生活百科:冷冻鸡块背后的真相

编辑:小豹子/2018-11-01 15:34

  One day my husband arrived home from the supermarket with a product that piqued my curiosity. He couldn't find our usual brand of Bell & Evans breaded, frozen chicken tenders─I like their thick, meaty texture, which makes them seem a bit closer to the real thing─and instead got Applegate Farms Organic Chicken Strips.

  一天,我丈夫从超市带回的一件产品引起了我的好奇。他没找到我们常吃的Bell &Evans牌冷冻裹粉鸡柳──我喜欢这种鸡柳厚实质密的口感,吃起来更接近真的鸡肉──而是买了Applegate Farms牌有机鸡柳。

  I heated up the strips, which looked more like nuggets, and tasted them. The texture was airy and spongy, not very meaty. The chicken struck me as highly processed, but the box said that what I was eating was, in fact, 'minimally processed.' The listed ingredients seemed simple enough─organic chicken, water, organic rice starch, sea salt and natural flavor.

  这些鸡柳看上去更像鸡块,我把它们加热后尝了尝,口感比较膨松,不那么紧实。我觉得它们像是深加工产品,但包装盒上却写着我吃到的其实是经过“最少加工”的食品。包装上列出的配料似乎也足够简单──有机鸡肉、水、有机大米淀粉、海盐和天然香料。

  Intrigued and confused, I added the remaining frozen nuggets to the collection of foods that I was leaving to age, as research for my book. (And, yes, I know that this was not a rigorous scientific experiment.) I prepared myself for an awful smell.

  带着好奇和不解,我把剩下的冷冻鸡块加入了我搜集的食物之列,我会把这些食物放上一段时间,作为我新书的研究素材。(是的,我知道这并不是严谨的科学实验。)我做好了迎接难闻气味的准备。

  After about two weeks, the Applegate nuggets, which I'd placed in a Ziploc bag left slightly open, had essentially liquefied, with the outlines of the individual chicken pieces no longer visible. The whole thing was soft and mushy to the touch, and the color had darkened.

  我把这些Applegate鸡块用Ziploc塑料袋封起来,留了一丝缝隙。约两周后,鸡块基本上都液化了,已经看不到单个鸡块的轮廓。这滩东西摸上去是软软的糊状,颜色也变深了。

  In early 2012, pink-slime beef became a poster child for distrust of industrialized food-processing, but chicken endures considerably more high-tech poking and prodding than beef. The chicken in the supermarket's frozen-food aisle is seldom the same thing you'd prepare at home. It may sometimes start off as recognizable cuts of meat and use familiar ingredients, but then machines take over.

  2012年初,粉色牛肉泥成为了工业化食品加工遭受质疑的典型,但比起牛肉,鸡肉加工被认为包含更多高科技处理。超市冷冻食品区出售的鸡肉与你自己在家做的鸡肉并不相同。在加工过程中,有时候最初使用的还是可辨认的鸡肉切块,用的也是常见的配料,然而接下来就由机器接手了。

  More often than not, chicken is mixed under high pressure and tumbled together with flavoring, starch, sodium phosphate and soy protein. Then it is fashioned into tenders, nuggets, patties, 凤凰彩票官网(fh03.cc) boneless 'wings' and 'breasts.' Even in cases where the meat is advertised as 'whole muscle, ' sodium phosphate helps the meat take on water, partly for reasons of profit and partly as insurance against its becoming rubbery. The Applegate strips that dissolved after two weeks had no such additives and were billed on the box as 'all natural.'

  多数情况下,鸡肉会在高压下被搅拌混合,过程中加入香料、淀粉、磷酸钠和大豆蛋白,接着再被制成鸡柳、鸡块、肉饼、无骨“鸡翅”和“鸡胸”。即便是那些打着“全肌肉”广告的鸡肉,磷酸钠也会被用来促使鸡肉吸入水分,这样一方面可以增加利润,另一方面也保证了鸡肉不会变硬。两周后分解的Applegate鸡柳不含这些添加剂,所以包装盒上写的是“纯天然”。

  After this experience, I talked with Chris Ely, one of Applegate's founders. He said that the company was definitely 'not in the sponge business.' He added, 'When you bite into our nuggets, you'll notice that our meat is a little loose in the center.' More-conventional manufacturers, he said, mix their product excessively, using various additives to absorb water 凤凰彩票网(fh643.com) and bind everything together snugly, lowering the cost.

  事后我和Applegate的创始人之一克里斯伊利(Chris Ely)进行了交谈。他说,他的公司肯定“不采用这种海绵式做法”。他补充道,“吃我们的鸡块时,你会注意到中央部分有点松散。”他说,传统厂商会过度搅拌鸡肉,并用各类添加剂吸收其中水分,把所有的东西都紧密地挤压在一起,并压低成本。

  When I told Mr. Ely about my experiment, he said that though he had never tested his product this way (who would?), the chicken might be more prone to disassembly because it isn't bound together with additives. Another company's nuggets (this time with sodium phosphate and other additives) dissolved in the same way when I later tested them. But the Bell & Evans tenders did well with the two-week test: I got foul-smelling chicken, but it remained intact.

  当我跟他谈起我的实验时,伊利说,虽然他从未如此检验过他的产品(谁会呢?),但他认为,没有添加过起紧实作用的添加剂的鸡肉,可能会更容易分解。后来我检验了另一家公司的鸡块(他们的鸡肉中有磷酸钠及其他添加剂),结果鸡肉同样分解了。但是,Bell &Evans的鸡柳在两周的检验中表现很好:鸡肉散发出臭味,但形状完好无损。

  I told Mr. Ely that my results 凤凰彩票官网(fh03.cc) suggested that his chicken was more of a maximally processed product than a 'minimally processed' one, as the box said.

  我跟伊利说,我的实验结果表明他们公司的鸡肉更像是深加工产品,而非像包装盒上所说的“微加工”。

  'I can see your point, ' he said, and he eventually explained how the strips are made. A hand-deboned whole chicken, together with other listed ingredients, is coarse-ground and then fed into an extruder that forms it into identical pieces. After that comes a breading device, a fryer, cooking in an oven and freezing.

  他说:“我明白你的意思”。最后他解释了他们公司鸡块的制作过程。整鸡经过手工去骨,混合包装上列出的配料进行粗略搅拌,接着通过挤压机做成的形状一致的肉块,接着机器裹粉、油炸、烤箱烹制,最后冷冻。

  Making packaged frozen nuggets that resemble real chicken may not be possible without dialing back some of the industrial manipulation. Bell & Evans tenders, sold raw, are subjected to one quick frying to set the breading, instead of Applegate's complete oven cooking. There's no extruder.

  要制作与真正的鸡肉相似的包装冷冻鸡块,可能不得不重新检视食品工业化的一些操作。Bell &Evans的鸡块是生的,只经过快速油炸来完成裹粉,而不像Applegate一样用烤箱烤熟,而且也不用挤压机。

  Mr. Ely says, 'In today's food-safety world, uncooked really scares me, ' though Bell & Evans has never had a recall of its products.

  伊利说:“在如今这个食品安全备受关注的社会,生的东西让我觉得害怕。”不过Bell &Evans从未召回过自己的产品。

  The benefits of a safe food supply are undeniable, but they sometimes come with trade-offs that can be hard to grasp─especially when the word 'organic' appears on a package. Those nuggets from Applegate Farms certainly weren't the worst thing in the world, but each one was more air and less chicken than I could have known.

  安全食品供应的好处毋庸置疑,但有时安全的代价又让我们难以取舍──尤其是包装上出现“有机”字眼的时候。Applegate Farms的那些鸡块肯定不是世界上最难吃的东西,但对我来说每一块都松得不像鸡肉。

  Such compromises are quietly embedded into much of our processed food. Even with plenty of information on the package, it's rarely clear what we're eating.

  这样的妥协被默默地植入了我们的加工食品中。即便包装上有大量的信息,也很难说明白我们到底吃的是什么。

  (兼职编辑:蓝奕婷)