Then & Now: Salting

Salting has always been crucially important in the casing industry, but a lot has changed over the years.

Then & Now #6



Salting has always been crucially important in the casing industry. Salt causes bacteria to become inactive, so casings are preserved. Salt used to be delivered in paper bags. It did not have a consistent quality, which made for challenges. The size of the grains often varied because we used salts of different origins. Salting was done manually on a wooden worktop. The industry was also much more small-scale. Fewer animals were processed at one location. Gutrooms were not at great distances from the selection facilities like they are today. Casings were salted and transported as quickly as possible to the factory, where they were selected the next day. Brine was rarely, if ever, used.



Today, the salting is done with machines. There are machines that pull the casings through salt and drop them into a net. Sound research lies at the basis of the work in the salting plant. We know exactly at which salt level bacteria stop producing. Salting is sometimes done locally, but in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain, salting happens at a central location. The casings are cooled for transport from the gutroom to make sure salt-loving bacteria remain inactive as well. At the salting plant the casings are inspected and salted and then continue their journey to the selection plant. Casks are topped off with saturated brine to make sure salt is everywhere. After being selected, casings are salted again. Depending on the make-up, casks are salted dry or topped off with brine. This guarantees the continued quality of our casings.