Meat Extract


Meat Extract -

A term which in popular usage embraces several products differing considerably in character. That best known and most widely used in the preparation of "Beef tea" is the commercial meat or Beef extract obtained by simple boiling, straining and evaporation without the addition of other ingredients. It consists principally of "extractives," or meat flavor, together with a certain proportion of mineral salts. The fat is removed, as it would in time render the extract rancid, and nearly all the valuable albuminoids are also lost - they coagulate during the stewing of the meat and are strained off together with the fibrine, etc. Dry albumin is added to some preparations in the final processes, but no attempt is made to carry through the natural Beef albumen as, under the conditions in which meat extract is ordinarily made, marketed and used, it would readily decompose and spoil the product.

The extract should furthermore contain as little gelatine as possible - gelatine is so much lower in value that it is not profitable to buy it at the extract price! This loss is, though, not of much moment, as gelatine has comparatively little nutritive value.

meat extract of the type described, was formerly rated as a condensed food product of high nutritive value. That position has been entirely abandoned and it is now acknowledged that it is entirely inadequate to support life, but it has retained great importance in both the medical and commercial worlds on the more solid foundation of its indisputable merit as the basis of an agreeable and thoroughly wholesome beverage of mildly stimulating properties. Physicians find it a valuable adjunct in the care of invalids and convalescents, and its meaty taste often lends zest to the necessarily restricted diet of the sick room, exercising a highly beneficial effect by enabling the digestive organs to extract more nutriment from other foods. It is especially useful for mixing with milk - persons who cannot assimilate plain milk can nearly always digest it when flavored with a little Beef extract. Its other uses include its employment in large quantities to give a relish to the condensed foods, such as those made with pease-meal, carried by army commissaries, and its similar familiar employment in the kitchen to enhance the flavor of soups, sauces, etc. It is worth remembering that extract of meat contains those flavoring properties to which is principally due the higher market value of the choice cuts.

Many almost worthless preparations are, however, sold as "meat extracts" and it is advisable to confine purchases to houses of known reliability.

For a number of years after its first introduction, the greater part of both the European and American supply came from the Argentine Republic, in which country the Liebig Company, the original manufacturer, established its first factory. The United States is now one of the principal producers.

Home-Made Beef Tea, meat Juices, etc. In contrast to that from commercial meat Extract, home-made "Beef tea," as generally prepared, is entitled to rank as both food and stimulant, as it contains a fair percentage of protein and fat, in addition to the gelatine and "extractives."

Somewhat similar value attaches to properly made commercial preparations of meat juices or "meat extracts," obtained by pressure of the raw meat and then preserved without cooking.

A third class contains the soluble albumoses (peptoses) of the meat predigested - i.e., digested by artificial means. The best of these offer food values in important percentages, but their use should be regulated by medical advice.

In spite of the fact that most people enjoy - or at all events do not object to - the strong flavor of the best extracts, their taste and odor are sometimes found quite offensive by those possessing especially delicate palates. When this objection is found by a patient, it can be obviated to a considerable extent by putting a little butter, a piece of toast and plenty of salt in the hot Beef tea.

Beef tea should always be served hot - if drunk cold, or nearly so, its stimulating property is much reduced.

Following are the standards for meat extracts and similar products adopted by the Association of State and National Dairy and Food Departments and the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists.

(1) meat Extract is the product obtained by extracting fresh meat with boiling water, and concentrating the liquid portion by evaporation after the removal of fat, and contains not less than 75% of total solids, of which not over 27% is ash and not over 12% is sodium chloride (calculated from the total chlorine present), not over 0.6% is fat and not less than 8% is nitrogen. The nitrogenous compounds contain not less than 40% of meat bases, and not less than 10% of creatin (a compound found in muscular flesh) and creatinin.

(2) Fluid meat Extract is identical with meat extract, except that it is concentrated to a lower degree, and contains not more than 75% and not less than 50% of total solids.

(3) Bone Extract is the product obtained by extracting fresh trimmed bones with boiling water and concentrating the liquid portion by evaporation after removal of fat, and contains not less than 75% of total solids.

(4) Fluid Bone Extract is identical with bone extract, except that it is concentrated to a lower degree and contains not more than 75% and not less than 50% of total solids.

(5) meat Juice is the fluid portion of muscle fibre, obtained by pressure or otherwise, and may be concentrated by evaporation at a temperature below the coagulating point of the soluble proteins. The solids contain not more than 15% of ash, not more than 2.5% of sodium chloride (calculated from the total chlorine present), not more than 4% nor less than 2% of phosphoric acid and not less than 12% of nitrogen. The nitrogenous bodies contain not less than 35% of coagulable proteins and not more than 40% of meat bases.


Arround Meat Extract in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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