Colour is the number one gateway to the food and beverage sensory experience. Colour influences the consumer’s perception of flavour, taste, freshness, and desirability. If the colour of a product doesn’t meet the consumer’s predetermined expectations it’s likely a different product will be chosen. In order to ensure that the product meets consumer expectation, synthetic colours are often added to food and beverages. The addition of these synthetic colours helps to offset natural colour loss caused by exposure to light and temperature / moisture loss, correct natural colour variation, enhance weak colour hues in a product, or to create a fun look to a food or beverage. Although synthetic colours are considered to be more stable compared to their natural counterparts, some of them are still prone to colour fading due to light exposure. Furthermore, more and more companies are converting from artificial colours to natural colours, both from a technical and commercial point of view.
In order to prevent the colour degradation of food or beverage, manufacturers often add in an ingredient to delay colour loss. Rosmarinic acid, commonly derived from rosemary and used in the beverage industry, can be used to delay colour degradation.However, Kemin has found that rosmarinic acid derived from spearmint is effective in delaying this colour loss as well.
Milk is a complex biological system consisting of fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and water. Milk powders contribute nutritionally, functionally, and economically to a variety of food formulations including bakery, confectionery, dairy, recombined milk, meat, nutritional beverages, and prepared foods. Whole fat milk powder has relative high fat content (26%-40%) and is enriched in vitamins. Not only does it serve as an ingredient in processed foods, it is also a popular nutrient source in many third world countries.
Recent research indicates that the type of fat, particularly in whole milk, may promote human health. Plus, the developing world is increasingly looking to whole milk and whole milk powder as a nutritional source of protein, fats, and vitamins. Thus, it is expected that the consumption of whole fat milk will increase worldwide. However, the higher fat content makes whole milk prone to oxidation, a process that decreases the nutritional value and flavour. Moreover, in many third world countries, proper packaging and controlled storage conditions are limited, which in turn shortens the shelf life of whole fat milk powder.
Oils and fats are very important constituents of the vast majority of food products. Lipids are often the carrier of the taste components, yet at the same time oils and fats are the principal cause of sensorial degradation.
Because most lipids are susceptible to oxidation, they will have a major impact on the sensorial shelf life. Oxidized lipids will form volatile reaction products that cause rancidity. Many measures can be taken to prevent the onset of oxidation. The use of antioxidants is one of the most efficient ways to avoid the formation of rancid food products. Other important aspects in oxidation control are protective packaging and cold storage; however, these measures alone are rarely sufficient.
Another important aspect in controlling oxidation is the negative connotation many additives tend to have for the consumer. Traditional synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and TBHQ are often no longer accepted. There is a general trend to keep the product label as simple and as clean as possible. In this respect, natural plant extracts that contain molecules with antioxidant activity can be used to tackle shelf-life problems while remaining label-friendly.
Proteins (Meat, Poultry, Fish)
Kemin is a one-stop shop for your processed meat, poultry and fish products – a company with the ability to offer both shelf life extension and food safety options to meat, poultry, and fish manufacturers.
Kemin understands proteins – and how different processing techniques and packaging affect them – when determining which shelf life ingredients to use. We offer solutions that are tailored to individual customer needs, from simple solutions to more complex blends, with a highly experienced technical team who understands the synergies of these ingredients. We can help you solve your colour, flavour and microbial challenges, allowing you to get your product to market quicker and keep it fresh longer.
Consumers may rely heavily on colour and in-store appearance to make their initial buying decision; however, they repeat their meat and poultry purchases based on the flavour results they experience at home. The biggest enemy to fresh and appealing flavour? Oxidative rancidity (lipid oxidation), the cause of off-odours and off-flavours. Natural plant extracts from Kemin help delay lipid oxidation, protecting your product’s appeal by preserving its fresh aroma and flavour.
Lipid oxidation is a primary reason for quality loss in meat and poultry products. During lipid oxidation, by-products degrade and compound into secondary oxidative by-products like aldehydes, which are primarily responsible for warmed-over flavour (WOF), described as cardboard-like, painty, or rancid.
Photooxidation leads to rancidity and a shorter shelf life in meat products with a high fat content like ground meats and sausages. These products are more susceptible to photochemical reactions than meats with a lower fat content. In addition, the chlorophyll in herbs and spices commonly added to processed meats absorbs light and accelerates the rate of oxidation. Kemin has the experience and technical expertise to temper all of these factors with the proper food ingredient solution.
Secondary oxidation in meat products is noted by analyzing thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). Results are highly correlated with sensory evaluation scores; when the TBARS value increases, the rancid flavour and smell of the product also increases. Kemin has its own application kitchen and has the capability to conduct sensory acceptance testing in a specific meat, poultry, or fish matrix.
Sauces and Dressings
The specific ingredients and processes for making dressing and sauces can vary; however, the major ingredients used generally consist of emulsified vegetable oils that are high in unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Such fats are especially susceptible to oxidation; therefore, preservatives are often added to improve taste stability and shelf life. Historically, these preservatives consist of synthetic ingredients such as Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), which may cause the “naturalness” of the mayonnaise to be called into question by the consumer. Furthermore, EDTA is not allowed anymore in all countries.