Patent-pending nitrite alternative solution
Processed meat products are part of consumers’ dietary habits, with chilled meat cuts and sausages being respectively the 3rd and 4th largest products manufactured among all food & beverages categories1. Consumers and retailers are looking for natural and label-friendly solutions made of recognizable ingredients they can trust offering a transparent labelling, especially on these product categories. Indeed, 2 out of 3 European consumers say that they specifically want to avoid products with ingredients that are difficult to understand2.
Today most processed cooked products like emulsified cooked sausages, cooked ham, or any other type of “cold cuts” contain sodium nitrite which are responsible for the bright pink to red colour that we like to see when buying processed meat. At the same time, it functions as an antioxidant as well as a preservative against foodborne pathogen.
One strategy could be to use nitrate-rich plants like celery, beet juice or sea salt to bring about ‘natural curing’, but nitrite will still be formed.