Color is the number one gateway to the food and beverage sensory experience. Color influences the consumer’s perception of flavor, taste, freshness, and desirability. If the color of a product doesn’t meet the consumer’s preconceived expectations it’s likely a different product will be chosen. In order to ensure that the product meets consumer expectation, synthetic colors are often added to food and beverages. The addition of these synthetic colors helps to offset natural color loss caused by exposure to light and temperature / moisture loss, correct natural color variation, enhance weak color hues in a product, or to create a fun look to a food or beverage. Although synthetic colors are considered to be more stable compared to their natural counterparts, some of them are still prone to color fading due to light exposure.
In order to prevent the color degradation of a food or beverage, manufacturers often add in an ingredient to delay color loss. Rosmarinic acid, commonly derived from rosemary and used in the beverage industry, can be used to delay color degradation. However, Kemin has found that rosmarinic acid derived from spearmint is effective in delaying this color 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 developing 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 flavor. Moreover, in many developing 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.
One of the conundrums faced by food manufacturers is the growing consumer resistance to synthetic antioxidants. Traditional synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) 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, plant based extracts that contain molecules with antioxidant activity can be used to tackle shelf life problems while remaining label friendly.
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 color, flavor, and microbial challenges, allowing you to get your product to market quicker and keep it fresh longer.
In the increasingly competitive meat and poultry marketplace, solutions to your processing concerns have never been more important. As the rising cost of meat production continues to narrow profit margins, it’s crucial to make the best choice when it comes to processing solutions.
So what is the deciding factor discerning consumers are using, when they make their initial meat and poultry purchase decisions?
In a word: COLOR. Not surprisingly, consumers view color as the determining factor in the quality of fresh meat. This visual cue is their most important criteria when making a selection. It is also important to note that consumers are often relying on color alone to determine freshness, as they already assume the meat and poultry products they are being offered are safe. They use color as a guide to reassure themselves that these products are also fresh and flavorful.
Whereas color is a crucial factor for a first purchase, a fresh and consistent flavor will convince the customer to buy the same meat product again.
They may rely heavily on color and in-store appearance to make their initial buying decision; however, consumers repeat their meat and poultry purchases based on the flavor results they experience at home. The biggest enemy to fresh and appealing flavor? Oxidative rancidity (lipid oxidation), the cause of off-odors and off-flavors. Natural plant extracts from Kemin help delay lipid oxidation, protecting your product’s appeal by preserving its fresh aroma and flavor.
By using plant extracts from Kemin, you will help delay color and flavor degradation, keeping negative characteristics from impacting your profitable sales.
Microbial spoilage is also a key factor in the shelf life of meat and poultry products. Plus, consumers expect and depend on safe meat and poultry to feed their families, while demanding label-friendly alternatives that are easily understandable and recognizable.
Kemin provides several solutions that address microbial spoilage, including buffered vinegar and propionic acid-based products. The solutions have proven results in protecting against Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli, and Salmonella with no negative effect on meat quality, including water holding capacity, protein denaturation, color, or flavor. The Kemin food safety solutions are available in liquid, dry, and no-sodium forms, making them easy to add to brines, marinades, spice blends, or directly to meat.
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 consisted of synthetic ingredients such as Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). With a greater interest in ingredients derived from natural sources increasing and synthetic ingredients banned in various countries, ingredients from Kemin become particularly interesting for customers looking for efficacious, plant based products.