On August 27th and 28th, 2013 twenty three Master Meat Crafter Candidates arrived on the UW Campus for the final short-course of the Master Meat Crafter Training Program, the Fermented and Dry Cured Meat Products School. This intensive two-day course kicked off with presentations on topics including: basic meat science for fermented and dry cured meat products, manufacturing principles, the microbiology of dry sausages, water activity, shelf stable products and acidification techniques for dry and semi-dry sausages. After a presentation-packed morning, the candidates had a chance to apply their newly-gained knowledge during a product manufacturing demonstration. Together, the group made a variety of fermented and acidulated snack sausages, pepperoni, sopressata and genoa salami products. The first day of the course concluded with a very engaging lecture on the importance of marketing and the utilization of balance sheets in the meat industry.
The second day began with the evaluation of the fermented products made the previous day. After sensory evaluation and discussion, the group headed back to the classroom to explore the worlds of starter cultures, thermal processing, dry-cured meat products and the casings used in processing dry and semi-dry sausages. After a manufacturing demo, where dry-cured bacons and hams, and a few different lomo and coppa products were made, the group listened to presentations on the regulatory and food safety aspects of making dry-cured products and dry and fermented sausages.
Similar to the previous short-courses, this course contained a variety of learning opportunities ranging from hands-on demonstrations and product evaluations to very informative presentations from instructors with innumerable years of industry experience and expertise. With the completion of this final short-course, the MMC Candidates can look forward to Graduation on January 17th, 2014, where their Plant Projects and Mentorship Programs will be presented.
Prior to product tasting, Dr. Sindelar discusses some of the distinguishing flavor characteristics in different varieties of fermented and dry-cured products.