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Reducing salt in meat, not the snag you were expecting
By Aprill Allen
Salt is a critical component for preservation in processed and cured meats, and so, calls to reduce sodium in this category can seem like an impossible ask. Efforts to reduce or replace sodium in processed meat have met with considerable challenges due to the functional properties of salt in the meat manufacturing process. Salt provides the familiar and appealing taste, but most importantly for the meat industry, it ensures the proper microbiological activity that directly impacts stability and shelf-life of the products. Potassium chloride (KCl) has been a common salt substitute, but the bitter aftertaste is an ongoing roadblock to lowering sodium intake in Australian diets.
Salt is important in the fat and protein matrices formed in cured meat products but a portion can be replaced, and fortunately, there is a commercial salt-substitute product that has been having success with both sensory acceptance and maintaining functional characteristics. CorbionPurac developed PuraQ® Arome Na4 for cooked and fresh meat, poultry and seafood products. Consisting of sugars, salts of organic acids and aromas obtained from the controlled fermentation of sugarcane, PuraQ® Arome Na4 is considered a natural flavour and mimics the taste of meat while successfully controlling water activity and microbial growth.