Jerky Criteria

JerkyIngredients.comThe first jerky criteria is that it should be jerky (dried meat), although there are many exceptions such as turtle, snake, fish, or mushroom jerky for example. More or less, the word jerky should be printed somewhere on the bag.

The ingredient list is compulsory. It does not matter if the ingredients are listed on the bag itself, an email, or a handwritten note.

There are three separate reviews done on each bag of jerky: Ingredient, Taste, and Bag Design.

INGREDIENT RATINGS

Excellent (10/10) – Ingredient Rating
  • Organic Meat, or
  • 100% Grass-fed meat
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
  • Animal is partially grass fed with free range access, or
  • Animal is free of growth hormones, and additional antibiotics
Good (8/10) – Ingredient Rating
  • There are no bad ingredients used

This is where an ingredient rating starts, either an 8, 9, or 10 ingredient rating. Chunked & Formed or Chopped and Formed jerky loses two additional ingredient ratings.

The following criteria can deduct an ingredient rating.

SALT LEVELS

  • Table salt level is over 350mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Note that salt levels are ignored when sea salt or an equivalent is used.
  • Table salt level is over 450mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Has potential to be two ingredient ratings unless healthy ingredients counteract.

SUGAR LEVELS

  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
  • Sugar level is 4 grams or more for a non-sweet based flavor per 28 grams of jerky.
  • Sugar level is 6 grams or more for a sweet based flavor per 28 grams of jerky.
  • Sugar level is 7 grams or more per 28 grams of jerky. Has potential to be two ingredient ratings unless healthy ingredients counteract, and depending on what sugars are used.

PRESERVATIVES

  • Generally when sodium nitrite or potassium sorbate is an added ingredient.
  • Regarding sauces. If sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, or other similar sodium based preservatives are listed three times or more.

FLAVOR ENHANCERS

  • Monosodium glutumate (MSG).
  • Hydrolyzed soy, wheat, or plant protein.
  • Disodium inosinate or disodium guanylate.

OTHER INGREDIENTS

  • Artificial ingredient.
  • If caramel color is listed three times or more.
  • If corn syrup is listed three times or more.

TASTE RATINGS

Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
  • Tastes great
  • Tastes as the advertised flavor
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
  • Tastes great

Some things taken into consideration are the natural meat flavor, saltiness, and sweetness.

Very Bad (2/10) – Taste Rating
  • Tastes very bad
  • A chopped and formed texture is used
  • A chunked and formed texture is used
Terrible (1/10) – Taste Rating
  • Tastes terrible
  • A chopped and formed texture is used
  • A chunked and formed texture is used

BAG RATINGS

Excellent (10/10) – Bag Design Rating
  • Looks professional
  • Not a stock bag
  • No labels affixed
  • All bag categories are covered (see below)
Very Good (9/10) – Bag Design Rating
Good (8/10) – Bag Design Rating
  • Labels are affixed to both the front and back.
  • All bag categories are covered (see below)
Decent (7/10) – Bag Design Rating

BAG CATEGORIES JUDGED

  • easy to read “best before date”
  • allergen alerts
  • nutrition facts table
  • jerky weight stated in both grams/ounces
  • transparent window to view the actual jerky
  • graphics
  • United States Department Agriculture (USDA) or Canada Department Agriculture (CDA) inspected logo
  • bar code
  • ingredients list
  • jerky maker/distributor address details
  • company logo
  • blurb about the company or jerky flavor
  • originality
  • clever slogans
  • jerky web site stated
  • resealable bag (over 2 ounces)
  • sturdy thickness of the plastic bag
  • hole at the top to hang on hooks
  • vacuum sealed (optional but preferred)
  • oxygen absorber included (optional but preferred)
  • easy to open bag (optional but preferred)
  • “meat of origin” details (optional)
  • Export Gift Pack Information statement (optional)
  • satisfaction guaranteed policy (optional)
  • QR Code (optional)
  • phone number (optional but preferred)
  • email address (optional but preferred)
  • social media handles (optional but preferred)
  • French translations (Canada only)