These white absorbent meat, fish, and poultry pads are said to improve the appearance and shelf life of prepackaged meats at your deli counter or butcher shop by absorbing excess juices. By improving the appearance of your prepackaged meat products with these absorbent food pads, you’ll attract more impulse purchases!
If you’ve ever eyed that strange material lingering under your store-bought meats, wondering about its purpose, you’re not alone. Though just about every kind of packaged poultry or meat contains one of these liners, chances are you’ve never paid it much attention, or bothered to learn anything about it… until you became a farmer and now you want to keep your product fresh.
The purpose of the thin white absorbent pad that comes in the packaging, as the name would suggest, is to soak up the liquids that naturally ooze out of meat, poultry, and seafood over time, preventing them from pooling in the package. While this helps to keep the kitchen mess at a minimum, it also serves a couple of important food safety tasks.
The absorbent pad serves to absorb these potentially harmful liquids before they can leak, spill, or drip onto your counters and other food preparation areas, containing this bacteria as effectively as possible. The pads also help to keep meat safer and fresher on the shelf, as sitting in a pool of this liquid could cause more bacteria to breed in the meat, seafood and produce leading to a higher risk of food borne illness.
The majority of these pads are made from one of two absorptive materials: Silica gel (a purified sand) or cellulose (a purified plant fiber), which are then coated in a non-toxic plastic wrapping that’s perforated, allowing the liquid to seep in and stay there. While this thin pad might not look link enough to soak up much liquid, both of these materials are surprisingly absorptive and hold more liquid than the meets the eye. In fact, according to one manufacturer, each pad can hold up to 40 grams of liquid. That is a lot of liquid, I don’t typically feel my microgreens have that kinda liquid.
Luckily, there is a company called Aptar and they make a pad that contain absorbent technology that removes excess fluid from the food product which significantly extends shelf life. The result, better tasting products, higher sales, reduced waste, longer production runs and expanded distribution range. Using the absorbent pads eliminates the need to spin dry the product which reduces damage and improves yield. Since my microgreens don’t usually have liquid to absorb I found these work better. I even talked about it on my podcast.
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