salt, sweeteners and flavorings in the blend. No measurement normally occurs, with the exception of routine taste tests.

Purge loss or “syneresis” is a serious issue in vacuum packaged products. Significant liquid in the package creates the impression of defective or spoiled product. This liquid is an inconvenience to the consumer (drainage from package after opening) and encourages bacterial growth. Purge loss in bulk-packaged products may cause container damage or contamination, and will affect the net weight per unit of the product at the time of use.

Net weight per package or per unit is a function of stuffing level, process shrink and purge loss. Variation in stuffing level or cook shrink will cause variation in the net weight at the time of packaging. Excessive net weight variation will directly increase product weight “giveaway”. Product used in further processing, such as “corn dogs”, may have problems meeting its final combined product labeling requirements.


Meat products have long been subject to mis-classification by researchers using inappropriate technical terms.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s the uncooked meat batter was described as an “emulsion” and the “emulsifying” properties of the meat proteins were thought to dominate the development of cooked product textural attributes. This led to flawed arguments regarding causal relationships between processing, materials used and final product properties.

From the late 1980’s to the 1990’s, researchers discarded the “emulsion” concept for a different viewpoint of a meat “sol” converting to a “gel” upon cooking. These terms are, however, still misnomers since “sol” and “gel” are applicable only to dilute (< 10%) colloidal dispersions.

Technically the uncooked meat mixture is a “paste”, not an “emulsion” or “sol”, since solids content is 40% or more. Upon cooking to a high enough temperature, the “paste” sets to hardened “plastic” material.

Because of these misclassifications, there is considerable confusion in the use of colloid science terms to describe meat systems. To avoid creating an entirely new vocabulary, we will use the current terminology of “gelling” or “gelation” synonymously for “setting” or “hardening”.

“Meat” is the protein-rich flesh of animals. For our purposes here, fish and poultry flesh are “meat”. As stated before, cooked sausage products are a mix of water, fat, protein, salts and carbohydrates gelled and set into a solid mass by the application of heat.

The principal functionality in forming the gelled and set mass comes from the long-chain proteins present and to a lesser extent from the long-chain carbohydrates (starches and gums). When the meat paste is heated above the set-point temperature, the long-chain molecules, supported in solution or at least hydrated by water, are forced to partially uncoil and form irreversiblez cross-linkages. The result is a three-dimensional crosslinked matrix which incorporates the water, fats, salts and fillers within its structure.

A simple paradigm for the mechanism involved is the hard-boiling of a common hen’s egg. The egg is initially liquid and is composed mostly of protein and water with a small amount of fat. When heat is applied above the “set-point” temperature, the protein unfolds and aggregates, forming the rubbery hard-boiled egg consistency. As is obvious, the water component is just as essential as the protein component: dried eggs do not hard boil! The water hydrates the protein molecules and allows mobility for unfolding and crosslinking.

The salts present in the water phase help ionically stabilize the unfolded protein molecules so that its structure can be more easily exposed. The function of salt may be easily seen by adding it to the water used to hard-boil an egg. If the shell is cracked so that a streamer of egg-white is forced out by internal pressure on heating, the presence of salt in the water will cause it to instantly coagulate and seal the crack.

To some extent fats also stabilize hydrophobic protein exposure. They also serve, with other water-insoluble components, simply to fill space and stiffen the protein matrix formed.

Starches and gums will hydrogen-bond and crosslink similar to proteins, and bind appreciable amounts of water. Generally the gelling temperature for such compounds is 90 C or higher, which is seldom obtained in meat processing. Non-gelling or insoluble carbohydrates principally act as mild water binders and matrix fillers. The strength of water-binding is moderate and due to capillary action and hydrogen-bonding, as opposed to irreversible crosslinking. The crystalline nature of a cooled starch gel results in a brittle texture which has little strength after fracture.

Non-meat proteins which are soy- or milk-based (soy flour, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, casein) have gel-points of 90 C or more, and function similar to starches in hydrogen-bonding with water to form weak gels at low temperatures.

Since meat’s texture is due to its property of heat-induced long-chain gelling or setting, cooked meat is classifiable as a water-plasticized, filled-cell mixed-composite thermosetting plastic biopolymer.

The word “polymer” denotes long-chain macromolecules which are crosslinked, such as proteins or starches.

The word “plasticizer” indicates that water is the filling solvent that hydrates the polymer and supports its “plastic” behavior.

The word “mixed” denotes possible crosslinking between different polymers, such as different proteins or proteins and cross-linked gums or starches.

The “fillers” present in meat products are fat or insolubles: in rubber tires, it is the carbon that makes the rubber black. Fillers normally will “stiffen” a plastic or rubber, making it harder and less stretchable. Sometimes fillers are active (such as the carbon in rubber tires) and actually bind to the setting polymers present. In this case the filler may increase strength dramatically (ten times or more), and out of proportion to its relative presence on a formula basis.

Additional plasticizer will soften and make more stretchable the polymer matrix. Removal of plasticizer will make the plastic harder and more “brittle” (i.e., less stretchable).

Skin texture in casingless product is formed in a more complicated manner. The proteins are gelled not only through the heat of cooking, but also through the mechanisms of water loss (shrinkage), pH (acid rinse) and smoke application. Therefore only proteins and carbohydrates which gel under these conditions will reinforce “skin” formation. Other materials will in general weaken skin strength by dilution or formation of flaw points.


In order to understand the significance of tests performed on meat products, it is necessary to first review the mechanical strength principles of the general polymer system.

There is an extensive literature associated with the theory and testing of the mechanical strength or plastics, rubbers and composites. (See Appendix 2.)

The terminology of mechanical properties is vague and confusing, since it has developed to describe the results of very specific test techniques. Appendix 1 gives a glossary of definitions of most common terms.

A typical experiment consists of applying a changing force needed to maintain a constant rate of deformation of a test specimen of specific shape (cross-section and length). The fraction deformation in the direction of force is called the “strain” and the force per unit cross-sectional area is called the “stress”. In experiments where theory is not easily applied, the force and deformation are reported. Where geometry can be analyzed properly, the stress and strain are reported. Force is usually measured in Newtons (N) or kilograms-force (kgf). Deformation is reported as % change. Stress has units of Pascals (usually megapascals, MPa). Strain is dimensionless.

Tests may be performed by compressing, stretching (tension) or twisting (torsion) the specimen. For brittle materials, different strengths are obtained for each mode of testing. For ductile materials, the results from different modes are close.

Measurements of stress and strain for very small deformations allow characterization of the elastic properties of a material, chiefly the Modulus of Elasticity (compression/tension) or Rigidity (torsion).

Large deformations (more than a few %) lead to plastic behavior where the material starts to yield under stress. In this case the quantities of interest are the Maximum Stress and Strain at Maximum Stress. Most tests do not strain the material to more than 25% of its original length, because of unusually behavior occurring when the geometry undergoes large changes.

Viscoelastic and viscoplastic materials are sensitive to the strain rates used in testing: fast rates require higher stresses. As a consequence tests are done at an accepted or specified strain rate, or must be repeated at various strain rates.

Testing done on general polymers falls into three categories:

  1. ELASTIC TESTING: Done at low levels of deformation, usually by oscillatory stressing to determine dynamical properties of the modulus at various strain rates.
  2. FAILURE TESTING: Done at large levels of deformation, usually at a constant strain rate, until the specimen breaks. The reported values are Break Stress and Break Strain.
  3. MODULUS TESTING: Done at fixed levels of strain, such as 90% or 75% (greater than 75% is not recommended). The stress required to achieve this level of deformation is reported.

The dynamical Elastic Testing is normally done only in research. Failure testing is done in research, where usually the whole stress-strain curve is reported, or as an engineering test to quantify the strength at failure. Modulus testing is routinely used in quality control on polymers with important mechanical properties.

Exhibit 2 shows a typical stress-strain curve for a brittle material, such as concrete or styrofoam. Note that at a particular level of strain the material fractures suddenly and the stress required drops to zero.

Exhibit 3 shows a typical stress-strain curve for a ductile or rubbery material, such as polyurethane. Note that after a certain stress or strain occurs, the material starts to yield (become plastic) and the stress drops and appears to fail to a nearly constant value while the material creeps. Once a certain strain occurs, the material becomes harder again (all the “give” used up) and the stress increases to another maximum before the material breaks.

In both Exhibits 2 and 3 you will notice that the initial portions of the stress-strain curves are straight lines (with a slope of the Modulus): this is the Proportional Region. Before the material starts to yield in Exhibit 3, the material would return to nearly its original shape if the stress were removed: this is the Elastic Region. In the testing of rubber-like materials, it is not infrequent to find an absence of the linear Elastic Region. These materials “strain-harden” continuously to a new material whose Elastic Region is approached after noticeable elongation.

In order to specify the mechanical properties of a general plastic, it is usually sufficient to report the Modulus of Elasticity (compression), Modulus of Elasticity (tension), Modulus of Rigidity (shear) and Maximum Stress and Strain for each mode.


The importance of texture has led to a variety of measurement methods in the last three decades. They fall into the raw material and outgoing product test categories.


The dominant effect of meat salt-soluble proteins on the resulting texture of the product led in the 1960’s and 1970’s to the “Georgia Bind” test of Saffle and co-workers (see Appendix 2 for references).

This test involves the extraction of salt-soluble protein from raw meat samples in a standard way, and then determination of a relative functionality of this salt-soluble protein by an oilemulsification test. The amount of oil sustained in a blender at a particular speed for a particular (10 mg/ml) concentration of salt-soluble protein defines the functionality of that protein. Combining the two effects of % protein salt-solubility and oil-functionality gives the “Bind Constant” or “Bind Index” for the meat.

The “Bind Constants” determined are then used to formulate a product to a specified level of texture, usually specified as the average of

Bind Constant x Protein x 100 %

on a finished weight basis. The resulting “BIND” levels formulated to are typically 200 – 220 % FW for beef products, 180 – 190 for 30% beef and 30% pork products, and 170 – 180 for pork dominant products. Poultry products vary from limits set to 170 – 180 (similar to pork) for products formulated to tighter specifications, to 250+ for chicken franks that are low fat and not adjusted to maximum water content.

The “BIND” values for raw meats are seldom actually measured. Instead, the tabulated results of the Saffle workers are used, possibly adjusted for proximate analysis variations (via the QC Assistanttm of Least Cost Formulations). The presumption is that the “Bind Constants” for the actual meat lots are not too far from the tabulated values, particularly when adjusted for proximate analysis differences.

This “BIND” concept has worked fairly well in practice over the last two decades. Change of the formulated “BIND” of 10 to 15 units will usually result in a sensible change in texture. The standard deviation of measurement of the original “Bind Constants” was approximately 5 to 7%, about the same as the 10 to 15 units is to the 170 to 220 unit limit.

The principal difficulties with the “BIND” concept are:

  1. The concept is inapplicable to many fillers and binders.
  2. The test is not easily repeatable between laboratories because the methodology is sensitive to equipment used.
  3. The effects of processing are not considered and assumed constant.
  4. The effects of fat and moisture are not determinable, other than of dilution, and modern meat products have shifted from 30% fat to 10% fat and lower.

The Saffle “BIND” concept has, whatever its limits, revolutionized meat product formulation accuracy and has provided a basic solution to texture control in cooked sausage.


The few large meat companies which can afford pilot plants in their R & D facilities will usually also include a Universal Tester system (such as Instron, Chatillon or others).

These testers can perform vertical compression or tension tests at constant strain rates in a heavyduty test stand with a chuck to contain a test probe and a force gauge (of at least 1% full-scale accuracy) to measure the stress applied. The tester provide chart recorder output which indicates force vs time (which gives deformation via the constant strain rate) for the entire crosshead movement.

Because of the design of the machine and the properties of the meat samples being tested, usually a compression test is performed using either a cylindrical, flat probe of 5 to 12.5 mm diameter, or a spherical probe of 5 to 10 mm diameter. The spherical probe test with a 10 mm ball is routinely performed on all lots of surimi.

Universal Testing Machines cost from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on features.

The most reliable compressive test is measurement of the peak force required to puncture the sample. As deformation occurs, the stress rises rapidly and linearly to a first maximum, then undergoes a complex pattern, followed by a second maximum and then failure. Unfortunately there is little consensus as to the shape of the probe (flat vs ball) or which point on the force vs deformation curve to use as the measurement. Some investigators report the first maximum, others the second. It appears that only the first maximum is a reliable predictor of the material properties, since the curve after initial puncture is subject to side friction. In addition, the test results are influenced by the rate of cross-head speed and the diameter of the probe used, all of which vary between investigators.

Other labs report the results of compression to a fixed deformation, such as 90% of height, 80% of height or 75% of height and sometimes even 50%. These tests are particularly difficult to reproduce, since these fixed deformations are not extrema in the force vs deformation curves but instead are on a side slope of rapid change. Consequently slight changes in mounting, deformation or material or cross-head speed may result in significantly different forces being measured.

In the best of circumstances, the precision of the measurement between replicates is 5 to 10%, chiefly due to the incomplete homogeneity of the meat product structure (4 to 6%) and its response to the compressive deformation. Tests are usually run on 5 to 10 replicates to average out within product and instrument variation.

Only the surimi industry has standardized the probe and cross-head speed for the compression test to failure: a 10 mm diameter spherical ball. No standard of any time seems to exist for this type of test in the meat industry.

Because of the inability to apply theory to the complex deformations and unknown contact surfaces involved in the vertical compression test, the results are normally reported as force and deformation rather than stress and strain. A nominal stress of doubtful validity could be obtained by dividing the flat and spherical probe forces by p r2.


A recent and increasingly popular method of meat product texture measurement is the torsional “gelometer” developed by Lanier and Hamann at North Carolina State University (see Appendix 2 for references).

This system twists a standard hourglass-shaped specimen at a constant angular rate (2.5 rpm = 15 degrees/s) until it fails. The entire stress-strain curve is available, with the maximum stress and strain reported.

The specimen is cut to a standard length (about 20 mm) and plastic plates are glued to each end.

The standard hourglass shape is obtained by chipping a specimen to shape using a special knifetoothed lathe wheel. The sample is necked to 10 mm + 0.2 mm.

The specimen in mounted in a specially modified Brookfield viscometer with a 1% full-scale accuracy digital head. The specimen is rotated by turning the top plastic plate while the bottom plate is held fixed.

This test is relatively well-designed, with the geometry of the specimen chosen to be amenable to theoretical analysis. The force and rotational deformation are easily converted to nominal stress and true strain by the application of formulas incorporating the specimen geometry, rotational speed and effect of twisting.

The stress and strain measured in the NCSU torsional gelometer are statistically independent measurables. The reproducibility of strain is about 4 to 6% standard deviation, and of stress about 5 to 10%. The stress error is inflated by the 5% typical instrument error at the 20% of fullscale encountered on meat products. From 5 to 20 replicates are usually run to average out between specimen and instrument errors.

Because of its sound theoretical basis, the NCSU gelometer is the instrument of choice for research, providing a detailed stress-strain curve for each test. It is, however, much more laborintensive than other test methods, due to milling of the specimen.

The NCSU torsional gelometer is available at a cost of about $15,000 from Drs. Lanier and Hamann (Gel Technology, Raleigh, NC).


Cooked meat products, such as frankfurters or bologna, are, as mentioned before, filled cellular plastics where a three-dimensional cross-linked protein structure encapsulates water, fat and fillers.

Time of chopping or mastication will affect final strength, due to development of active ends of severed protein molecules. In addition chopping reduces fat particle size, breaks the containing fat cell layers, and melts fat droplets allowing surface smearing to take place.

Because meat products are composed of protein macromolecules which retain some alignment of the direction of stuffing, they exhibit “anisotropy” or directionality of strength. The stress and strain to failure will in general differ longitudinally and laterally to the stuffing axis. The effect of stuffing is to pre-stress and pre-strain the product in the direction of stuffing, reducing the longitudinal strain possible and stiffening the gel.

As a product ages in the package after production, it will gradually relax the embedded strain which has been “cooked” into the gel, increasing the strain and decreasing the stress needed for failure.

Filled composites generally exhibit increased strength in compression and decreased strength in tension. Consequently it would generally be expected that adding inert or insoluble materials (and displacing moisture) will stiffen the structure to compression and lower the strain needed for failure. However both stress and strain would be lowered in tension.

As a consequence, adding such fillers not bound to the stronger protein structure would be expected to lower skin strength, where the test condition is perpendicular to the skin, resulting in failure by shear or tension. Such fillers include non-gelling proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Since moisture functions as a plasticizer, increasing moisture content would imply increased ability to strain, and a softer product (due to displacement of non-liquid ingredients).

Strength and strain at failure will be directly related to protein content: under ideal circumstances proportional to the active protein.

The effect of moisture loss through shrinkage is twofold: a drop in the plasticizer percentage and an increase in the percentage of other materials, including protein. Consequently the strength of a “shrunk” product will be larger than that of the “unshrunk” product by at least the percentage shrink [ 1/(1-s) ], and the strain to failure lower by approximately the shrink [ 1-s ].

Fillers with high water-holding capacity will effectively de-plasticize the system, resulting in ower strains to failure and higher stresses.

The time and temperature the product is cooked at will have a modest influence on the gel strength. Product cooked to 5 C or 10 C higher temperature or for 10 minutes longer will generally gel more fully, resulting in both increased stress and strain at failure. Since the gel process is analogous to the microbiological “kill” effect of cooking (bacteria are proteins too!), it is easy to see that cooking has a natural completion, where nearly 100% conversion occurs. Therefore very short cook cycles the lowest final temperatures will exhibit the greatest sensitivity to these variables.

The effects of salt level are to shift the pH sensitivity of the proteins and stabilize functional groups to the surrounding water. Higher salt levels generally will increase strength due to greater protein mechanical extraction, greater unfolding (resulting in increased cross-linkages) and lower the gel point temperature (resulting in more complete gelling in the cook cycle).

The effects of phosphate or lactate include:

1) increase in ionic strength (salt effect),

2) increase in pH and

3) special interactions to stabilize unfolded proteins.

Skin formation is generally due only to the meat myofibrillar proteins. The higher shrink losses from the skin areas mean the structure is pre-strained and stressed. Displacement of the moisture plasticizer by any non-bonding materials will generally decrease the strain to failure, making the skin more brittle. Since the skin properties of interest are normally tensile or shear strengths, such fillers will generally also decrease the skin strength, or at best leave it unchanged.

The mechanism for meat product deformation of 100% to 150% before failure is due to the protein chain length. The long protein molecules may be visualized as springy coils which are crosslinked to neighboring coils in random patterns. When strain occurs in a specific direction, the protein molecules uncoil into a more linear conformation. This requires free space (solvated by plasticizer) and mobility to accomplish. Clearly there is only so much “uncoiling” that can occur: if pre-stretching is accomplished by volume compression due to cook shrink or by stuffing distortion, less deformation will be available during testing or eating.

The protein content of cooked meat products is usually between 10 and 20% of the composition, or a minor constituent compared to moisture and fat. Consequently the stress and strain observed for a product will increase at least linearly with protein, and quadratically for low levels of protein.

Collagen protein contracts by 10% or more upon reaching its gel-point of 60 C, and therefore has the effect of straining the entire thermoset product.

Fat generally expands by 10% or more upon melting, and therefore stresses and strains the product before complete setting has taken place. It is essential that the fat droplets be coated with a closed-cell protein structure or embedded in a strainable gel to protect the structure against fracture by fat expansion with concomitant leakage of liquid fat along these fractures to relieve the stress imposed.

It is an interesting fact that most cooked muscle foods exhibit a modulus of rigidity between 10 and 20 kPa (see Exhibit 4).

The ultimate stress needed for a particular product will change substantially with the temperature at time of test. The viscosity of the fat present will change markedly below room temperature as the fat congeals and becomes crystalline. The stress needed at 35 F may be twice that at 70 F. The ultimate stress above room temperature should drop at least linearly with increasing temperature up to the gel-point at a rate of 0.1 – 0.3% per degree C.


As mentioned in the last sections, there is a fundamental difference in the mechanical properties of interest of the skin and of the bulk product:

  1. PROCESSING: Skin properties are primarily and directly affected by processing steps such as smoke treatment, acid treatment and early cook stages. Bulk properties are, however, primarily affected only by the final cook stage.
  2. TENSION vs COMPRESSION: The skin is bitten through perpendicular to its surface, so strength in tension and shear are the quantities of interest. The bulk interior is masticated by chewing, which means that strength in compression and shear are the quantities of interest.
  3. FILLERS: Fillers, such as fats, carbohydrates, non-meat proteins, etc., generally will decrease skin strength, even though the meat protein level stays the same, but will generally increase the bulk strength, even if the moisture level is unchanged.
  4. MECHANICAL SUPPORT: Testing of specimens for skin strength involve imposition of perpendicular loads to a thin layer, drawing upon mechanical support from the product surface large distances away. On the other hand, bulk compression or shearing remains local, so long as the test probe used is small in invasive volume. As a consequence, independent measures of skin strength and bulk strength should be made.


The “+” in the above table indicates the parameter is positively highly correlated with the factor (e.g., increasing maximum stress increases hardness). A “-” indicates the parameter is negatively correlated with the factor (e.g., increasing maximum stress lowers ease-of-swallow). No entry in the table indicates no significant direct correlation.

As mentioned before, skin and bulk texture need to be considered separately. A “good” frank, for example, should have enough skin strength to provide a noticeable “snap”, but not so strong that it is difficult to bite or so that the frank “bursts” on eating. The bulk texture should be strong enough to be “chewy”, but not so strong as to appear “rubbery”. Some markets (e.g., Far East) or some products (e.g., canned Vienna sausage) may require a “mushier” product standard than North American franks.


Exhibit 5 shows an actual record the ultimate stress (as determined by the NCSU torsional gelometer) of successive batches of a frankfurter over days of production.







Binder: In a composite plastic, the continuous phase that holds together the reinforcing materials.

Break, Failure or Fracture Strength: The stress at the breakpoint.

Break, Fracture or Failure Point: The discontinuous point at which the specimen separates and the stress drops to zero rapidly.

Brittleness: The property of a material to fail under a small deformation.

Brittle materials usually behave differently under tension and compression.

Brittle materials are usually weak in tension and strong in compression.

Cell: A small cavity surrounded partially or completely by walls.

Cell, Open: A cell not totally enclosed by its walls.

Cell, Closed: A cell totally enclosed by its walls.

Colloid: A substance in an extremely fine state of subdivision dispersed in a continuous medium, where the principal properties of surfaces and interfaces play the dominant role.

Colloidal solution: A dilute colloidal dispersion of a lyophilic particles, usually molecularly dispersed and thermodynamically stable as a single-phase system.

Creep: The time change of strain under a fixed stress.

Crosslinking: The formation of a 3-dimensional polymer by means of interchain reactions resulting in changes to physical properties.

Deformation: The decrease in length from the gage length due to compressive force applied.

Dilatant: A material which hardens upon imposed shear. (Opposite of “Thixotropic”.)

Disperse phase: The discontinuous phase of a colloidal mixture.

Dispersion medium: The continuous phase of a colloidal mixture.

Ductility: The property of a material to have large plastic deformations without rupturing.

Ductile materials have almost identical tension and compression stress-strain curves.

Elasticity: The property of returning quickly and completely to initial geometry after unloading.

Elastic Limit: The greatest stress to which a material may be subjected without permanent strain resulting (i.e., the specimen recovers its original dimensions).

Elastomer: A macromolecular material that at room temperature returns rapidly to approximately its original dimensions and shape after a substantial deformation by a weak stress.

Elastoplasticity: The property of retaining partially and permanently a deformation after unloading.

Electrophoresis: The movement of particles with respect to a liquid as a result of an applied electric field.

Elongation or Extension: The increase in length from the gage length due to the force imposed.

Emulsion: A stable dispersion of one liquid in another, usually water and an oil or organic compound. Two types exists: oil-in-water (“O/W”) and water-in-oil (“W/O”), depending on which compound is the disperse and which is the continuum phase. Stability requires the presence of a third material, an “Emulsifying Agent”, which stabilizing the oil/water interface.

Fiber: A plastic which has been crystallized by “Strain Hardening” to form a greatly stronger oriented or interlocking structure longitudinally.

Filler: A sometimes inert and sometimes functional material added in the particulate solid phase to a plastic to modify its properties or lower its costs. If functional to a high degree, they are called “Reinforcing Fillers”.

Flexibility: The property of a material to have large elastic deformations without rupturing.

Foam: Gaseous dispersion (usually air) in a liquid continuum.

Gage Length: The original length of a test specimen over the portion over which the strain is being determined. For tensile or compressive tests, the height of the narrow region. For torsional tests, the circumference of the narrow region.

Gel: A two-component semi-solid system, rich in liquid (< 10% gelling component), made of a network of solid aggregates in which liquid is held. A hardened “sol”.

Gelation: The process of hardening or “setting” of a sol into a material with solid-like properties.

Gel-Point: The stage at which a liquid mass begins to exhibit pseudo-elastic behavior, the inflection point in viscosity vs time.

Glass: A product of freezing, typically hard and brittle, which has cooled to rigidity without crystallizing.

Glass Transition: The reversible change over a relatively small temperature region in amorphous polymers to a viscous or rubbery condition from a hard and brittle condition.

Glass Transition Temperature: The approximate midpoint of the temperature range over which a glass-to-rubber transition occurs. Hofmeister series: See “Lyotropic Series”.

Hydrocolloid: A material capable of forming a colloidal suspension in water.

Hydrogel: A gel formed from a material dispersed in water as a medium. Hydrophilic: A disperse phase which has a high chemical affinity for the water dispersion medium.

Hydrophobic: A disperse phase which has a low chemical affinity for the water dispersion medium.

Lyophilic: A disperse phase which has a high chemical affinity for the dispersion medium.

Lyophobic: A disperse phase which has a low chemical affinity for the dispersion medium.

Lyotropic series: A series of cations or anions in order of coagulating power (e.g., Li+ > Na+ > K+ or Cl- > Br- > I-).

Micelle: A submicroscopic aggregate of colloidal polymers usually oriented with respect to a dispersion medium (lyophilic out and lyophobic in).

Modulus of Elasticity or Elastic Modulus or Young’s Modulus: The slope of stress vs strain below the proportional limit in tensile or compressive testing.

Modulus of Rigidity: See Shear Modulus.

Necking: localized reduction in cross-section in tensile tests.

Nonrigid Plastic: A plastic which has a modulus of elasticity of 70 Megapascals or less. All cooked food gels have moduli of 1 MPa or less.

Pascal: A unit force of 1 Newton applied to a cross-sectional area of 1 square meter. 1 atmosphere of pressure is 101325 Pa or 101.325 kPa or 0.101325 MPa.

Peptization: From analogy to peptic digestion, the spontaneous dispersion of a precipitate to form a colloid.

Percentage Elongation: The elongation expressed as a percentage of gage length. Different percentage elongations will be observed at yield and at break.

Paste: A concentrated (> 10% by volume) dispersion of solid particles in a liquid continuum.

Plastic: A material that has as an essential ingredient one or more organic macromolecule, is solid in its finished state, and at some stage in processing can be shaped by flow. Rubbers, textiles, adhesives and paint are not classified as plastics.

Plasticity: The property of retaining permanently and completely a deformed shape after unloading.

Plasticizer: A substance incorporated in a material to increase its workability, flexibility or distensibility.

Plastisol: A plastic or resin dissolved in a plasticer to give a pourable liquid.

Polymer: A substance consisting of repeating units of one or more monomers.

Proportional Limit: The greatest stress for which stress vs strain is a straight line through the origin.

Purge: The syneresis of water from a meat product over time.

Rate of Straining: The change in nominal strain per unit time. Plastic materials become “stiffer” when faster deformations are required. Consequently results at different strain rates will generally differ significantly in a systematic manner. For non-rigid materials, usually 1.5 per minute (150% elongation in 1 minute or 2.5% per second).

Rate of Stressing: The change in nominal stress applied per unit time. See Rate of Straining.

Reinforced Plastic: A plastic with high-strength fillers embedded, resulting in mechanical properties enhanced over the unfilled plastic.

Rheology: The study of mechanical properties, particularly flow, ductility and plasticity, or concentrated colloidal systems.

Rubber: A material capable of recovering from large deformations quickly and forcibly. From a test point of view, a rubber will retract from 100% elongation to 50% elongation in less than 1 minute at room temperature.

Shear Modulus of Elasticity or Modulus of Rigidity: The slope of shear stress vs strain below the proportional limit in torsional testing.

Sol: The dilute (less than 1% by volume) dispersion of a lyophobic solid in a liquid or gaseous medium. The dispersion medium is usually denoted by a prefix, such as “hydrosol” (water) or “aerosol” (air).

Strain or Nominal Strain: The ratio of elongation or compressive deformation to gage length. If the specimen retains its original dimensions, the strain is 0. Note that, as with nominal stress, strain may not be meaningful if the specimen geometry is seriously distorted during test.

Strain Hardening: The process of increasing strength by elongation by strain to produce apartially crystallized fiber.

Strength, Nominal: The maximum nominal stress sustained by the specimen during the test.

Stress, Nominal: The force per unit area (N/m2 = Pascal) of minimum original cross-section. If the specimen deforms significantly under test (“yields”), necking, stretching or bulging may occur to an extent that the nominal “stress” is not a meaningful quantity.

Syneresis: The spontaneous shrinkage of a gel to form a more concentrated gel and free exuded dispersion medium.

Thermoplastic: A plastic that can be repeatedly softened and hardened by heating and cooling to and from a flow-shapable state.

Thermoset: A plastic that, after having been cured by heat or other means, is substantially infusible and insoluble.

Thixotropic: A material which has lowered viscosity on increased shear (e.g., liquefied by shaking). Notable example is quicksand, which acts liquid under force.

Toe Compensation: The correction for the initial “ramp-up” of stress required to take up equipment slack at the start of testing.

Toughness: The property of a material to withstand large deformations or stresses before failure.

True Strain: The strain corrected for known standard geometry changes necessary under test which affect length. For a tensile test, true strain is the natural logarithm of 1 plus the nominal strain (ratio of after to before length).

Ultimate Strength or Maximum Strength: The maximum stress encountered during testing.

Viscoelasticity: The property of continuously creeping under load and continuously retreating after unloading, with a return to original form after some lapse of time.

Viscoplasticity: The property of continuous creeping under load and a retention of the deformed shape after unloading.

Viscosity: The resistance to flow within the body of a material.

Work to Failure or Fracture: The integrated force through deformation or stress through strain to cause breakage or rupture of the specimen. A measure of “Toughness”.

Yield Point: The first point at which the strain increases without an increase in stress. Usually at a maximum in stress, but may also be at an inflection point in stress.

Yield Strength: The stress at the yield point.



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Meat Emulsions – A Roadmap to Investigations

This is the Index Page for all work related to MDM and Blended Ham Products.

Meat Emulsions – A Roadmap to Investigations

2 October 2020

In April this year, I decided to put everything I thought I knew about fine meat emulsions aside and to start from scratch. This was a very hard week where nothing worked the way I wanted it to work. For a large part, I was flying on autopilot, disregarding my personal extreme disappointment with the world NOT working the way I thought it must work. For several days I was in the test kitchen from first thing in the morning and was the last person to leave. What emerged at the end of the week was not an answer, but a roadmap to the answer.

I went for a run when I got home and the enormity of the breakthrough dawned on me. Let me recap what I decided in April when I embarked on this journey. I questioned everything!

What is the role of equipment? What are starch-, soya-, rinds- and fat emulsions and why create it or use it in the final meat emulsion? What exactly are TVP and the various isolates? What is a modified starch and what are the differences with native starches? What is a food gel and what characteristics are required under which conditions? What is the role of meat proteins in gelation? What is an emulsifier and what is a filler? How did these enter the meat processing world and what has been the most important advances? What is the legislative framework? What is the role of time, temperature, pH, pressure, particle size on these products in isolation and synergistically, in a complex system? What is the role of enzymes in manipulating these? What are all the possible sources of protein, starches, fillers and emulsifiers? How do we enhance taste? Firmness? etc.

The subject is clearly stated by Gravelle, et al. “Finely comminuted meat products such as frankfurter-type sausages and bologna can be described as a discrete fat phase embedded in a thermally-set protein gel network. The chopping, or comminution process is performed under saline conditions to facilitate extraction of the salt-soluble (predominantly myofibrillar) proteins. Some of these proteins associate at the surface of the fat globules, forming an interfacial protein film (IPF), thus embedding the fat droplets within the gel matrix, as well as acting to physically restrain or stabilize the droplets during the thermal gelation process. As a result, these types of products are commonly referred to as meat emulsions or meat batters.” (Gravelle, 2017) I love this concise description and in it is embedded a world of discovery and adventure.

A road-map emerged. It is different from NPD in that in this stage of the game, I assume that I know nothing. I seek to learn as much as possible through experimentation and carefully selected collaborations, done in such a way that confidentiality is not an issue. I assume that I don’t know enough and that the information I have been given over the years may not have been the most correct or complete information. I assume that if I understand the various chemicals and equipment pieces better than most people, I should be able to arrive at answers that others are not able to.

My first task was to set out the framework for investigations. The new investigative techniques that became clear to me this week will only be effective within the right philosophical framework.

Test, test and, when you had enough, test some more!

Develop a way to do rapid testing of various combinations or products in isolation. Test per certain pH, temperature, particle size, etc. Test and test and test some more. Remember to keep careful notes with photos.

Find Solace in the wisdom of the old people.

Often, the greatest food innovations emerge out of an understanding how things were done hundreds of years ago. This is the basis premise of The Earthworm Express.

List Protein Sources

Make a list of all protein sources, their protein content, fat, fiber and other characteristics. What is the state of the proteins? Denatured? Damaged? Get samples and test.

Develop Rapid Test’s

Develop rapid test techniques which are quick, inexpensive and accurately mimics processing conditions. Fed up and frustrated with the restrictive and expensive nature of the test kitchen set-up, it was the realization how to do this that was my biggest breakthrough this week.

Don’t Trust Ingredient Comp’s.

Seek advice, but remember that staff from spice companies will tell you whatever they have to tell you to sell their particular product which may or may not be what you are looking for.

Understand your Equipment

Take the time to understand the different pieces of equipment who purports to fulfill a certain function and compare the results by talking to different production managers who use these equipment pieces. Is smaller better? Heat generated? Damage to proteins?

List binders/ emulsifiers

List all possible binders/ emulsifiers / fillers and test. Get samples and test.

Record and photograph everything!

Record everything. Inclusion (dosage), pH, temperature, reaction time, processing steps. Keep meticulous photo records.

Build an international network of trusted friends

Seek out the advice of people you trust when you run into a dead end. I find it best to have such a network of collaborators across the world. Pick the right peoples brains!

There is ONE least cost formulation for every situation.

I have come to the conclusion that it is merely a matter of data manipulation to arrive at the one ultimate “least cost” solution for every product, in any particular set of circumstances.

Separate the steps and logically group chemical reactions.

Group chemical reactions together and separate steps to achieve optimal results, thus creating different emulsions to be blended together in the final step.

Index to Articles and Notes

-> Chicken Meat – Thawing, Breading, Cooking, Browning

-> Collagen Marker: Hydroxyproline

-> Counting Nitrogen Atoms – The History of Determining Total Meat Content Before we get down to business, I examine the history of the development of the concept of Total Meat Equivalent and the equations which are laid down in legislation.

-> Emulsifiers in Sausages – Introduction. Understanding the role and chemistry of non-meat emulsifiers, extenders and fillers is currently widely used in South Africa.

-> Experiential Substitutes for Chicken MDM

-> Hot Boning in America First step towards a better understanding of the binding of proteins to each other and water.

-> MDM – Not all are created equal! Starting to understand the base meat material used in fine emulsion sausages in South Africa.

-> Notes on Alginate

-> Notes on Proteins used in Fine Emulsion Sausages

-> Notes on Starch. Characteristics and composition of this often used gelling agent are discussed.

-> The Origins of Polony The origins of polony informs us a great deal in its composition.

-> Poultry MDM: Notes on Composition and Functionality Here we start our detailed consideration of chicken MDM.

-> Protein Functionality: The Bind Index and the Early History of Meat Extenders in America The first consideration is the fact that different meat sources, and different parts of the carcass, have different binding functionalities. Here I also develop the history of binders, fillers and meat extenders in America and the birth of the analog product.

-> Special Projects 3

-> Soy or Pea Protein and what in the world is TVP? Here we start to learn about the functional properties brought to the fine emulsion by soy, pea protein and TVP by first understanding exactly what they are and how they are produced.

Over the next years, I want to make this approach part of my daily routine. I am interested to work with collaborators on various aspects of the project.

Let’s build our understanding together.

Cape Town, South Africa

The Origins of Polony

The Origins of Polony
by Eben van Tonder
8 March 2019

Parent Page: Sausages



We trace the origins of the emulsion sausage, polony. Where does its name come from? How did it historically develop? I examine several references to it between 1929 and today. What is the difference between Bologna and Polony? Is it nutritional and produced from good quality meat? How wide is its occurrence or is it a uniquely South African product? At the end, I pull everything together by giving what I believe was the first polony recipe!

The History Guy gives an excellent review of the history of Bologna. Absolute worth the 15 minutes it will take to listen to him!


My interest in the origins of the sausage was sparked by a reference by Laurence Green in his book, Harbours of Memory (1969) about South African port cities. He writes that “butchers prepared fine mutton hams and polonies and these kept fresh in any climate.” Apart from the interesting reference to “mutton hams“, he, interestingly, describes what he meant with polonies. It was “a foot long, one inch in diameter, made of pork and other meats and fat with various spices; they were bound in bundles of twenty-four and sewn up in airtight bladders.”

I was intrigued. Green collected his stories from old men and women, sometimes from pamphlets that he dug up at street markets and the accounts go back to at least the turn of the 20th century and even further back.

Polony According to Laurence Green

There are several interesting things we can deduce from Green’s account. The fact that it kept “fresh in any climate” points to only one of two preservation techniques. It was either cooked or dried/ fermented.

Secondly, it contained meat (from any species) and fat with different spices. They were then bound in bundles of 24, sewn up in airtight bladders. This rules out drying and if so packed and cooked in water, inside the airtight bladder. This would kill all microorganisms and be the basis for its very stable and long shelf life in “any climate“.

I am not sure if he is referring to the individual sausages being sown up in airtight bladders (i.e. the polony casings of the diameter given by him) or if the 24 polonies were together, in one bunch, placed in a bladder which was sewn up. I have come across this exact technique from a German Master Butcher from the Australian town of Castlemaine. He places his sausages in such a bladder (not a natural bladder, but is now using artificial, probably plastic) casing. Exactly as it would have been done with polony, Frank places the sausage in the casing filled with saltwater and boils it which gives the sausages an amazingly long shelf life at ambient temperatures, even in the hot Australian climate. To eat the sausage, one removes it from the bladder first and then cooks the sausage. I have to ask Frank where he got his inspiration from but when I saw it I suspected it is an ancient technique.

Polony According to C. L. Graves

An article, probably by the famous Irish author CL Graves (1856-1944), appeared in the Canadian newspaper The Province, (Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, page 6, 18 August 1928) in 1928 where he discusses the origins of polony.

I quote his article in its entirety.

Foreign names applied to articles of commerce are often so strangely perverted by current usage that their origin is difficult to trace. For example, there is the Polony sausage, which does not hail from Poland but from Bologna in Italy. One does hear much of Polonies in these days but they were immortalized by W. S. Gilbert, in the libretto of H.M.S. Pinafore exactly 50 years ago when he wrote,

“I’ve chickens and conies,
And pretty Polonies,
And excellent peppermint drops.”

But my memory of the Polony goes even further back than Gilbert. It is enshrined in one of the earliest comic songs I ever heard, that known as “The Dutchman’s Wee Dog,” which is so thoroughly characteristic a specimen of the mid-Victorian Music-hall Muse that I make no excuse for quoting it, as far as my memory will serve:

O vere O vere is my little wee dog?
O vere O vere is he?
With his ears cut short and his tail cut long
O vere O vere can he be?
A sausage is good – polony of course:
O vere O vere is he?
But they make it with dog
and they make it with horse,
And I fear that they make it with he.
The reason I think my little wee dog
Into sausage he have been minced
Is I ate a Polony for breakfast last week,
and my stomach has growled ever since.
So whenever I paas a pork-butchers I stop
And whistle this beautiful air,
and the sausage is never runs out of the shop,
So I know that my dog is not there.

I can only approximately date the appearance of this masterpiece. It was to the best of my belief in the early 60’s that it took the town by storm, and it belonged to that group of “melodious bursts” which included the immortal story of “Pretty Little Polly Perkins of Paddington Green.” Most commentators would be inclined to trace the words “o vere O vere” etc a survival of that transposition of v and w which is recognized under the name of Wellerism. But they would be wrong. The dialect of the lyric is not cockney but Anglo-Dutch; and further corroboration is furnished by the title which is “The Dutchman’s Dog” or “Wee Dog.”

Whether the tragedy which it commemorates is founded on fact or not I can not say for certain, but I have a sort of vague recollection that a “regrettable incident” did occur which inspired the nameless bard. It is easy to pick holes in the technique of this poem. For example, the rhyme of “minced” with “since” would not be tolerated by the critics of the Times Literary Supplement. Still, with all deductions and reservations, I maintain that there is lilt and force of imagination in this old song which warrant its inclusion in any anthology of Victorian music-hall verse.

Several observations stand out. Grave links the word polony to the Polish word Polony, therefore Polish sausage – “Polony sausage, which does not hail from Poland”. He then takes the origin of the sausage, not to Poland, but to “Bologna in Italy.”

Prof Paul Brians from Wahington State University links the sausage from Bologna in Italy to the same concept. He gives the transfer of Bologna to Baloney, but the exact same could apply to Polony. He writes ““Bologna” is the name of a city in Italy, pronounced “boh-LOAN-ya.” But although the sausage named after the city in English is spelt the same, it is pronounced “buh-LOAN-ee” and is often spelt “baloney”” ( and equally likely “poh-LON-ee”. People, knowing the Polish name Polony could easily have inferred “Polish Sausage” for this. Like Graves, Brians makes the point that it is a “sausage named after the Italian city.”

Brian makes a second interesting connection namely to the term “bunch of polony” or baloney. He writes, “there is the expression “a bunch of baloney.” He makes the point that ““Baloney” in this case probably originated as a euphemism for “BS.” When it means “nonsense,” the standard spelling is “baloney.” People who write “bunch of bologna” are making a pun or are just being pretentious.”” ( This is consistent with Greens reference to polony being “bound in bundles of twenty-four and sewn up in airtight bladders.” I wonder if such a reference could carry a negative connection to the kind of meat used in Bologna.

He quotes Gilbert’s use of polony going back to 1878, but he remembers the “Dutchman’s Wee Dog” going back to the mid-Victorian times which will be the beginning of the 1800s/ end of the 1700s.

The “Dutchman’s Wee Dog” repeats an accusation that I came across a lot in my research for this article namely the use of horse meat in Polony. “But they make it with dog and they make it with horse” I can very well imagine that the use of dog flesh was not something uncommon in the late 1700s/ 1800s and even right into our present age. An article appeared for Polony lovers in the Era in London (1849). Mr. Jones from the St Martin’s Market alleged that German sausage makers were using horse meat to make polonies. The allegation was made against the manufacturers in Dryden-street.

The rest of the article is a good clue that it is CL Graves the famous author who wrote the article for its evaluation of the literary and linguistic clues from the poem.

Polonies in Australia

Graves mentions early references to Polony from the 1860s. We find an 1885 reference to it from Australia, quoted by the Leeds Mercury. They reproduce a report by The Daily Telegraph in Melbourne that tells the account of a great fire that broke out in Melbourne. The author could hear a man cry out, but could not discern what he was shouting amidst the roaring flames, the water being sprayed, the noise of the crowd and dogs barking. Eventually, when things calmed down and the fire was brought under control, he was able to hear what the man was shouting about. To his great surprise, he was shouting about “Polonies!”‘ He refers to polonies as “that variety of sausage tribe, I heard, (which is) amazingly popular in the antipodes” (the ends of the earth). Later, the writer exclaims “Polonies on the Pacific”. What was happening, was that during the night, as firemen were battling the blaze at a popular hotel and crowds were looking on, an enterprising Australian was selling polonies.

Of interest is the presence of polony in Australia by 1885 but also the use of the plural, “polonies” as opposed to “polony.” It reinforces the concept that polony was bunched together, therefore “polonies.”

1829 – Sub-spec Meat in Polonies

The Standard in 1829 reports on a court case against a certain Mr. James Hitchcock who was charged with selling meat unfit for human consumption. One of the products sold was Polony and it was made with substandard meat by adding large quantities of salt and pepper “which must have cost much more than the meat itself.” The purpose of such a large number of spices was so that the “abominable quality of the principal ingredient can (could) not be detected until the general health begins (began) to sink under repeated meals.” The picture is now becoming clear. Polony was made from various meat, fat and lots of spices, filled into casings and bunched together. It was probably placed in another bladder and cooked. This allowed for an unusually well-preserved product with a long and stable shelf life.

As was the case with sausage meat generally at this time, polony, in particular, had a reputation as being made from substandard meat. Well-salted meat, adding lots of spices and cooking it not only preserved the meat well but also hid sub-spec meat well. It was such a case described by The Standard in 1829.

During the court case, the quadrennium of the poor was described as follows. “The cheapness (of such a product) rendered the joint (product) quite irresistible, and when once dressed, a poor family would endeavour to make the best of a bad bargain.” In court, it was said that this is an “evil against which the affluent could guard themselves, but the poor were left without security, except such as was given by the certainty of punishment in case of offences.” Be slow to only lump polony in this class of products containing inferior products, because sausages were also part of the category! The reputation of polonies being made from sub-spec meat nevertheless has a very long historical precedent. It was widely reported during this time that any person making polonies who would cut himself/ herself by accident and thus, unintentionally inoculate himself/ herself had a high probability of dying.

Polony in England

It was the search for information on the history of rusk in the UK that brought me to the firm FINNEY, T. B., & CO., Ltd. In the 1914 Who’s Who in Business, they are listed as owners of a patent for the production of what they called “PAB” for Sausage and Polony Making (Inventors and Sole Makers). The firm was established in 1894 and incorporated in 1911 as a Limited Company. (Rusk) The use of rusk is instructive as its modern equivalent of TVP is used extensivelyy to this day in the production if French Polony in South Africa. I wonder if TVP was not spesifically developed as an opposition product to rusk. The South African curing legend, Roy Oliver told me that he remembers American food scientists visiting South Africa and asking him to test the application of TVP which was completely unknown at the time in the production of Polony.

Image supplied by Robert Goodrick.

Polonies at the Cape of Good Hope

Searching the Cape Archives shows a marked increase in Polony ovens that were installed at various sites across the city of Cape Town in the early 1900s, probably as additions to butcheries. There is a record, for example of an inspection that was carried out in 1904 on such an oven in Cape Town. The findings were that a proper chimney had to be constructed and the wooden door and frame had to be replaced by a steel door and frame. it seems that the cooking was done in a chamber, similar to a smoke chamber, but it was clearly dedicated to polony making.

Plans were received shortly after this for the erection of a custom-built polony factory. I could unfortunately not locate the actual plans. There is an application for the establishment of the Springbok Bacon & Polony company in 1934. There are many other similar examples and what is clear is that polony, bacon, and biltong were made at various sites by 1900 and that by the 1930s, custom-built factories for the production of bacon, polony, and biltong were replete across South Africa. Polony chambers were no longer just an addition to a butcher’s shop, but factories were being built for the express purpose of producing these commodities on a large scale.

Polony or Bologna?

I did a survey of 57 old American bologna recipes to determine their relationship to Polony. Each one called for an internal core temperature during cooking or smoking of either 68 deg C or 68 deg C, like Polony. The variety of meats used in the recipes is a further clue to the close relationship between it and Polony. It includes a choice of beef trim, beef F. C., beef plate, beef cheeks, beef trim in various ratios, pork cheeks, backfat, pork trim in various ratios, pork hearts, pork jowls, pork diaphragm, pork stomach, pork plate, pork tongue, turkey and turkey fat. Preparing the meat for stuffing calls for emulsification and chopping with grinding.

Bologna represents a natural progression from the crude stuffing of casings with whatever meat and fat were available, heavy salting and spicing and cooking. Butchers started using regular ratios of different meats as they developed signature recipes and these recipes made it into the recipe book that I reviewed.

In terms of spices, they all rely heavily on salt, pepper, corn syrup solids (very American), sugar (sucrose) or dextrose (to break the saltiness), with coriander which also features prominently. Rusk and soy also feature in many of these recipes, the soy being either in isolate form of TVP.

In South Africa, polony became an emulsion-only product, with or without showpieces, being a natural progression from the more sophisticated bologna recipes that I reviewed. There can be no doubt that it is effectively the same thing.

There is, however, one historical president for a more precise difference. The oldest reference I could find for such a comparison goes back to 1913 in Canada. The comparison was made in response to a question, posed to the accused, Campbell Leckie, in the Airdrie cattle theft case.

According to Leckie, polonies were generally made from bulls. He pointed out that Polonies were made from various kinds of meats (heterogeneous). The accused explained that polonies were made from meat, inferior in nature (and therefore the bull meat used to make it). Bologna was made from good quality meat. Leckie used an expression “only fit for Polonies” and his testimony sheds light on what he meant with this expression. If this perception was universal is difficult to say. I could find no other instance for the use of the expression “only fit for Polonies”. That it was universally suspected that polony may contain inferior meat seems to be well established.

Apart from this distinction which surely now has a firm basis in reality again, notice the use of the plural, Polonies, as opposed to Polony.

Mortar and Pestle

What sets polony and baloney apart from regular sausages is the fact that it is ground into a paste at least from Roman times and very possibly much earlier than this. Grinding is one of the oldest technology sets used by ancient humans to manipulate the natural world. They applied this to everything in their environment from food to minerals, salts and meat. Wright (1991) reported that ancient mortars and pestles were discovered in Southwest Asia dating back to approximately 35000 BC. More primitive forms of this technology were undoubtedly used by the earliest human.

Schroth (1996) considered the use of mortar from ethnographic literature from southern California. Related to the use of a metate (or mealing stone), a type or variety of quern, a ground stone tool used for processing grain and seeds, they quote Ute and Paiute, Steward (1933:253) that “meat was first roasted, and then pulverized by pounding on the metate with the mano.”

Metate, mano, and corn, all circa 12th century AD, from Chaco Canyon, USA

What they found was that “… small mortars [were] used by older people to pound fresh and dried meat and fish. The Maidu also processed meat products in mortars, crushing deer vertebra and salmon backbones in a mortar with the resultant paste shaped into cakes and dried near a fire (Kroeber 1925:407).” This correlates with what I have been told in Africa that dried meat was often pounded into a soft paste before consumption.

They further report that “in addition to vegetal material, the Luiseño cooked deer meat, rabbits, and jackrabbit in earth ovens and then pounded the meat in a mortar. This meat was sometimes stored for future use and sometimes eaten immediately (Sparkman 1908:196-198). The Southern Paiute also used the mortar and pestle to pulverize meat (Stewart 1942:253).” “The grinding of meat is also well documented. In addition to the specific examples given with metates and mortars, the Yuman group in Baja California would grind fish to powder and store the powder in skin bags for preservation (Banks 1970:37). The Goshute, Ute, and Southern Paiute ground bones of rabbit, vertebra of large game, joints, feet, and leg bones to add to mushes and gruels (Stewart 1942:253).” “Roasted meat was pulverized on a flat stone by the Goshute, Ute Southern Paiute, and northwestern Navaho (Stewart 1942:253).” “Pounding of jerked meat appears to fairly common and was noted for the Akwa’ala, Cocopa (River), Maricopa, Pima, Papago, Yaqui, Walapai (Drucker 1941:97), Mono, Yokuts, Tübatulabal, Panamint, and Owens Valley Paiute (Driver 1937:64). Pulverizing of dried fish was noted for the Yokuts, Kawaiisu, Owens Valley Paiute (Driver 1937:63), and the Shasta (Kroeber 1925:294).”

This was a technology used around the world. I have personally found evidence across Africa and in Nepal of similar practices. It would undoubtedly have the results of taking inferior meat and by grinding it, the look and texture would become the same as other meat that was processed in the same way.

An interesting article appeared as recently as 17 December 1912 in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News, USA which gives instructions for making a ham sandwich as “chop the meat fine, pound and mix well in a mortar.” It advises that “if you do not have a mortar and pestle put the meat through a chopper two or three times and work well with the back of a spoon.”

17 December 1912 in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News

What such a food chopper looked like comes to us curtesy of the US Library of congress.

The advertisement is dated 1899 and the description reads, “Print shows a “Universal No. 2 Food Chopper” mounted to a countertop with a swirl of animals and vegetables from top center, down the left, and across the bottom, and up the right side into the opening at the top of the chopper. Among the animals and animated vegetables, “it chops” are chickens, turkeys, carrots, coconut, apples, clams, fish, potato, celery, bread, lobster, crackers, beef, cauliflower, onions, sheep, cabbage, and pork.” The chopper clearly did not replace the mortar and pestle for creating what we call today, emulsion products.

These sausages later became known as emulsion sausages. I gave a legendary article that changes this view as Review of comminuted and cooked meat product properties from a sol, gel and polymer viewpoint.

The term “Mortadella” comes from the concept of creating a mortar from meat. It is possibly a fusion of Latin terms such as “mortarium” and “mortatum”, which means “mortar finely minced meat”. It is popularly claimed that “Mortadella originated in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna. Anna Del Conte (The Gastronomy of Italy 2001) found a sausage mentioned in a document of the official body of meat preservers in Bologna dated 1376 that may be mortadella.” It is doubtful that the concept of grinding meat with a mortar and pestle and stuffing it into a large casing originated from Bologna as is claimed since the practice of finely comminuting meat in this way undoubtedly predates the 1376 reference and was far wider in use than in Bologna only. There is, however, no question that they popularised it and formalised its production.

Modern Day Polony

What about today? The impression by the general public that inferior meat is used to make Polony is pervasive in South Africa. There are two very important points that must be made about modern polony.

1. Polony falls under the very strict control of legislation around the world and in South Africa in particular, that very carefully defines “real meat” and a minimum standard of meat protein and a maximum level of fat are prescribed to producers to ensure that consumers’ rights are protected. (see my articles on this subject, Counting Nitrogen Atoms).

2. The second point is that modern-day polony (at least as it is made in South Africa) is made with top-quality ingredients. Many producers prefer using 100% meat in formulating their polony. Some opt to use MDM (mechanically deboned meat) and treated pork rind to provide body to the MDM. Over the years the quality of MDM has improved dramatically and products today are of the highest quality. I know of no major polony producer who includes any offal products in its polony and it can be said without any contradiction that the polony on the shelves of the major retailers in Africa are some of the highest quality foodstuffs.

Modern-day polony is an emulsion product. “Emulsified sausages are different from other sausages due to the fact that they are finely ground (Marianski et al., 2007).” Modern polony is filled into a large-diameter casing and is formed by changing coarse heterogeneous meat into a homogenous meat mass in which are dispersed water, fat, and protein, that during heating is transformed into a gel (Giese, 1992). Other examples of such emulsion products are “bologna, frankfurters mortadella and frankfurters (Pomeranzi, 1991). Mortadella is a large smooth smoked sausage of Italian origin which is prepared from pork fat, garlic, pistachios, cardamom, cloves, salt and pepper (Ahmad, 2005). Bologna is also a large, smooth-textured smoked sausage of beef, veal, and pork. Bologna is similar to mortadella but it is an American sausage. Frankfurters are small diameter, fully cooked or smoked sausages made from pork, beef, and chicken (Nurul et al., 2010).” (Mapanda, 2011)

“Typical emulsified sausages contain 20 to 30% fat, which contributes to the energy, textural and organoleptic characteristics of the product (Candogan & Kolsarici, 2003; McKeith et al., 1995). One of the reasons why consumers today consume sausages is due to their nutritional value (Pearson & Tauber, 1984).” (Mapanda, 2011)

The fact that polony today is a very nutritious food is an important point. Polony today contains mainly meat proteins and “meat protein is complete, containing all the nine essential amino acids (Gibis et al., 2010).” “Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the human body. For that reason, essential amino acids have to be supplied to the human body by consuming foods that contain them (Feiner, 2006). Meat and sausages are also good sources of B complex vitamins, and all minerals except calcium.” (Mapanda, 2011)

We have said that many producers formulate their polony with MDM (Mechanically Deboned Meat), also called MRM (Mechanically Recovered Meat). Because of this “calcium could be slightly higher in polony if MDM/ MRM is used as a protein source. This is because bones are crushed together with the meat, resulting in the extraction of some bone calcium along with meat during the recovery of meat from the frame of an animal. According to the South African National Standards (SANS 885) of 2003, MRM is pulped material that consists predominantly of musculature tissue, collagen, marrow, and fat, and that has been recovered by a process of mechanical separation from bone.” (Mapanda, 2011)

Polony, as is the case with pies and every other sausage, lends itself to be made less expensive by more responsible means than was done in the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s by the addition of soya. Mapanda (2011) thesis is about this exact development and I commend it for further reading – Utilisation-of-Pork-Rind-and-Soya-Protein-in-the-Production-of-Polony-by-Chrispin-Mapanda-2011

Variety of Polony: Polish Kielbasa

Despite the excellent nutritional value of polony and the quality of both production methods and ingredients used in recent years, I personally do not like the bad stigma associated with polony. As is the case with many sausages, unscrupulous butchers still exist today as they did in the 1700s. I personally prefer doing something else with meat to completely differentiate it from what is perceived as an “inferior” product. Bologna is too close to Polony to my liking for use in South Africa. A far more versatile sausage, yet closely related to Bologna and Polonies is the Polish Sausage or Kielbasa (meaning sausage).

Etymologically, the word kielbasa has several interesting possible origins, all of which would fit the concept of sausage. “Turkic kol basa, literally “hand-pressed”, or kül basa, literally “ash-pressed” (cognate with modern Turkish dish külbastı), or possibly from the Hebrew kol basar (כל בשר), literally meaning “all kinds of meat.” (askdefine

There are many varieties of Kielbasa, many of them dried and some, like the Kielbasa krakowska, (sometimes called “Krakauer”, originating from the city of Kraków), are made very similar to Polony. The variety and clearly superior quality connections of Kielbasa is something that I feel more at home with.

I give a recipe to show how close Kibasa was to the old polony formulations.

Meat Block Pounds
Beef Cheek 15
Beef trim 90 (lean) 25
Pork Cheek 20
Pork Trim 30
Elk meat 10
Corn Syrup Solids 2
Non-fat dry milk 2
Salt 2.5
Water/ ice 9
Grind Pork 1.2″ (3cm)  
Chop Beef 60 deg F(15 deg C)  
Cook to internal temp 155 deg F (68 deg C)
SpicesOz, unless otherwise indicated per 100lb. of meat
Na or K Nitrite 0.25
Na Erythorbate 0.87
Caraway seed Ground2
Coriander 2
Garlic Powder 2
Ginger 3
Nutmeg 2
Black Pepper 4

It is, in essence, a better thought-through polony! The use of black pepper, coriander, and garlic powder historically relates it in terms of taste closely related to Bologna and Polony and in terms of quality meat, more with Bologna.

Pulling It All Together

Before refrigeration, meat going off must have been a continued headache for the butcher. Refrigeration slowly but surely started creeping into the meat trade from the 1870s onwards. Even after refrigeration became part of every butchery, scraps of meat leftover at the end of the day continue to be a challenge.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the astute butcher in any one of the cities around the world. After the primals have been cut and he made his salamis, injected his bacon’s and spiced his biltong’s; after he stuffed his droëwors and made his Bologna, something must be done with the fat and meat scraps. He can leave it over for tomorrow, but he may have a bucket of meat that is sour and slimy for a second day already and he has to do something with the leftover scraps and off meat, today! What is his go-to recipe for these? Is there any way for us to know?

If the meat was still in a condition that he could make a course sausage from it, he would do so. Interestingly enough, I have a very good suspicion of what the recipe was. It was given to me by a Belgium butcher when visiting East Africa. It is very simple and extremely effective and has been used by German, Dutch and Belgium butchers since time immemorial as a sure way to get rid of meat that either went off or is about to go off. It is the kind of thing that nobody goes around talking about, but one can well imagine the need for such a recipe.

Here is the simple recipe:

50% trimmings (any meat) + 50% fat.

Add spices: Salt, black pepper and depending if there is a sour note to the meat, add extra roast onions or garlic or coriander.

Procedure: Grind through course mincer plate. Keep the temperature as close to 0 deg C as possible. Fill into the casing. Smoke to a core temperature of 68 deg C. “Feel” the casing. If it is too dry, steam for a few minutes to re-hydrate it and remove.

The other option would be to do the same, but before stuffing, use a pestle and mortar to grind it fine into a paste. This, I believe is in all likelihood the first polony recipe. My reasoning is as follows. It contains all the ingredients mentioned by Green in his list of ingredients plus some elements later added.

As is the case with developments of any complex, multi-component systems, they develop from the very simple to the more complex. The simplicity of the recipe is the first clue to its ancient origins. A very good second is its conformity with descriptions of old writers. A variety of a more complex versions of the above recipe is,

25 Texturised Vegetable Protein (example, soy)
25 Mechanically Deboned Meat
100L Water
50 Fat Trimmings
20kg Old trimmings

Strong spices like roast onions, salt, and pepper are added.

The 50% trim/ 50% fat and spices recipe is as simple as one can find. Its widespread popularity to this day across Europe and its well-entrenched character lead me to believe that this is, in fact, the earliest Polony recipe. It is easy to see the progression from the 50/50 recipe to replacing the 50% component part of the old recipe first with TVP and MDM. Together they replace the 50% trim.

Independently from the 50/50 recipe, solely based on the use of TVP, we know we can add at least 3 x the TVP weight in water, provided the re-hydration is done correctly.

This gives 50/50 “meat” (TVP and MDM) and 50% fat. The water which we added was only a consequence of adding the TVP.

If you have meat leftovers which are about to go off or of which the proteins have been denatured for any reason (pH, heat or time plus freezing), add these as fillers – between 5% and 10% of the meat block. These fillers can be added as either denatured meat or bread.

One will have to see what added components will adversely affect the colour of the sausage. A whole host of options exist for the NPD manager to consider to address this.

To work out the new meat block as given above requires at least three centuries of meat processing technology and development in related fields like soya technology. It would have been completely impossible for butchers even up to the mid-1900s to work this out. The only element still lacking is to bring the entire meat block in line with the food legislation of the country where it is made in terms of the definition of what meat or a meat analogue must be comprised of in terms of total meat content and fat limits. It basically is still only a progression of the 50/50 recipe.

I am happy that the 50/ 50 formulation was in all likelihood the first polony recipe.


Historically different kinds of meats and fat were salted and spiced, stuffed into a casing and either cooked on their own or cooked in a larger bladder or casing. Salt, pepper, coriander, and garlic powder were probably used to mask undesirable flavours and tastes. They were approximately a foot long (300mm) and an inch (25mm) in diameter, 24 in a bunch. The original recipe was in all probability 50% trim and 50% fat with spices. The development was done in Bologna, Italy. Its preservation relied on spicing, salting and cooking. Its shelf life was excellent. It was cheap and allowed the poorest of the poor access to valuable meat proteins. There is, however, at least one instance that I could find, in Canada from 1913 that explicitly has the distinction between bologna and polony as being polony is made from inferior meat and bologna is not. How universal this perception was, I can not say.

Polonies may simply have been the name that caught on in South Africa as opposed to Bologna in the US and Canada. Much more work is required. Polonies progressed to the modern-day variety being an emulsion product made from either pure meat or MDM/ MRM and something to give it “body and firmness” or a combination of meat and/or MDM with soya and or rusk with excellent nutritional qualities. Still, as for me, I would rather be making Polish Kielbasa!


“Define kielbasa – Dictionary, and Thesaurus”. askdefine

The Era (London, Greater London, Britain), 6 May 1849, page 7.

Green, L.. 1969. HARBOURS OF MEMORY, Howard Timmins

The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, West Yorkshire, England), 28 September 1885.

Mapanda, C.. 2011. Utilisation of Pork rind and Soya Protein in the Production of Polony. Thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Science at Stellenbosch University. (Utilisation-of-Pork-Rind-and-Soya-Protein-in-the-Production-of-Polony-by-Chrispin-Mapanda-2011)

The Province, (Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada), page 6, 18 August 1928

Schroth, A. B.. (1996)

An Ethnographic Review of Grinding, Pounding, Pulverizing, and Smoothing with Stones

The Standard (London, Greater London, England), 16 July 1829

The Times (London, Greater London, England), 29 June 1829, page 3.

Wright, K. (1991). “The Origins and Development of Ground Stone Assemblages in Late Pleistocene Southwest Asia”

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