Beef is a nutritious food. More than 60 million tons of beef are consumed annually in various forms all over the world. Beef is rich in sarcosine, vitamin B6, carnitine, potassium, protein, linoleic acid, zinc, magnesium, iron and other nutrients.

Chilled beef follows the basic rules of meat biochemistry. Muscle protein is degraded normally. Muscle acidity is softened and tenderness is obviously improved. It is very conducive to digestion and absorption of human body. And because it has not been frozen, it does not need to thaw before eating, and will not produce nutrient loss, which overcomes the nutritional deficiency of frozen meat. In addition, low temperature also slows down the oxidation rate of lipid in cold meat, reduces the generation of small molecule odors such as aldehyde and ketone, and prevents its adverse effects on human health.

fresh chilled beef packaging and storage

There are many ways for fresh chilled beef packaging and storage, such as multi-methods fresh-keeping, preservative fresh-keeping, irradiation fresh-keeping, MAP modified atmosphere packaging, vacuum packaging, etc. They can effectively maintain the fresh taste of chilled beef in the production process and are popular with consumers.

  1. Vacuum Packaging

Vacuum packaging is one of the most common methods of chilled beef packaging and storage. By using packaging materials with better barrier properties, the chilled beef can be stored in vacuum to ensure the delicacy of chilled beef. According to the relevant data survey, during the vacuum packaging of chilled beef, the main factors affecting the preservation effect include the following aspects: the integrity of muscle tissue, beef quality, temperature and so on.

fresh chilled beef packaging and storage

In order to give full play to the advantages of chilled beef vacuum packaging, technicians must pay attention to the following issues: the integrity of muscle structure, because vacuum packaging has a large negative pressure, incomplete meat segmentation is not conducive to the effective vacuum packaging, and has a negative impact on the quality of chilled beef. Vacuum can form ferromyoglobin. Sufficient vacuum can effectively avoid the deterioration of meat color. When the pH value is more than 5.8, chilled beef can not be packaged with vacuum material.

Storage of chilled beef in low temperature environment can effectively delay the fat oxidation process of chilled beef. Vacuum packaging can effectively inhibit the reproduction of microorganisms in chilled beef.

Vacuum packaging has many advantages, including: effectively inhibiting environmental humidity, temperature, CO2 concentration, etc., at the same time, it can effectively promote the outward diffusion of ethanol, acetaldehyde and other gases in meat tissue to avoid the softening of meat tissue; vacuum storage only needs energy in daily operation, and does not need to consume other materials; because vacuum preservation method is more flexible; It can be constructed not only in a fixed fresh storage, but also in motor vehicles, and can effectively transport meat products in a vacuum state. In addition, vacuum freshness preservation can also be installed in large trains, thus effectively realizing decompression transportation.

Vacuum packaging technology still has some defects, which will increase the quality loss of chilled beef in the process of vacuum treatment. In addition, it is worth noting that there is no obvious correlation between the oxygen permeability and oxygen permeability of different packaging materials. As storage time goes on, the amount of formation is directly proportional to the oxygen permeability of packaging materials.

2. Radiation Fresh-keeping

Radiation preservation can effectively sterilize the products by utilizing the radiation energy of atomic energy rays, thus ensuring the processing quality of chilled beef.

According to research, the product is safe when the total average dose is controlled within a certain value. As the temperature inside the food changes little, the taste of the product will not change much, and the quality loss of the product can be effectively avoided.

Radiation processing of fresh chilled beef has many advantages. Firstly, the treatment cost is low, and there is no need to waste too much cost of enterprises. Secondly, the processed beef has the advantages of safety and reliability. When the chilled beef is irradiated, it can improve the quality and prolong the storage period effectively. Thirdly, the use of chilled beef can be effectively reduced after soaking in sodium sulfate, so as to achieve the advantage of preservation. Fourthly, the processed products will only increase the temperature, which can effectively maintain the original quality of beef, thus ensuring its rich nutritional ingredients.

3. Modified Atmosphere Packakging

The effect of modified atmosphere packaging of chilled beef is affected by many aspects, such as the storage temperature of beef quality, the selection of packaging materials, the ratio of mixed gas, the treatment scheme of chilled meat before packaging, etc.

beef modified atmosphere packaging

Beef quality and microbial environment: Before packaging, chilled meat is closely related to its shelf life due to the number and type of microorganisms attached to its surface. In order to continuously improve the effect of modified atmosphere packaging, technicians must control the hygienic index of chilled meat, so as to effectively prevent more microorganisms from entering the packaging.

Storage temperature: The important index affecting the freshness of chilled meat is storage temperature, which is mainly embodied in the following aspects: temperature is closely related to microbial activities. Enzyme activities and microorganisms will be inhibited in low temperature environment. Products can effectively prolong the shelf life of food in suitable environment. The temperature of packaging material is closely related to the barrier property. When the temperature increases continuously, the product barrier property will decrease.

Packaging Material Selection: In the process of choosing packaging material for chilled beef, attention must be paid to the sealed structure of modified atmosphere packaging of meat. Usually, water mist will form after water loss. There is more water condensation at the bottom of the packaging, which directly destroys people’s visual effect and is not conducive to consumers’desire to buy food. Usually, in order to solve the problem of water mist, technicians can use sealing film to solve it. Technicians must pay attention to the choice of packaging materials to ensure that packaging materials have good barrier advantages. For example, when shelf life is long, composite packaging materials such as high barrier polyvinylidene chloride can be used, like PVDC high barrier materials.

4. Adding preservatives

Preservative preservation can effectively avoid the deterioration of chilled beef caused by microbial reproduction during the storage process. Under the poor storage and marketing environment, the quality of food is often affected, resulting in a continuous decline in color. In order to prolong the shelf life, technicians can effectively extend the edible value of chilled beef by using additives in food.

Usually, preservative preservation technology is used in coordination with other preservation technologies. The chemical preservatives commonly used in chilled meat mainly include the following aspects: acetic acid, potassium sorbate, lactic acid, etc.

5. Express transportation of chilled beef

With the rapid development of e-commerce, more and more retailers are selling chilled beef online, and send beef to customers by express shipping. The new business brings up new requiments for chilled beef packging and transportation.

5.1 Vacuum packaging

Vacuum packaging can provide transportation convenience for chilled beef. Vacuum packages has many advantages, which can effectively control the humidity and temperature of the environment, and can effectively avoid the softening of meat tissue. In daily operation, vacuum packaging storehouse only needs daily operation consumption. Vacuum packaging can not only establish a fixed storage, but also install the vacuum system on motor vehicles, so that meat products can be delivered in a vacuum state by express delivery. It is necessary to vacuum the meat before transportation, so that the packaging is close to the meat products, inhibit the water leakage in the meat products, at the same time block oxygen, inhibit bacterial reproduction, and improve the safety of meat products. Vacuum skin packaging machines, thermal shrinkage packaging machines, vacuum sealing machines, and thermoforming vacuum packaging are widely used in meat packaging.

5.2 Modified atmosphere packaging

If it is modified atmosphere packaging, the main purpose is to replace the gas environment in the packaging with appropriate gas composition, so as to inhibit the growth and reproduction of microorganisms and prolong the shelf life. The specific method is to mix three different gases, CO2, N2 and O2, in different proportions.

5.3 Transportation tips

In the course of transportation,

① The inner surfaces of transport vehicles and ships must be made of anticorrosive materials, which are smooth and easy to clean.

② In the course of transportation, the humidity inside the vehicles and ships should be kept at 0-5 C and 80-90% humidity.

③ In the loading and unloading of transport vehicles and ships, machinery should be used as far as possible, and the loading and unloading should be simple, fast and the delivery time should be shortened as possible.