Natural edible sausage casings are made from the small and large intestines of pigs, sheep, goats and cattle. Artificial edible casings are made from collagen, which is taken from split cattle hides.
The manufacture of artificial casings began when the supply of natural casings was no longer enough to meet the demands of the meat industry. Collagen casings are a better alternative to natural casings, because they are more uniform in diameter and can be folded in long lengths. They can be used with both manual and automatic sausage filling machines. Also, collagen casings do not require presoaking in water, unlike natural casings, which are dry salted for easier storage and transport.