Sausages are among the most popular breakfast food. Why not when you can easily prepare it? But do you know where the halal sausage casings are made of? There are two broad categories of sausage casing, namely: natural and artificial. You might find it insignificant to determine where the casings came from. However, it can help you identify if the casing is edible or not.
Meat processors use casings to give the sausages their shape and to protect the meat. Most sausages you can find at the grocery shop are cylindrical in shape, but they can come in other forms as well. The type of casing used is usually determined through the kind of sausage being made, in which the natural casings are popular option for home sausage making and links that will be processed with smoke, while the artificial casings are common choice for larger or mass-produced sausages.
Natural sausage casing comes from the intestines or stomachs of animals. There are several varieties of natural casingbased on the type of animal that it came from, such as hog, cow and sheep. Natural casings are permeable to air and outside flavourings but they are very strong and edible.
Hog casings offer a meaty flavour to sausages and are commonly used to make breakfast links. The sheep halal sausage casings are smaller as compared to other types of natural casings, and are often used for thin or small sized sausages. Meanwhile, beef casings are known to be durable and very large, which is why they can be used to wrap larger sausage products like salamis. All these natural sausage casings are truly edible, so you won’t have to peel them off when you cook them.
Artificial casing for sausage can be made from different materials, including collagen, cotton, cellulose or plastic. Most of the artificial casings are not edible and not flexible as the natural casings; however, they are more cost effective and consistent in terms of size and quality. Artificial casings have been designed to function in some specific ways.
Plastic sausage casings are thick which can prevent moisture and bacteria from reaching the meat inside while helping retain the shape of tough sausages. The casings are generally made from polymers, such as Polyamide, Polypropylene or Polyethylene. The Polyamide (Nylon) types of casings are the most preferred choice in production of cooked sausages and ham, such as bologna and luncheon meat.
Another type of artificial casing you can find is the one made from cellulose, and is created from materials that are designed to dissolve in moisture or over time. The sausage can be wrapped using the cellulose casing to protect it during the production and then be free from the casing when delivered to the consumer.
Artificial sausage casings coming from animal collagen can be edible, depending on where it came from. Some can be eaten while others must be removed before you can eat the sausage. Collagen casings are mainly derived from the collagen in beef or pig hides, as well as the cartilages and bones. They can also be produced from poultry and fish. The collagen casing is considered as one of the widely used halal sausage casings in the market today. Compared to other types, they are less expensive to use and provide better size and weight control.