Hydrocolloids in processed meat
Dennis G. Olson
Hydrocolloids function as water binders and texture modifying agents in meat products. They may also be have potential as cryoprotectants to ensure long term stability of proteins during frozen storage. The three primary objectives of this research were: first, to evaluate the effects of hydrocolloids such as starch and carrageenan on the quality characteristics of hams containing high levels of added water. Second, to investigate the cryoprotectant effects of hydrocolloids such as maltodextrins and corn syrup solids for freeze-thaw stability in mechanically deboned pork. Finally, to study the quality and sensory characteristics of pork sausage made from mechanically deboned pork containing these cryoprotectants;The first part of the study evaluated the functionality of starch and carrageenan in hams containing 55% added water. Starch and carrageenan had opposite effects: increasing the level of starch increased perception of juiciness and purge was increased. Addition of carrageenan increased cooking yields, but decreased purge and resulted in a sensory perception of reduced juiciness;The second part of the study examined the changes in functional properties (protein solubility, gel-forming ability and emulsifying capacity) of mechanically deboned pork over 120 days frozen storage, as affected by addition of cryoprotectants (5 DE, 10 DE maltodextrins and 20 DE corn syrup solids). Proteins were destabilized during frozen storage as reflected by decreases in protein solubility, gel strength and emulsifying capacity. Freeze-induced protein denaturation was reduced effectively by 10 DE maltodextrins and 20 DE corn syrup solids used at the 8% level, and, less effectively when used at the 4% level. The 5 DE maltodextrin used at the 4% level adversely affected salt-soluble protein extractability during long term frozen storage;The third part of the study evaluated changes in the quality and sensory characteristics of pork sausage made from mechanically deboned pork as affected by the addition of cryoprotectants (5 DE, 10 DE maltodextrins and 20 DE corn syrup solids) during 6 months of frozen storage. Incorporation of cryoprotectants in mechanically deboned pork significantly improved the storage stability (oxidative rancidity) and affected the quality (texture) of the pork sausage. Sensory evaluation showed the most notable quality differences to be color, tenderness and flavor desirability.