The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)has determined the new maximum brine limit in chicken. The SA Poultry Association (Sapa) has come out in strong criticism of these new measures.
DAFF has set maximum brine limit for individually quick frozen (IQF) and fresh chicken portions to 15% and for whole chicken to 10%.
Sapa CEO Kevin Lovell explains why they will be challenging the amendments.
Lovell explains why the industry brines chicken.
Brining is way of either flavouring, curing, or enhancing meat.— Kevin Lovell, CEO SA Poultry Association
He says it is not just used for chicken, but for a variety of meats and meat products such as bacon.
There are lots of different ways of doing it. But in the poultry industry it is done for three reasons. It makes the frozen product taste more or less like fresh; it adds flavour for those that like lemon and herb, peri peri or rotisserie; it reduces the cost because it dilutes the meat content.— Kevin Lovell, CEO SA Poultry Association
20% of the chicken you buy is salt and water and only 80% is meat. But Lovell insists this is not abuse.
It does sound like abuse, but the trick behind this is we don't then sell the water as meat. We sell it as water.— Kevin Lovell, CEO SA Poultry Association
Lovell says the new regulations are impossible to implement.
It is unenforceable, and the regulations won't work...specific techniques are needed in the pnts...and they haven't dealt with it....we want continuous monitoring.— Kevin Lovell, CEO SA Poultry Association
He says Sapa want a 25% brine cap on chicken and says that will cause minimal harm to producers and to consumers.