The Difference Between Natural Casing and Artificial Casing

Apr. 19, 2021

Sausage chain is a mixture of minced meat, fat, seasonings, and sometimes fillings. It is packed in a shell and then tied or twisted at intervals to form individual chain links. Traditionally, sausages are stuffed into natural casings made from animal intestines, but artificial casings are also available on the market. Today, most commercial sausages use synthetic casings. Before you make your own segment sausage-or just want to know what you are eating-understand the difference between artificial and Natural Casings.

Sausage Casings

Sausage Casings

Natural casing

The origin of the natural casing may have started around 4000 BC, where cooked meat was stuffed into the stomach of goats, but today's natural casing is made of the submucosa, which is the intestines of farm animals. The intestines are mainly from pigs, cows, goats, sheep, and sometimes horses. This method of wrapping sausages has existed for centuries-although machinery has replaced the need to manually clean the intestines before use-and is the only form of casing that can be used in the production of organic sausages.

The benefits of natural casings are taste and visual effects. Because the natural casing breathes, the taste of the sausage is deeper and richer-the smell of smoke and cooking can penetrate into the casing and be injected into the meat. Since the casing is all natural, the shape and size of the sausage are somewhat irregular and look very natural.

Synthetic casing

Artificial Sausage Casings can be made of materials such as collagen, cellulose and plastic, and they are not necessarily edible. Collagen casings have the longest history and are made from animal collagen, mainly from cow and pig skins. Sometimes bones and tendons are included, and the outer shell can also be made of poultry and fish. Collagen casing is a cheap option and easier to use than natural casing because it can better control the weight and size of the sausage.

Cellulose casing is made of viscose, which is a material composed of cellulose in wood pulp or cotton linters. These shells are strong and transparent, and can penetrate the smoke; they will peel off after cooking. The plastic shell is not edible and because it is not breathable, it is used for non-smoke high-yield products.

Some artificial shells need to be immersed in hot tap water before use, and need to be pierced with a knife tip before filling to eliminate air bags. The advantage of using artificial casing is its strength and uniformity.

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