Meat+Poultry - August 2018 - 81


Country Archer Jerky Co.

Phosphates and modified food starches have long been used
to bind moisture in proteins, improving succulence. They
are very effective, however, they are not considered label
friendly by some shoppers.
Plum ingredients are an alternative. They also possess
other functional properties that can help clean up labels.
"Because of their high antioxidant levels, plum ingredients
can improve display appearance and reduce lipid oxidation,"
says Kate Leahy, spokesperson for Sunsweet Ingredients,
Yuba City, California. "Plum ingredients enhance browning,
eliminating the need for caramel color. They also enhance the
taste of seasonings, so formulators find they can reduce total
sodium and spices in a product to reach a more balanced flavor.
By reducing the amount of seasoning necessary, the cost of
switching to plum ingredients often balances out." 
For whole-muscle cuts, such as steaks, ribs or roasts,
adding 1 percent fresh plum concentrate to a marinade, either
through an injection or vacuum-tumbling process, will bind
moisture and provide shelf life benefits. With cuts such as
boneless, skinless chicken breasts that will be sold already
cooked, the same concentration of fresh plum concentrate can
be used, but it works best when also combined with a natural
fruit powder to ensure moisture stays in the muscle. 
"With sausages, adding 1 percent to 2 percent plum puree
to the meat matrix during the emulsification process will bind
moisture in both cooked and fresh sausages," Leahy says.
"An additional benefit of using prune
puree in sausage making is it allows
for fat reduction without a loss of
texture and flavor.
"For light-colored sausages, we
recommend using 1 percent to 1.5
percent fresh plum concentrate.
It binds moisture without
darkening the meat," she says. "The
concentrate will help brown the
meat as it is cooked, enhancing taste
and appearance."
Meat snacks may also benefit
from prune ingredients. Prune puree,
for example, can help reduce both
sodium and sugar while slowing lipid
oxidation, improving texture and
chew, and replacing caramel color.
"As meat snacks - both in snack
bar and jerky forms - continue to
gain interest among consumers, the
challenge becomes making these
products palatable, with good flavor
and texture, while also being lower
in sodium and sugar," Leahy says.
"Natural, functional ingredients,

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