Court rules that only 15% of your chicken can be salty water

The SA Poultry Association (SAPA) on Wednesday lost its High Court bid to set aside the poultry brining cap of 15%, which will come into effect on October 22.

The ruling “thrilled” the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE), which has argued that high brining levels – 30% and more – is blatant exploitation of the consumer, given that the injected salty water inflates the weight of the chicken pieces, only to seep out during the cooking process.

SAPA wanted the 15% brining cap on chicken pieces to be replaced with a 25% limit, questioning the scientific basis on which the department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had settled on 15% as the brining cap for frozen chicken pieces.

The claim that a 15% brine cap would lead to higher prices at the till was false, said AMIE CEO David Wolpert.

“All that is required is smaller packs of individually quick frozen (IQF) chicken with the same amount of poultry meat as is currently used, but with 15% brine as opposed to current levels of 30% and more,” he said.

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