The real reason SPAM lasts forever
The real reason SPAM lasts forever: Food scientist tells 1970s Supermarket the secret ingredient that means it has a shelf life of years
- Dr Chris Clarke revealed how SPAM is made in a new Channel 5 show
- READ MORE: People are surprised after finding out what SPAM really stands for – so, do YOU know?
A scientist has revealed why SPAM has such a long shelf life and how it’s made.
Dr Chris Clarke, soft matter and food microstructure specialist, revealed the secret’s to the dishes longevity is because it gets cooked in the tin – with a special chemical then added to keep it fresher for longer.
Speaking on Channel 5’s The 1970s supermarket he explains: ‘The first secret to Spam’s longevity is the fact that the pork shoulder is cooked in the tin.
‘They’ll take the meat, in the tin it goes, and then they’ll cook it in the tin which stops bacteria going off’.
But it’s not just canning the meat that makes it last for up to five years.
Chris Clarke, soft matter and food microstructure specialist, revealed the secret’s to the dishes longevity is because it gets cooked in the tin – with a special chemical then added to keep it fresher for longer
‘There’s also sodium nitrate – which stops it going off,’ Chris explained.
To demonstrate he covered a piece of pork shoulder – which is used in SPAM.
He then covered it in the salt which made the meat pink.
‘This start a chemical reaction with the meat.
‘It makes it less friendly, hopefully making it last longer,’ he added.
The tinned meat paste which became a household staple and a sandwich favourite from the Second World War onwards is still stocked on all good supermarket shelves in the UK today.
It comes after a recent Twitter thread revealed many people don’t know what SPAM means.
The tinned meat paste which became a household staple and a sandwich favourite from the Second World War onwards is still stocked on all good supermarket shelves in the UK today
And over the years, there have been many theories as to the true meaning of the name SPAM – but it is thought the official name for the product is ‘spiced ham’ which is condensed into the four letters.
The name was first coined by Ken Digneau, the brother of an executive at the company which first produced the meat product.
After he entered a contest on New Year’s Eve to name the product and won, he was offered $100 in prize money (£97) for the name.
Although SPAM became a regular fixture on the British dinner table in the 1960s, it was actually first produced in the US in 1937.
It was created by food production company Hormel, which is based in the state of Minnesota.
According to the Hormel website, the mysterious meat product, which comes out of the tin in a perfect rectangle shape, is not actually as mysterious as it appears.
In fact, Hormel insists SPAM is made up of only six ingredients.
They are: Pork which contains ham meat (Hormel counts this as one ingredient), salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite.
The food company also explains how SPAM is made – by mixing all ingredients together for 20 minutes.
Next, once the mixture has reached its correct temperature, it is put into the cans and vacuum-packed. The product is then cooked inside the cans, before they are cooled.
When SPAM was first produced, it was designed to meet the needs of cash-strapped American families in a country that was putting itself back together towards the end of the Great Depression.
When the Second World War began, two years later, the product was put to further good use as it could be stored for long periods of time and would keep.
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