Cosucra promotes Swelite as meat replacer03 October 2012
In Europe, the processed ground meat market is mature, with slow growth, according to Guillaume Colmant, Product Manager, Pea Ingredients at Cosucra. Once the prime cuts have been re-moved, meat producers are looking to extract value from what remains – often through restructuring. However, notes Colmant, processed ground meat suffers from its association with high fat levels, its possible impact on cholesterol and other health issues.
Beyond this, says Colmant, clean labelling is a must when considering the launch of a new product or the reformulation of existing ones. It consists of removing additives/preservatives and avoiding the main allergens, gluten, and lactose. Meat quality and texture, and creativity around flavours, presentation and visual aspects also contribute to pleasure enhancement. And of course, on top of those trends, he notes, cost optimisation remaiuns the main challenge for meat developers and producers.
To produce attractive and cost-effective processed ground meat products, or to cope with the limited availability of meat, producers need specific ingredients. That, says Colmant, is the reason why fibres are increasingly used in processed ground meat products such as burgers, meatballs, sausages, as binder or meat filler.
Cosucra’s Swelite pea fibre is described as a natural and fat-free functional ingredient composed of dietary fibres and starch. It is extracted from yellow pea by a physical process and partial separation of starch and cellular walls. It is said to provide excellent water binding - 10 parts of water by capillary uptake in cold conditions. Gelatinisation of the linked starch granules increases the water binding capacity.
Swelite stabilises fat and water in typical ratios by capillary uptake. In cold emulsions, Swelite can stabilise 1/5/5 emulsions based on pork fat, poultry fat (or skin) or vegetable oil. The obtained paste is said to be stable, non-sticky and easy to incorporate. During heat treatment the paste be-comes firmer (no gel texture).
Thanks to its high water retention, Swelite is also claimed to increase product stability, forming a matrix with water within the meat. This paste is freeze-thaw stable, stable to strong heat treatment and not influenced by pH. As it binds water like a sponge and releases water only under strong mechanical action, it is said to provide a tender and juicy texture. Acting as a shape retention agent, Swelite also keeps the product in its original form.
Naturally sourced from locally grown yellow peas, Swelite offers the security of being GMO-free. Furthermore, pea is not included in the list of the allergenic ingredients that have to be clearly noted on the packaging of foodstuffs. It is gluten- and lactose-free, and is Kosher and Halal certified. Swelite can be labelled as “pea fibre, pea starch” or “vegetable fibre, starch”.
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