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Acid Food — Product with a natural pH of 4.6 or below. E.g. tomatoes, citrus fruits, rhubarb, peaches, grapes, cherries, apples.

Acidified Food — low-acid foods that have their pH lowered to 4.6 or less by the addition of acids or acid foods. E.g. pickles.

Botulism — acute food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Foods with a pH higher than 4.6 are susceptible to the growth of this and other harmful microorganisms.

Brine — a salt solution.

Cold Smoked — Product is smoked in a relatively cool smoking chamber and not cooked. Product not considered shelf-stable requires maintenance of at most a 41 degree F. internal product temperature during smoking.

Critical Control Point (CCP) — a point in the process of manufacturing a food (raw material, location, practice, procedure) at which one or more factors can be controlled to minimize or prevent hazard. (See HACCP)

HACCP — Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system based on science and logic, which identifies hazards in food production and establishes preventative measured for their control. A plan outlining this system for a food production process is called a HACCP plan.

Hot Smoked — cooking and smoking cycles are combined. Smoking process takes place during the early portion of the cook cycle. Specific time/temperature requirements apply depending on the type of meat being hot smoked.

Jerky — typically prepared from strips of lean muscle cut with the muscle fiber grain. Seasoned with marinade or rubbed with salt & pepper mixture. Shelf-stable, ready-to-eat. USDA regulated moisture protein ratio max. of 0.75 : 1.

Kippered Meats — similar to jerky but with a moisture protein ratio of 2.03 : 1 or lower. Not shelf-stable without further controls such as vacuum
packaging or heat processing.

Moisture/Protein Ratio (MPR) —The percent moisture of a product divided by the percent protein of a product. Most often used in meat product analysis to determine product safety and shelf-stability.

ppm — parts per million. Used to describe the concentration of one ingredient in another. Ex: 156 ppm of nitrites in 100 lbs. of meat.

Prague Powder or Malabar Sure Cure ("Curing Salts)" — A salt-based carrier of meat curing chemicals.When used correctly, 4oz. of formulation salt can be substituted for 4oz. of Prague Powder, providing the exact 156 ppm maximum "cure" to 100 lbs. of meat.

Sausage, Dry — (moisture protein ratio max. range of 2.25-3.7 : 1) fermented sausage which undergoes a moisture loss of up to 25% of the total. Final water activity ranges from .85-.91. Typical pH ranges from 4.7-5.0. Many are shelf-stable due to low water activity. E.g. Pepperoni, Salami.

Sausage, Fermented — a class of chopped or ground meat products that, as a result of microbial fermentation of sugar, have reached a pH of 5.3 (although 4.6-5.0 is more typical) and have undergone a drying/aging process to remove 15-35% of the moisture.

Sausage, Semi-Dry — (moisture protein ratio max. range of 1.6-2.3 : 1) fermented sausage which undergoes a moisture loss of up to 15% of the total. Final water activities range from .90-.94. Generally smoked/cooked prior to consumption. Require refrigeration. E.g. Summer sausage, thuringer, cervelat.

Shelf-life — the length of time between packaging and use that a food product remains of acceptable quality to the user.

Water Activity (aw) — a measure of the moisture available for microbial growth in a product. Measurements range from 0.00 (dry) to 1.00 (pure water).

This Glossary is part of a larger glossary published online by the Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences - Northeast Center for Food
Entrepreneurship, at www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe.


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In This Section
Additional Reference
Glossary of Common Terms
Glossary of Sausages
Nutritional Labelling Guide
On-Line Resources
Weights and Measures

Crushed Red Pepper


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