Following up on the ammonia burger post, Grist points to the following YouTube video, from the movie, Food, Inc.:

Scene from the Movie, Food Inc., Showing Manufacture of "Pink Slime"

Scene from the Movie, Food Inc., Showing Manufacture of "Pink Slime"

It’s interesting that the inventor of this process, as reported in the NY Times article,

had a knack for machinery and obtained patents for over two dozen pieces of equipment and methods used in processing beef.

One of [the inventor's] early trials involved running electricity through the trimmings to kill bacteria … eventually settled on ammonia, which had been shown to suppress spoilage. Meat is sent through pipes where it is exposed to ammonia gas, and then flash frozen and compressed — all steps that help kill pathogens, company research found.

Electricity??  Sounds a bit like Frankenstein.  I’d like to see that research report.

It seems tricky to intimately mix burger stuff with ammonia gas in a way that would provide disinfection. Things like mixing and bubble size would affect the process. I’d think radiation would be far more effective, although radiation would not provide a chemical residual, which the company apparently uses as a selling point: saying the residual helps further disinfect beef material mixtures containing the ammonia-treated stuff.


ADVERTISEMENT