Regardless of the level of meat production in individual countries, a gradual decrease in the consumption of meat, especially beef and, to a lesser extent, pork, can be seen in Central and Eastern Europe, while consumption of poultry meat has increased over the last 25 years. Average consumption of poultry per capita in 2015 in the Czech Republic was more than 200% of average consumption in 1991. The corresponding figure for Germany was 162%. Methods of fresh meat packaging that extend product shelf life and enhance consumer safety by preventing the release of meat juice have become established in recent years. Packaging in a modified atmosphere and vacuum skin packaging (i.e. Darfresh® or MultiFresh®) are currently the most widely used methods for the retail packaging of fresh meat. The modern trends that are becoming established include “clean label” and “convenience” products, while vegetarian and vegan substitutes for meat products are currently the fastest growing segment, particularly on the German market.
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