Chapter 4 - Meat Processing Controls and Procedures
4.14 Tumbling, Massaging and Injection

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The incorporation of ground meat or poultry pieces with intact muscle cuts is accomplished by mixing, tumbling or massaging the ground meat with the larger pieces. The cure or brine can be added to the tumbler mixer and be incorporated into the product by the physical action of tumbling. Another method that is currently used is the incorporation of the cure or brine by injecting the solution into large meat pieces then by mixing the ground meat with the injected meat. To improve the appearance of the finished product some tumbler mixers have been modified by adding paddles, blades or spikes in the tumblers so that during the tumbling action, the ground meat and cure is pushed into the solid meat cuts. This process accelerates the cure process and enhances the appearance of the finished product.

The injection of ground or emulsified trimmings into solid muscle cuts must meet the following requirements:

  • The ground or emulsified trimmings originate from like cuts of meat. The exact source and quantity of ground meat must be indicated in the product formulation on label submittals.
  • Ground or emulsified trimmings may be injected in a quantity of up to 15% of the fresh weight at the time of formulation without having to be declared on the label. Products containing more than 15% of ground or emulsified trimmings must be labelled to indicate the presence of ground trimmings into the whole muscle piece of meat. (See Chapter 7 for labelling information).
  • The operator's control program must include the conditions of storage of the emulsified suspension.
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