Vídeo: ¿Cómo se hacen las salchichas? (hot dogs)

Hace ya casi un año empecé mi aventura laboral en Viscofan S.A., fabricante de envolturas artificales para embutidos, que tiene su ubicación en Navarra. Parte de mi día a día, y durante las visitas a clientes, lo paso inmerso viendo fabricar salchichas, por eso hoy voy a darme este pequeño homenaje en el blog. Y así pues, voy a publicar estos dos vídeo-documentales que encontraréis en mi canal Youtube, uno de Science Channel (arriba) y otro del History Channel (al final), donde resumen el proceso de fabricación de los hot-dogs, ¡alucinante!

¿Sois capaces de imaginar las cantidades de salchichas que se fabrican?

Cuando hablamos de fabricación de salchichas a nivel industrial tenemos que olvidarnos completamente de la tripa natural, de las embutidoras de pistón que utilizan en las carnicerías y pequeños obradores, de la mano de obra atando las piezas y de la cocción en pequeños hornos con humo natural. Nos enfrentamos ante un proceso automatizado, altamente técnico, donde cada línea de embutición hace hasta 2000 salchichas por minuto, todas ellas con talla y peso idénticos.

Veamos que etapas tiene la elaboración a gran escala industrial:

  1. El proceso comienza con la selección de materias primas, y acondicionamiento de las mismas, y para ello se mezclan cortes de carne de ternera, cerdo e incluso pollo, todo depende del producto final que queramos obtener. Las piezas de carne se reducen en tamaño a través de unas picadoras, de tal manera que luego la mezcla con el resto de ingredientes en la amasadora sea más íntima. No sólo se tiene que añadir carne magra, la parte grasa es más que necesaria para aportar el sabor, aroma y suavidad a las salchichas.
  2. La carne picada se lleva a una amasadora gigante, es fácil que de un mismo lote de amasado se puedan llegar a sacar luego más de 50.000 perritos calientes, allí se le añade el resto de ingredientes, entre los que encontramos sal, agua/hielo, especias y aditivos, veamos:
    • El agua en forma de hielo se añade para evitar que la temperatura suba mucho durante el trabajo mecánico.
    • La sal además de dar sabor, facilitará la extracción de proteínas.
    • El jarabe de maíz, azúcares simples, aportará un punto de dulzor y ayudará a retener el agua que se ha añadido, esto último como la fécula de patata.
    • Aditivos como nitritos (conservantes), antioxidantes e incluso colorantes, o glutamato (potenciador de sabor) seguro que también son añadidos, aunque no lo veamos muy claramante en el vídeo.
    • Y especias, estas últimas a gusto del consumidor, y según el producto final que quieras hacer, que lo adaptarás a los gustos de las regiones o países donde se van a vender. Eso sí, la mostaza no puede faltar.
  3. La masa que se obtiene en el paso anterior es demasiado gruesa, hay que pasarla por un emulsificador que crea una masa fina final lista para embutir al hacerla pasar entre las aberturas entre estos dos discos que giran a gran velocidad.
  4. La masa es transportada hasta la máquina embutidora, las ampliamente extendidas Frank-A-Matic (FAM), un sistema que revolucionó las industria de las salchichas en los años 40 y que hoy domina el mercado de la embutición en tripa artificial celulósica. Estos embuten, porcionan y cuelgan las salchichas a velocidades asombrosas, hasta 2.600 porciones por minuto en los nuevos sistemas iLinker.
  5. A estos altos niveles de producción, los hornos tienen que ser continuos, sino corremos el riesgo que sean el cuello de botella de nuestra producción. Entonces,  las salchichas entran a un tunel donde será duchadas con humo líquido y cocidas a 80ºC hasta que gelifique la emulsión. Finalmente, son duchadas con una salmuera a 6-8 grados bajo cero, para enfriarlas rápidamente.
  6. Aunque en algunos mercados las salchichas lleguen al consumidor final con el envoltorio de celulósica, sirve de packaging e incluso puede ir impreso, lo normal es que pasen por líneas peladoras, que retiran la tripa gracias a una minicuchillas, unas ruedas giratorias que hacen vacío y una ayudita de vapor de agua a presión. ¿Os acordáis del vídeo que hice hace un tiempo?  Si os estábais preguntando porque la tripa está rayada, es para identificar que se ha hecho correctamente el pelado.
  7. Y por último, se envasan, para que así lleguen a nuestras casas. Mmm… ¡Qué ricas!

Bueno, esto ha sido todo sobre la producción de las salchichas a grandes niveles industriales, tener en cuenta que no en todos las fábricas tienen los mismos sistemas y trabajan de la misma manera, pero bien se podría parecer a lo que hemos visto en el vídeo de arriba de John Morrell, o en el que pongo a continuación de Cloverdale Meats.

Os espero por el blog en próximos posts para descubrir como se hacen las tripas celulósicas, si no os lo queréis perder suscribiros al feed y así no os echaréis de menos ninguna de estas aventuras de la Tecnología de Alimentos.

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Videos originales de History Channel y Science Channel

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