Casings are mostly used to make sausages as well as some other processed meats. Since decades, sausages have been stuffed into natural casings made from the intestines of animals, but now artificial casings are available in the market, due to a tremendous amount of recent innovation and new product development that has occurred in the casing industry. Natural casings are difficult to use in the industrialized sausage production due to low availability and price volatility. However, availability of artificial casings is highly advantageous for meat processors, helping them to achieve higher quality, productivity standards, and food safety, thus this becoming one of the driving factors to the growth of artificial casings market
If natural casings are not properly stored, they tend to smell bad due to gas being collected in them. Also, they have a very high tendency of breaking as compared to the artificial casings, chances of breakage during handling, and risk of microbial contamination. On the other hand, artificial casings have undergone a tremendous amount of development in the past decade and are now available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and appearances; some of which very nearly duplicate the natural casings. In addition, artificial casings can offer coloring agents, spices, smoke flavoring, and a variety of other materials as a part of the casing to be deposited on the product surface after stuffing and processing.
Further, the cost benefits of using artificial casings, especially collagen casings to sausage manufactures can be substantial with the significant savings in time and labor costs. The collagen casing is easy and quick to work with because it is more consistent and stable product than the gut casing, thus achieving what can sometimes be dramatic cost saving – over 50 percent in some cases. Also, another advantage is that collagen casings are immediately ready for use. There is no soaking or other preparation required, for instance, as required with gut casings. Collagen casings are particularly effective when sausages are filled mechanically with conventional stuffing machines, as the casings are replenished automatically. This again leads to shorter throughput times. Overall, manufacturers can double their production volume compared to when using conventional gut casings.
Thus, due to these winning properties of artificial casings, sausage manufactures and consumers increasingly prefer artificial casings over natural casings, thereby propelling the growth of the global artificial casings market which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2017 to 2022 to reach USD 3,955.7 million by 2022, according to the latest publication of Meticulous Research™.