Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Social Networks and innovation in the South American industry during the pre-refrigeration era: Southern Brazil and Uruguay in comparison

Stephen Bell


The present paper will focus on the geographical patterns of innovation from around mid-century until the successful development of a South American refrigerated-meat industry. Although frozen meat would eventually eclipse all other experiments at meat preservation and contribute massively to northwest Europe's food supply, around mid-century this still lay decades away. In the Río de la Plata considerable work was undertaken with other methods of preserving meat. The most celebrated of these experiments was Liebig's Extract of Meat at Fray Bentos, which took that Uruguayan toponym from relative obscurity to world renown. The paper addresses the significance of these South American initiatives, offering an explanation for their location pattern.

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