Table of contents:
- What do the doctor's say
- Salting methods
- What concentration is needed
- Holding time
- How chunk size affects
In order to prevent parasite infestation, people have used salt for centuries in the preparation of potentially dangerous foods. But the effectiveness of this method is often questioned. To find out if salt kills parasites in fish and meat, you need to familiarize yourself with some of the properties of this substance and understand how it affects parasites at different stages of their life cycle.
- 1 What doctors say
- 2 Salting methods
- 3 What concentration is needed
- 4 Holding time
- 5 How the size of the pieces affects
What do the doctor's say
Salt is a versatile natural preservative that kills many types of microbes. It also acts on parasites found in meat, fish and lard. But this method cannot be considered 100% reliable. The fact is that salting does not kill all parasites that inhabit the soft tissues of animal organisms.
It should be remembered that most helminths parasitize in conditions of increased acidity of the gastrointestinal tract, therefore they are accustomed to an aggressive environment with an increased concentration of salts. Especially when it comes to marine fish that live in the salt water of the seas and oceans.
Parasitologists assure that a very high concentration of salt is required for a negative effect on parasites. Most often, people do not maintain the required proportions, since in order to obtain a disinfecting effect, it is necessary to use such an amount of sodium chloride, which can not change the taste of the product for the better. But in this case, it is better to sacrifice taste than your own health.
The situation is even more complicated with eggs, which are often located in internal organs or in muscle tissue. Often they cysticate, that is, they form a hard shell around themselves that protects them from any negative manifestations of the external environment, including from increased salinity. In some types of parasites, cysts are so resistant that it is simply impossible to destroy them by salting.
There are three main types of salting: dry, cold and hot.
Dry salting is what is called dried in cooking. In it, it is important to distribute salt over the entire surface of meat, lard or fish, so that there are no untreated areas that are not in contact with sodium chloride, as this will allow the parasites to remain active and alive.
Cold brine is prepared in boiled and cooled water, in which the required volume of salt is dissolved.
These two methods are effective against sexually mature individuals and larvae, but some parasite species at the egg stage are resistant to such methods. This is where the combination of two methods comes to the rescue: treatment with salt and hot water. The action of hot temperature makes the cyst shells more vulnerable, therefore this method is considered universal. I rarely use hot salting for fish, as its fibers become too soft from such processing, but for meat, using boiling water during salting is preferable.
No single salting method affects all types of parasites at different stages of the life cycle, so it cannot be guaranteed that contamination after salt treatment does not occur.
What concentration is needed
In order to kill parasitic organisms, the percentage of salt used for pickling must be at least 20% of the raw weight of the product. That is, for every kilogram of fish, lard or meat, you need to take 200 g of salt.
To improve the palatability, especially during drying, it is not uncommon to use a smaller amount, but a decrease in concentration always increases the risk of human infection. To bring the taste closer to ideal, after the expiration of the period, soaking can be carried out, which will make the fish or meat less salty, but will not negatively affect health.
An important question is how long a salted product should be kept before sending it to the table? It is clear that the death of helminths does not occur immediately, for this several days must pass.
With the cold method, fish, meat or lard should be kept for at least two weeks. If salting was carried out in a hot way, then the time is slightly reduced: the product needs to be kept for 9 days.
Important: it is impossible to taste meat, bacon or fish for salinity earlier than the indicated dates, since parasites, and even more so, cysts in the muscles may still be alive.
How chunk size affects
The time of death of parasites depends on another factor - the size of the fish or pieces of meat. The smaller the product, the faster the result will be achieved. In small fish, weighing 10-20 g (for example, in tulka), foreign organisms begin to die already on the third or fourth day. Instances that weigh about two kilograms will take at least two weeks to do this. This should be taken into account when thinking about safety during the ambassador.
To make salting more effective, it is recommended to cut the meat into pieces before processing with salt: this way the contact area increases, and the thickness of each piece becomes smaller. Pieces weighing more than 2 kg are not recommended for salting.
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