Processed meat

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Processed meat is considered any meat which has been modified in order either to improve its taste or extend its self life. Methods of meat processing are "salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes" according to IARC. Processed meat is usually composed of pork or beef, but also poultry, while it can also contain offal or meat by-products such as blood. Processed meat products include bacon, ham, hotdogs, sausages, salami, corned beef, beef jerky, canned meat and meat-based sauces. IARC classifies processed meat as a Group 1, carcinogenic to humans, since it has found sufficient evidence that consumption of processed meat by humans causes colorectal cancer.[1][2][3] Meat processing includes all the processes which are changing fresh meat with the exception of simple mechanical processing such as cutting, grinding or mixing.[4]


Meat processing have begun as soon as people realized that cooking and salting prolongs the life of fresh meat. It is not known when this took place, however, the process of salting and sun-drying was recorded in Ancient Egypt, while using ice and snow is credited to early Romans, while canning was developed by Nicolas Appert who received in 1810 a prize for his invention from the French government.[4]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "You might be surprised by what counts as processed meat". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  2. ^ "What is processed meat? - BBC News". BBC News (in en-GB). Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  3. ^ "IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat" (PDF). IARC. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 19 Nov 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Pearson, A. M.; Tauber, F. W. (2012-12-06). Processed Meats. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789401096928. Introduction [1]