Some Aspects of Meat Packing and Processing Industry and Its Nutritative Value

By Nazri, M. M. | Economic Review, January 1997 | Go to article overview

Some Aspects of Meat Packing and Processing Industry and Its Nutritative Value


Nazri, M. M., Economic Review


Pakistan is an Agricultural country and more than 75% people depend on it. It is estimated that presently the population of Pakistan is approximately 130 million and has been steadily increasing. But on the other hand the Agricultural and livestock production are not keeping race with the growth rate of the population of the country.

The production of cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetable can be raised by intensive cultivation of high yielding varieties and multiple proved methods of cultivation and increasing acreage. Even though vegetable foods can provide proteins of satisfactorily nutritive value, it has been found necessary to include animal protein foods in a wholesome appetizing and complete diet.

Thus there is a distinct need for livestock products in the country like meat, fish, egg etc. According to the National Advisory Committee, a balanced diet should contain among other food items a minimum of 10 oz milk, 3 oz meat and fish and 1 egg per day. However the present position about the availability of these protective foods is very poor. Available data reveal that an average Pakistani is under-fed both with regard to quantity and quality. The animal protein ranges from 66 gins, per person per day in United States to 17 grams per day in Pakistan. Meat has been used and utilised but the man from the very beginning of its existence.

With the rapid growth of population and rise per capita income the consumption of meat had increased by manifold per capita availability of meat in Pakistan is much lower i.e. 13 kg per annum in contract to other development countries, i.e. 120 kg in USA.

The production of meat is inadequate to correspond its demand which has resulted in exorbitant prices of both beef and mutton. In order to bridge over increasing gap between supply and demand. There is an urgent need to establish integrated units containing facilities for fattening, meat processing and rendering animals/offal/slaughter wastes.

More private sectors should come forward to invest in a livestock industry. There are considerable opportunities and scope for the investors to export meat to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Pakistan can earn a good amount of foreign exchange. More livestock fattening units and meat processing plants should be set up in the country to meet the local demand as well.

Due to shortage of beef and mutton Pakistan has started import of Beef and Mutton from Australia and at least six-eight tonnes containers of Australian red meat already reached in local market in January 1996. In most city areas, mutton is selling for Rs. 105/-to Rs. 110/- per kg but in posh localities like Defence and Clifton Karachi the price is even higher. Pakistan imports both goat mutton and lamb and mutton from Australia but the lamb mutton has its market in Balochistan and the NWFP rather than Karachi or interior Sindh where people prefer goat mutton.

This necessitates the development of a safe and commercially viable transportation network for the imported meat. The red meat is frozen at minus 40 degrees centigrade and then a minus 18 degree centigrade level has to be maintained to keep it intact. There are very few storage houses in Karachi that can provide this facility nor the importers have refrigerator fitted containers for transportation.

Preservation of Meat

Preservation of meat means retardation of spoilage. The preservation also include retardation of prevention of changes in flavour, texture, odour, appearance, nutritive content or other factors. These spoilages or deterioration are due to the microbial action, enzymatic, physical and chemical action. To develop the effective means of its preservation has been study matter for long time in the meat industry. Rapid deterioration is mainly caused by microbial actions and its prevention is primarily problem in the control of contaminated micro organism. It has been established that meats are preserved by following methods:

1) Freezing

2) Drying and Dehydration

3) Canning (Thermal processing)

4) Irradiation and

5) Chemicals and Antibiotics. …

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