Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 36

INGREDIENT ISSUES

slices. The same is true with cubing or dicing
meat for finger-food in snack packs and salads.

INGREDIENT TOOLBOX
There are many moisture-enhancing
ingredients in the marketplace. Use, including
forms and addition levels, is regulated by the
US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Before
selecting an ingredient system, a product
developer should determine if there are any
labeling restrictions, e.g., organic, natural,
uncured, etc., as well as the target finished
product moisture content after cooking and
over shelf life. This includes knowing the
intended use of the meat. If it's going in a
sandwich or on a pre-made salad or snack
pack, that moisture needs to be bound tightly.
Phosphates have long been used as
cost-effective tools to bind moisture in meat
processing, in particular with whole muscle
intended for fully cooked deli-style meats
and comminuted products. Phosphates
are "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS)
by the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), which shares responsibility with
the Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) of USDA when it comes to
The choice of
ingredients intended for meat and
moisture-preserving
poultry. It is the latter that regulates
ingredients depends
usage of the ingredients in specific
largely on the
application.

MEAT+ POULTRY | 11.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

Tyson Foods Inc.

36

applications. Such GRAS ingredients include
substances considered harmless under
prescribed conditions.
Phosphates have been embraced by
meat and poultry processors for years and
will continue to be used for their powerful
and economical functional properties. Many
processors, however, are eliminating such
chemical-sounding ingredients from product
formulations. It is possible, but with some
shortcomings, namely higher prices and
reduced shelf life.
Label-reading consumers may find this
surprising, but phosphates are naturally
derived ingredients. They are obtained from
mined phosphate rock, which is the element
phosphorus combined with metal cations,
such as potassium and sodium. They are one
of the building blocks of all life, with every
living cell - plant and human - requiring it.
Most fertilizers include phosphorus, even those
certified organic. Some phosphates, albeit not
those typically used in meat and poultry, are
included on the list of the 5% of nonorganic
ingredients allowed in organic certified foods.
Processors rely on an array of phosphates
for different functions. They differ in solubility
and their impact on finished product pH, which
influences selection in an application. Limited
solubility, for example, may result in phosphate
precipitation in processed meats after cooking
and chilling. This may produce gritty texture.
Phosphates basically work by raising
the pH of meat, which causes protein fibers
to unfold, opening up the protein structure.
Once opened, phosphates and water bind with
protein molecules.
The pH of phosphates can range from about
5 to more than 10, but most are at neutral pH
7 or higher. Neutral and acidic phosphates
may enhance desirable cured color. The more
acidic the phosphate, the lower its waterbinding capacity. More alkaline phosphates will
raise the pH of the meat, which increases the
muscle's water-holding capacity.
As mentioned, there are many forms
of phosphates, each possessing unique
functionalities. Most are linear molecules
and contain a single phosphate (ortho), two
phosphates (pyro) or three or more phosphates
(poly). There are also metaphosphates,
which are composed of several phosphates
in a ring-shape structure. Processors will


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Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 2
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 3
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 4
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 5
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 6
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 7
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 50
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG2
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 51
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 52
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 53
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 54
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 55
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