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Chicken or salty water?

Cape Town - Consumers are being duped when they buy chicken because they are actually paying for salty water, according to experts.

The South African National Consumer Union (Sancu) is pushing for less brine to be used in chicken pieces, despite new legislation being passed to cap brine levels. 

The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries announced in January amended regulation, slashing brine levels by half. 

The poultry industry has a year to adjust to the maximum brine limit of 15% by weight in individually quick frozen (IQF) chicken portions.

Brine is injected into chicken and other meat products to retain succulence and flavour.

"With lower levels of brining, consumers will find that their chicken goes further once cooked," deputy Sancu chairperson Clif Johnston told Fin24.

He said brine should be capped at 8%, adding that some frozen cuts of chicken are currently sold with up to 30% brine. 

Chicken vs salty water?

"Consumers are in effect paying for salty water at the price of chicken".

He said the amount of brine is usually indicated on the packaging in very small print, but most consumers who purchase this product are unaware of this.

Professor Hettie Schonfeldt from the University of Pretoria told Fin24 that injecting brine into a raw product increases the perceived volume purchased. 

"When brine injected portions are cooked, the large portions often shrink to a much smaller sizes as most of the brine solution cooks out of the meat".

She said brine dilutes the nutrients and adds hidden salt of which the consumer may not be aware of.

"In my opinion it is against both the Consumer Protection Act as it misleads consumers and against the labelling regulations set forth in R.146." 

Brine & health concerns

Schonfeldt also pointed out that there are two main health concerns surrounding brine injections. These are dilution of the product and an increase of salt content.

"Adding a water solution to a product increases weight of the product, but provides no other additional nutrients and in fact dilutes the amount of nutrients such as energy, protein and others per gram of product. 

“The consumer thus pays for water." 

She added that consumers should also note that brine solution contains water and salt. Brine therefore could result in a double dose of salt - from the added brine and again from the cooking process.

"The South African Department of Health has recently published the new regulations related to the reduction of sodium content in foods due to the health risks associated with the excessive consumption of salt (sodium)."

Amie CEO David Wolpert told Fin24 that total chicken brining volumes in South Africa exceed 500 million litres per annum, which is more than double the volume of total chicken imports into SA each year.

The real losers

"This is indeed a frightening amount of salt water that is injected into local chicken.

"The days of local chicken being represented by bulbous, botoxed and ugly pieces of highly injected products are coming to an end," Wolpert said.

He said the real losers are poor consumer who believes they are buying chicken, but in reality is buying watered down chicken.

The best way to assist consumers is to stop brining altogether, suggested Wolpert.

- Fin24


(End of report) 

The evils of the halaalized  carrion chicken humbug industry are incrementally being exposed, not only by Muslims, but also  by concerned non-Muslim experts. While qualified non-Muslim experts and scientists increasingly  warn against the harms of these diseased carrion chickens, the scholars for dollars  ulama-e-soo' of  the  carrion-halaalizing outfits, viz., SANHA, MJC, ICSA and  NIHT, in the pursuit of  haraam monetary gains, recklessly and in flagrant violation of the Shariah continue their  insane industry of halaalization of haraam, rotten, diseased carrion chickens which according to the sacred Shariah of Allah Ta'ala are not fit for even canine consumption, i.e. it is haraam to feed even dogs with these Maitah chickens which Muslims addicted to the carrion devour with satanic relish. For their own physical, moral and spiritual welfare it is essential that Muslims  wean themselves from the addiction of carrion chickens. Carrion chicken addiction is akin to drug addiction.

16 Jamadil Ula 1435 – 18 March 2014


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