Supply Chain Evaluation: Frankfurter Sausages

Supply Chain Evaluation: Frankfurter Sausages


Table of Contents


Brief history……………………………………………………………………………………….2

Main ingredients…………………………………………………………………………………..3

Ingredient production and supply chain……………………………………………………………3

Final assembly…………………………………………………………………………………….8



Companies operating in today’s increasingly competitive business environment have come to the realization that there is an emergence of competition within the supply chain. This essentially means that attention has moved from the competitive edge that a company can enjoy to the competitiveness of the entire supply chain. The basic foundation of this premise is the need to ensure that the flow of the products from the source to the user is an integrated system rather than the previous thinking that these activities were separate. This is the reason why it has become more vital for companies to carry out a constant evaluation of its supply chains. This paper therefore critically examines the supply chain for the production of frankfurter sausages detailing the distribution and supply chain for each of the ingredients for the sausages.

Brief history

Frankfurter sausages often referred to by their popular name of hot dog or wieners have been described as sausages that are characterized by their large amount of seasoning. Traditionally, they have been prepared from a mixture of pork and beef and derive their name from the town of Frankfurt am Main in Germany where they were served as well as sold in beer gardens. t is often sold as a sausage placed inside a sliced bun often with garnishing that include mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, chilli or sauerkraut (Aguilera, 2012, p.141). Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact time when the sausage was created and how exactly the sausage came to be served in the middle of a sliced bun as well as how exactly it came to be referred to as a ‘hot dog’ (Aguilera, 2012, p.141).

The frankfurter sausages are said to have been a variation of the Frankfurter Wurstchen, a type of pork sausage that bears a resemblance to the hot dog. They can be traced back as far as the 13th century where they were largely served to people during special occasions such as imperial coronations such as those of Maximilian II (Aguilera, 2012, p. 142). The sausage was said to be introduced to the Austrian capital of Vienna by Johann Georg Lahner a butcher who carried out his trade during the 18th century. In a bid to add taste and texture to the sausages, Johann is said to have added beef to the mixture and referred to it as a Frankfurter. The presence of the sausage in America can be traced back to a German immigrant Charles Feltman who moved to Coney Island in the year of 1870. It is he who begun selling the sausages in bread rolls. however, several other individuals have also been credited with the idea of selling hot dos inside a bun including to Antonoine Feuchtwanger’s wife who is said to have come up with the idea for selling the sausages in a bun largely because the gloves that Antonoine gave his customers to ensure they did not get burned while eating the sausages kept constantly disappearing (Aguilera, 2012, p.142).

The use of the term hot dog to describe the frankfurter sausages has traditionally been credited to a sports cartoonist Thomas Aloysius Dorgan who in the year 1900 published a cartoon describing the sale of hot dogs that was being done during a baseball game (Aguilera, 2012, p.142). other references to the use of hot dog to describe the hot dog were found in the 1892 issue of the Paterson (New Jersey) Daily Press as well as in the New Brunswick (New Jersey) Daily times published in may of 1893, the New York World edition published in May 1893 and the Knoxville (Tennessee) Journal which was published in September 1893 (Jakle & Sculle, 1999, p. 17).

Main ingredients

There are several ingredients that are found in frankfurters including a mixture of pork trimmings, chicken or turkey. In addition, there is a presence of water, salt, milk protein and preservatives largely sodium nitrite. Moreover, frankfurters are made up of flavours which range from smoke flavouring to a variety of herbs, spices as well as celery and garlic powder and a number of brands have been noted to use monosodium glutamate or MSG as flavouring. further, frankfurter have the presence of  stabilizers such as E451 which is largely made up of potassium and sodium triphosphates as well as E452 which is a polyphosphate that acts as both as a stabilizer and an emulsifier (Derbyshire, 2012, p.1). In addition, frankfurters are made up of antioxidant sodium erythorbate which is also used as a type of preservative (Jakle & Sculle, 1999, p. 17).

Ingredient production & Supply Chain

The supply chain of pork in the United Kingdom can be traced beginning with the genetics stage which is characterized by a constant emphasis on research. It should be noted that the United Kingdom swine industry has gradually moved from a reliance on small scale farms which are characterized by an emphasis on purebred breeding and moving more towards genetic breeds that are provided by larger companies dealing specifically with breeding (Schrader, 1998, p.14). After selecting these swine, they are taken through a production process that is characterized by three stages of farrowing, nursery as well as finishing. In this regard, farrowing describes the process of ensuring that the parent breeding herd is maintained and taken through weaning. Thereafter pigs that have been taken through the weaning process which often takes around three weeks are taken to a nursery until such a time they are able to reach a weight of between 20 and 25 kg whereby they are finally taken to a finishing facility in order to continue being fed. This is in a bid to ensure that they reach the appropriate market weight (Schrader, 1998, p. 15).

When the pigs achieve this weight, they are taken through the process of slaughter as well as processing. In the United Kingdom, this might either be carried out within one plant or in different locations (Schrader, 1998, p. 17).  It should be noted that in recent times, many of the factories involved in the slaughtering of pigs have made plans to move to larger plants. In addition, the location of these slaughtering plants is often seen to be in areas where there is a large presence of the pig production facilities. The slaughtering is followed by the processing stage which often includes processing that extends beyond the traditional cutting of pork for wholesale distribution (Schrader, 1998, p. 18).

With regard to water that is used in the production of frankfurters, the supply chain begins with rainfall which is the fundamental source of water. After collection in sources such as rivers or lakes or underground it is often retrieved by being tapped using wells. This is often done by the use of pumping. In the case of water that has collected on the surface, this water will be transported to the factory through the use of an elaborate system of tunnels and pipes (Reid, 2012, p. 4). Salt is another important ingredient in the making of frankfurters and is supplied to the factory through a process that begins with collection of seawater which is then put in concentration ponds and thereafter through crystallizing ponds and washed with brine. This process produces crude salt which is thereafter dissolved in pure water after which Sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate are added and the mixture put through a clarification tank which is useful in removing sludge. this process produces pure brine which is then taken through a process whereby the salt slurry is removed and thereafter the brine is put through a centrifuge as well as dried in a fluid bed the end result being the manufacture of salt that is then brought to the factory to be put through the process of making frankfurters (Reid, 2012, p.4).

The sugar used in the production of frankfurters goes through a process that begins with harvesting of sugarcane which is largely grown in the tropical regions of the world. The harvested sugarcane is then immediately transported to the sugar mill largely because any delays result in loss of vital sugar content. Once at the sugar mill which is often located in areas next to the sugarcane plantations, the cane is taken through a process from where sugar is extracted using heavy rollers that work to remove the juice stored within the sugarcane (Hui, 2012, p. 25). This juice is then taken through a filtration process in order to remove any remaining impurities after which the crystallization process occurs. The end result is a raw brown sugar which still needs to go through a refining procedure in order to be further purified. This sugar is transported in large quantities to Europe from where the refineries present in these countries carry out a process which results in the final removal of impurities which might still be present within the sugar. In addition, the brown colour is removed from the sugar by further filtering which is thereafter followed by crystallizing, drying and packing. The United Kingdom largely imports this sugar and this is the sugar that is often used in the factories that manufacture the frankfurters (Hui, 2012, p. 25).

With regard to stabilizers such as E451, these often find their way into the production of frankfurters using a complex system of manufacturers and suppliers. The manufacturing process often involves conducting a battery of tests in order to ensure that the stabilizers pose no danger to human life and when this is ascertained, these stabilizers are packed and sold to suppliers who in turn sell them to food manufacturers such as those involved with the production of frankfurters. Polyphosphates are yet another important ingredient in the making of frankfurters (Hui, 2012, p. 26). In small doses, the compounds work to ensure that the amount of salt that will be used in the production of such products as frankfurters in significantly reduced. In addition, the compounds act as a binding agent and further act to ensure the retention of water in the pork being used to make the frankfurters. They find their way into the process of production through being bought from the various suppliers. Industries in countries such as India carry out the manufacturing process of these compounds and later export them to food service industries as well as restaurants (Hui, 2012, p. 26).

Smoke flavouring is a common addition in the production of frankfurters. This flavouring is often produced through the thermal burning of wood. This is an alternative to the traditional method of smoking food. The process of manufacturing this smoke flavour begins with the production of liquid smoke that is often manufactured through the use of a tube that is placed inside a combustion chamber filled with a selection of wood chips. This liquid is often bottled and sold to food manufacturers such as makers of frankfurters in order to act as a form of seasoning (Feiner, 2006, p. 32). Antioxidant Sodium Erythorbate is yet another ingredient in the making of frankfurter sausages. It has been described as a new antioxidant that also acts as a preservative by significantly slowing down the action of oxygen on the food.

The supply chain of this compound begins at the factory where it is produced from a mixture of sugar cane, beets and corn in order to produce starch. From here it is packaged and transported to supplies who in turn sell the compound to food manufacturers (Feiner, 2006, p. 32). The practice of using antioxidant sodium Erythorbate has been on the increase especially in the United Kingdom and this has been attributed to the action by the Food and Drug Administration to place ban on the use of sulphites as a preservative for foods especially those that would be presented to the consumer with the intention to be eaten fresh and the fact that a large number of people had begun to place complaints with regard to a growing increase in allergies to sulphites (Feiner, 2006, p. 32).

Preservatives are also another important part of the ingredients that are used in the production of frankfurters. These preservatives are often in the form of nitrites and they make their way into frankfurter production through a process that begins in an industry where it is produced through the passage of nitrous fumes into a sodium carbonate solution and thereafter crystallized and packaged (Kraig, 2009, p. 12). With the packaging, the nitrites are then sold to suppliers who in turn sell these preservatives to food manufacturing companies. Milk Proteins are yet another ingredient of frankfurters. these proteins are produced in factories through a process of ultra filtration as well as evaporation and finally taken through a drying process which ensures that they are turned into a powder that is then packaged and sold to suppliers who in turn sell them to the consumers, in this case food manufacturing companies such as those that produce frankfurters (Kraig, 2009, p.12).

Final Assembly of the ingredients

The production of a frankfurter sausage is a long process that begins with the preparation of the meat that will be used. Although pork is the most popular ingredient, there are also variations that use beef, chicken as well as turkey. the meat that is used must pass a thorough inspection after which it is cut into small pieces and thereafter placed inside a mixing container that is characterized by the presence of choppers that work to subsequently reduce the size of the meat into even smaller pieces(Burg, 2012, p. 32). During the process of mixing, other ingredients including ice chips, flavourings as well as salt and sugar will be added. Water is also included in this process as well as sodium nitrite and sodium erythobate in a bid to ensure the preservation of the meat when it is put in storage. The ingredients are mixed together to a smooth batter which will be an added advantage in the processing (Burg, 2012, p. 32)

The batter s subjected to quality control testing and thereafter pumped into a machine that automatically stuffs and links the batter. Here, the batter is pushed into tube shaped casings manufactured from cellulose which are then twisted at distinct points in a bid to produce long linked strands of sausages that are of a consistent size and shape (Burg, 2012, p. 33). Even though many of these casings are removed, a large number of manufacturers prefer to use natural casings that are eaten along with the hot dog. However, the use of natural casings has been attributed to small manufacturers largely due to the cost involved.  The linked frankfurter sausages are then removed and placed in a large smokehouse where they are taken through a process of thorough cooking done in a controlled environment. It is at this point that the manufacturer puts in the smoke flavouring. It should be noted that the cooking process takes a varied amount of time largely depending on the recipe that the manufacturer has chosen to use (Burg, 2012, p. 33)

With the end of the cooking process, the frankfurter sausages are then moved through the use of a conveyor to a peeler. As they are taken through the conveyor, the sausages are sprayed with water in an attempt to ensure that their internal temperatures are stabilized before they reach the peeler (Wilton, 2004, p.19). Here, the casings are cut away however; this is a process that is not carried out by those manufacturers who prefer to use natural casings for their hot dogs. From the peeler, the sausages are then moved to the packaging machinery where they are arranged on plastic film which is then folded and vacuum sealed. This is in order to ensure that the sausages flavour and shelf life is preserved and increased respectively. Finally, the sealed packages are taken through a stamping machine which prints a freshness date as well as the required text that is needed by law. These packages are then transported into boxes and shipped in refrigerated trucks to the designated supermarkets (Wilton, 2004, p. 19).


It is important to note that many companies operating within today’s business environment have come to the realization that examining their individual supply chains will give them far more of a competitive edge than simply focusing on their overall competitive advantage. The above essay looked critically into the frankfurter sausages and especially described its supply chain for its various ingredients. Starting with a brief history of the sausage, the easy also looked into the various ingredients that make u the sausage and traced the supply chains for each of them. In addition, the paper critically examined the process that goes into the making of the product and how the mentioned ingredients were brought together to make the final product.

List of References

Aguilera, J.M. 2012. Edible Structures: The Basic Science of What We Eat. New York: CRC Press. P.141-142.

Burg, James. “Making More Healthful Meats.” Food Product Design (March 1998): 32.

Derbyshire, D. 18 July 2012. So What Ingredients really go into a hot dog? Read on and you may never want to eat another frankfurter. Daily Mail Online. Available at:

<> Accessed 16 April 2013.

Hui, Y.H. 2012. Handbook of Meat and meat processing. New York: CRC Press. pp. 25-26.

Feiner, G (2006). Meat Products Handbook: Practical Science and Technology. New York:  CRC Press, p. 32.

Jakle, J.A.; Sculle, K. A. 1999. Fast Food. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p.17.

Kraig, B. 2009. Hot Dog: A Global History. New York: Reaktion Books. p. 12.

Reid, J. 2012. Salt recovery process. Available at:

<> Accessed 18 April 2013.

Schrader, L.F. 1998. Coordination in the United States Hog/Pork Industry. Purdue University. Available at:

<> Accessed 18 April 2013.

Wilton, David. 2004. Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 19.



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