Frequently asked questions

Are natural casings 100 % natural?
Yes. As a natural by-product which does not have to be produced synthetically, natural casings incur at each slaughtering. Sausages in natural casings therefore match the increasing consumer demand for natural nutrition and environmentally conscious products.

Can you keep or store sausages in natural casings less time than those in artificial sausage casings?
No, quite the contrary: Especially for dry-cured sausages with long-term durability, natural casings play an important role. The casing which is air permeable permits the sausage to breathe and therefore considerably enhances the development of the typical aroma.

How do I recognise that the sausage is in a natural casing?
A look at the sausage ends will quickly reveal the answer to this question: with natural casings, the ends are not open but naturally closed, sausage and casing form a unit. Plus: the natural casing gives the sausage an individual form: the distinctive irregularities indicate the natural origin of the casing. Connoisseurs can even see from the matt gleaming surface that it is a natural casing.

Is a natural casing hygienic?
Yes. Natural casings processed for sausages have to undergo several checks as to quality and hygiene. For imported goods an examination according to the strict EU standards has to be effected. Also the sorting and the processing within the EU are only allowed to be effected in approved processing companies by trained staff. The completion of the processing is the salting and the hygienically faultless packing of the natural casings.

Are sausages which are not in natural casings labelled accordingly?
No. For unpacked goods there is no compulsory labelling for the casing of the sausage. Sausages in natural casings can however normally be recognised at once because of their natural, individual appearance. In any case of doubt you should, however, not hesitate to ask a skilled employee.

Do also packaged and shrink-wrapped sausages in natural casings exist?
Yes. Particularly some industrial producers pack and shrink-wrap their sausages in natural casings so that they can also offer pre-packed sausages in refrigerated display cabinets. On the label, the “natural casing” is indicated on the ingredients list. The quality of the natural casing is not affected by the additional package.

Which colour has the natural casing?
Depending on how thick the natural casing is, the colour varies from whitish to transparent. The natural colour of the natural casing changes when sausages are smoked and the sausage obtains a colour ranging from light-coloured to strong-coloured and smoky.

How long is an intestine?
The length of an intestine differs very much, depending on the animal it comes from. Beef rounds which are for example used for “Mettwurst” (a traditional German smoked sausage) can have a length of up to 40 m. The appendix of a pig, however, which is often used as a casing for “Fleischwurst” (ring bologna), only has a length of 20 to 40 cm.

From which animals originate the intestines?
The main suppliers are cattle, pigs and sheep. Each type of intestine has particular characteristics which are advantageous for the production of the different types of sausages. Those casings used most frequently in Germany are high-quality hog casings. The most delicate and finest natural casing being used as sausage skin is the processed small intestine of sheep.

Can you eat the natural casing?
It is precisely an advantage of the natural casing that it can be eaten – as a natural product – without hesitation. For particular sausages – for example blood and liver sausages – it is, however, rather unusual to eat the natural casing.
We will be glad to answer any further questions regarding natural casings.
E-mail: info@naturdarm.de