Food check: sausage

The favorite meal of Commissioner Rex? The Extrawurstsemmel! And there he is in good company: Because we Austrians share the preference of the television dog. No other sausage goes more often in this country over the counter. But also ham and bacon may not be missing at breakfast and snack. Most people do not even know which meat is in it or which additives are used. In the fourth part of our series we have dealt with these questions. That's sausage. Depending on the Wurstart, minced meat, fatty tissue such as bacon, salt, spices, possibly offal, blood, rind, water and additives are the main components of our favorite bread covering, as nutritionist Michaela Knieli of "Umweltberatung" ( ) explains Ready-made sausage meat is either filled into forming containers (Leberkфse), natural or artificial sausage casings, such as natural intestines, cellulose fiber or plastic guts, depending on the variety, the whole is heated, cured, marinated, dried or smoked for cooked sausages, such as Frankfurter and Extrawurst, for example, the meat is finely chopped and mixed with the remaining ingredients to a pulp.After brewing or hot smoking this is then cut firm. "The exact composition of each variety and which meat quality must be used is specified in the Austrian food book," explains Katrin Mittl from the Association for Consumer Information ( The higher the meat and the lower the fat content of the sausage, the better the quality. There are also exceptions: Salami needs more bacon due to the variety. Ham & bacon. "For boiled ham, the flail is freed from fat and tendons, usually from pigs, with a needle that is injected with boiled pork into the meat and finally cooked and smoked," says Knieli, while raw ham is only salted or cured, and then cured meat or smoked, poultry meat from poultry meat is also called ham, bacon is the subcutaneous adipose tissue with meat content that is cured or smoked.The ingredients One of the most common additives is nitrite pickling salt. "By removing the liquid it inhibits the multiplication of germs. It also ensures a beautiful red flesh color and the typical aroma, "says VKI expert Mittl. "The problem with this is that nitrite can form carcinogenic nitrosamines in combination with protein components, and since these compounds can be produced at high temperatures in large quantities, cured meat products should not be roasted or grilled." Vitamin C can actually lessen the effect of this substance: eat at a snack It is also recommended to add capsicum to ascorbic acid vitamin C. In addition to this special salt, other preservatives, flavor enhancers and thickening agents are also used in the products, and in any case everything that goes into the sausage must be used On the outside of the packaging: the first is the most abundant, the last the least, and the percentages are for an ingredient, such as garlic, if the product is called garlic sausage or the ingredient on the packaging Karin Gattternig from Austria The Academic Institute of Nutritional Medicine ( also recommends scrutinizing the ingredients: " Sometimes a product is called a calf's liver pate, but it only contains four percent calf's liver." Access. At which types of sausage you can safely eat enough? Relatively safe are bioproducts. These are made in the same way as conventional ones, but fewer additives may be used. Since sausages are generally too salty and fat, Michaela Knieli recommends eating only very high quality products. A good choice are low-fat varieties Krakauer, organic turkey sausage) or lean ham, this is the least processed. "If you want to be sure, buy directly from the butcher or farmer, where hardly any additives are used," says Karin Gatternig.