Gums and Carrageenans

In processed or other meat formulations gums and carrageenans have proved very effective, as they can give the end product valuable properties, like stability, smooth texture, improved freeze-thaw characteristics, creamy fat-like mouth feel to low fat meat products, less oil absorption in fried foods, and so on.

For instance, xanthan gum is a thickening and stabilising agent, ideal for use in meat applications, as it is stable to the effects of heat, high salt levels and enzymes. It can also stabilise fat emulsions, so it is preferably used in the production of coatings for sausages. Xanthan gum retains the flow characteristics that are necessary for the brine formulations injected in hams and it also ensures that the water-binding carrageenan will be homogenously distributed throughout the meat piece. Xanthan gum solution can give meat joints a smooth and equal coating and thus can assist in the reduction of moisture loss during cooking. Lastly, xanthan gum can be used as an alternative to gelatin and provides a "fat feel" in low-fat and fat-free products.

Carageenan, a water soluble polysaccharide extracted from red seaweed, forms a gel structure in meat, creating thus stability and consistency in the product. It can increase yield, sliceability, spreadability and cohesiveness, while on the other hand, it decreases purge, fat content and slicing loss. Carrageenan is widely used in processed meats like hams, rolls and cold eaten sausages to improve juiciness and moisture retention, as well as in burgers, meatballs and restructured meats like nuggets to provide firm gelling under hot or cold conditions. In marinated and meats, carrageenans can reduce cooking loss and offer freeze/thaw stability.

AlindaVelco offers a large selection of gums and carrageenans which can help you achieve best results in meat processing crucial issues, as improving your product's flavour, texture and nutritional content, reducing your total product cost or achieving longer shelf-life.

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