Every day our meat and meat products land on the plates of hundreds of thousands of consumers. We thus make every effort to ensure that they taste good, are of high quality and contribute to a balanced, nutritious diet.
Tönnies supports a fact-based approach to the topic of meat in the diet. Meat and meat products are important components of a wholesome diet. Together with other animal products, such as fish and eggs, these make a significant contribution to supplying the body with proteins and essential amino acids. Proteins are the basic building blocks of our body. All proteins are created from the same blocks, the amino acids. Of the 20 different amino acids from which all proteins in the human body are created, there are eight amino acids which cannot be created by the body itself. These amino acids, also known as essential amino acids, must be supplied to the body through food. Meat and other animal-based foods contain all essential amino acids in sufficient quantities.
Table of protein content in different foodstuffs
As the quantity of food ingested decreases with age and under-provision of proteins leads to a reduction in muscle mass, an adequate supply of protein is particularly important for older people. In this regard, the German Food Association (Gesellschaft für Ernährung [DGE]) recommends that older people have a 25 per cent higher protein intake with 1.0 g protein per kilogram of body weight. As an abundant source of protein like almost no other foodstuff, meat can thus contribute to a balanced diet. For clear information, the basic nutrition information is given on every end package in the form of a Nutrition Table.
We look for an exchange with scientists and experts to expand knowledge on the topic of healthy nutrition with meat. However given the number of scientific studies, it is not always easy to maintain an overview. This is where the recommendations from the German Food Association (Gesellschaft für Ernährung [DGE]) can be an appropriate guide for consumers. However, ultimately the consumer should decide for him- or herself how much meat to eat and how often based on relevant information and personal experience. The consumer is responsible for his or her personal well-being and balanced diet and has sufficient sources of information available to choose a diet that is appropriate for his or her body and health.
More information on a healthy and balanced diet is available at www.dge.de.
Salt content in meat and meat products
Salt is one of the most important condiments in the kitchen and is also used in industrial meat production. At Tönnies we use salt in the manufacture of our products for sensory reasons, in other words, for taste, and to ensure maximum possible microbial safety and thus a longer shelf life. Salt is an important ingredient that gives sausage in particular a longer shelf life and improves safety.
What actually is salt? Salt is made up of sodium and chloride ions. Sodium has a weight proportion of approx. 39.3 per cent, rounded to 40 per cent. According to some scientific studies, the sodium part is considered one reason that susceptible persons tend to develop high blood pressure if their salt intake is high.
The WHO recommends consuming a maximum of 5–6 g of salt per day. Salt consumption in Germany is around 8.4 g/day for women and approx. 10 g for men: thus they consume more than the recommended amount. To reduce the intake of salt, many food producers in this country have been testing the salt content in their products for many years and constantly improving their recipes.
Here at Tönnies, we have also been working on modifying individual recipes for sauces, marinades and processed products to keep the salt content in our products low. We carefully monitor the salt content in our products and continuously optimise it. However, in general, most meat is sold at the self-service or delicatessen counter as natural meat without additives. The consumer can thus choose how much salt to add.
Table of salt content in different meat products
Questions on a healthy diet with meat:
The shelf life of fresh meat depends mainly on the storage temperature and the degree of fragmentation. The smaller the meat is cut, the greater the target for harmful bacteria. Thus, mince should be cooked on the day of purchase. Larger meat cuts generally keep for longer provided that the refrigeration chain is not interrupted. The type of animal also plays an important role. Poultry and offal are significantly more susceptible than pork. In contrast, of all the meat types, beef keeps the longest. For clear information, the maximum storage temperature and the best before date are given on every end-consumer package.
Meat is a so-called resorption agent. This means that it contributes to the improved absorption and processing of plant-based nutrients, particularly iron and zinc, and is itself an important supplier of nutrients. Lean meat and meat products are therefore important for meeting nutritional requirements. It should thus be a fixed part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
Every type of diet has advantages and disadvantages. Someone who has a vegetarian diet is not automatically more or less healthy. However, it must be taken into account, that many vegetarians make a great deal of effort with their diet and the ingredients. It is also necessary for any undersupply to be compensated for by another food. For some vitamins, such as vitamin B12, it may be necessary to take synthetic vitamin preparations. By eating meat it is must easier to absorb essential nutrients so that you can also have a healthy and wholesome diet without specialist knowledge. For these reasons, well-known diet experts, such as the German Food Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung [DGE]) recommend regularly eating meat.