Sausages and dry sausages are the stars of the aperitif. The results of the trial on around thirty products tested by the magazine 60 million consumers on newsstands right now are quite reassuring. Details with Sylvie Metzelard, editor-in-chief of the magazine.
franceinfo: First of all, we are not talking about taste, but about the impact on health?
Sylvie Metzelard: We did not do a sensory test with a panel of people who taste the products, but laboratory analyzes to judge the composition of around thirty sausages, sausages and mini sausages. We studied the quality of the meat, their quantity in the different sausages. We also did the dosage of preservatives, nitrates and nitrites. And we evaluated the nutritional value according to three parameters: salt, fat, protein. And finally, we did a histological examination of these meats, which tells us about the quality of the animal tissues used in the sausages.
The first concern, very often, is indeed nitrites and nitrates. Rather well controlled in this case?
So nitrates and nitrites are preservatives that are commonly used in deli meats. They are added to meat to prevent bad bacteria from growing. And the nitrites, which also give the product its pretty pink color, prevent rancidity and also serve as a flavor enhancer for the aromatic notes, to bring up, for example, the Herbes de Provence in a sausage.
So the problem is that these nitrites react on contact with meat to form compounds that are suspected of increasing the risk of certain cancers. So the good news is that the products we tested, except for one, are in the nails. If you eat a reasonable amount and not every day, there is no risk.
The bad point, on the other hand, is that there is far too much salt in these products…
Ah yes, so there, we oscillate between very salty and very very salty products. The day you eat sausage, so it’s better to forget to salt the rest of your food.
Surprise, we don’t only find meat in these sausages and dry sausages?
So yes, indeed, sausage is essentially fat and lean pork. So the share of fat turns on average between 30 and 35% of the product. But we still have sausages in our test which show more than 41% fat. It is the quantity of meat that will make your sausage qualitative. In the products tested, there are indeed big differences, and we also see a difference in the quality of meat in the histology. So depending on whether you are eating muscle or tendons, you will come across small pieces of cartilage as well. It won’t be the same song.
And the fat, precisely, is there more or less depending on the brand or not?
The amount of lipids, and therefore of fat, is roughly equivalent depending on the brand. It is the quantity of meat per 100 grams that makes the difference. Also, if you hesitate between two sausages in store, you have to compare the labels. So you have to look at the amount of meat and the salt of course. And so take the one with the highest meat content is the one with the least salt.
And what price range did you test?
So, we tested sausages from big brands as well as distributor brands, organic ones, red labels, so very, very different prices. So on arrival, the organic ones, which are generally a little more expensive, do rather well but be careful, it is not because you are eating an organic sausage that it will be less fatty, or less salty than the others. On the other hand, you know that the pig which will have been used to manufacture it will have been organically fed and raised in better conditions.