A kebab on the way home is an integral part of a night out for many party-goers, but now people are discovering the production process behind the popular takeaway, with some feeling ‘gutted’.
The footage has emerged in a video posted by the YouTube channel. together television from Channel 4 Food Unwrapped, which dives deep into the mysteries, secrets, and myths behind food from around the world.
This time around, they took a look at doner kebabs, a Turkish delight of minced meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone and cooked on a vertical spit, revealing exactly what goes into the fast food favorite.
Those who are fans of the go-to option after a night on the tiles may have wondered what’s really behind the massive mound of skewered meat, and now, the answers have been revealed.
The video opens with host Jimmy Doherty outside a kebab and burger joint, inspecting a freshly ordered doner.
Doner kebabs are the ideal choice for late-night revellers in need of a hearty, quick and tasty meal, but what’s really behind the huge mountain of skewered meat?
He said, ‘Now look at this doner kebab, I want to know what meat is on it because you can’t really tell, it’s just chips.’
The presenter nibbled on a piece of meat before commenting: ‘Enough bread. I don’t know.’
The next scene shows the presenter calling up an unnamed kebab shop owner to ask him directly what the product might be made of, saying: ‘So every time I order a doner kebab, it would be lamb, you think?’
The kebab shop owner replied, “If you buy it for me, yes.”
Doherty continued: ‘What if I buy it from other people?’ to which the man replied, ‘I don’t know.’
The presenter decides to take matters into his own hands to find out what’s in the meat as he embarks on a tour of the Velis Kebabs factory in Staffordshire.
Velis Kebabs produces a whopping 50 tonnes of Doner a week, supplying kebab shops across the UK.
After being led into a room in which kebab meat is stored in its original form, Doherty read the writing on a box and commented, “I can already see this is mutton, mutton trimmings.”
Host Jimmy Doherty inspects a freshly ordered kebab, cynical about what’s behind the inverted cone-shaped minced meat.
The anonymous factory worker guiding him confirmed this, saying: ‘This has come from one of the big supermarkets. They trim the meat, make it aesthetically pleasing for the customer, and we get the leftover trim.”
He continues: “If (the meat) is labeled a doner, which everyone associates with what’s on a steakhouse, it should be 100 percent lamb.
“There are companies that are labeling kebabs and they contain beef and chicken, and there have been some cases of pork, which, for the Muslim community, is a big no-no.”
The worker then showed Doherty how the kebab is actually made. The lamb is loaded into an industrial machine to be minced, which is then sent up into a separate vat where other ingredients are added.
Lamb trimmings from supermarkets are sent to the factory where they are processed into doner kebab meat
Lamb is loaded into an industrial machine to be minced and used in kebabs.
The lamb cut is minced in an industrial machine, to which extra ingredients such as salt, onion powder and soy protein are added.
Textured soy protein is used as a bulking agent to keep prices down. Then onion powder and salt are added to it.
Without salt, explains the worker, the kebab cannot be made because the salt-soluble protein is removed from the meat, which helps emulsification.
This means that the erect kebab can be cut into straight strips without small pieces of meat coming off.
When the machine has finished mixing the meat and additions, the result is a product made up of 85% lamb, 5% bulking agent, 5% biscuits and 5% seasonings and salt.
The beaten meat is then shaped into large, thick discs that are stacked on top of each other on a spit, with lamb skin placed between each disc. The lamb skin helps bind the whole kebab together.
The beaten meat is then shaped into large, thick disks that are stacked on top of each other on a spit.
Lambskin is placed between each disc, helping to bind the entire kebab together.
The finished product comes after the minced meat is shaped into thick circular discs to place on a spit, with lambskin used in layers to keep the kebab intact.
Viewer comments are mixed, with some reeling in disgust and others feeling rather indifferent to the process, stating that kebabs are mostly eaten when people are drunk.
One YouTube comment expressed revulsion, writing: ‘In the 1980s, doner kebabs tasted completely different. Nowadays they are made as cheaply as possible and they are really disgusting.
Another agreed, saying: ‘I never knew that. Never have done.
Two users concluded that although there are questionable elements involved in the production process, the kebabs still taste great and they do not plan to stop eating them.
One said, “If it tastes good, then we’re good,” while the other said, “Don kebab is literally made from leftover meat, but it tastes great.”
The responses to the video consist of contrasting points of view: some are giving up kebabs, and others are happy to continue eating the product.
Two commenters pushed back against the information shown in the video, with one saying, “When you’re staggering home at 4am on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you don’t give a shit what’s in it.” If you’re still capable of questioning what’s in it, you’re not screwed enough to savor it.
The other expressed more concern for the Muslim community, writing: ‘When you’re buying a Doner kebab, you’re drunk most of the time. If not, all the time, so you don’t care what’s in it. The problem I have is that they are halal. So that means Muslims consume them.
Muslims can’t drink, which means they get eaten sober. I don’t know anyone who would order a sober kebab. It’s drunken food. Maybe I’m just going to the wrong places.