Corbion harnesses plant-based meat preservation antioxidants for environmental sustainability gains
12 May 2023 --- The meat industry has faced increasing scrutiny in recent years over its impact on the environment and food waste. Corbion is tackling both of these challenges through the use of plant-based antioxidants.
FoodIngredientsFirst speaks with Cristiane Marangoni, application manager EMEA, and Saffiera Karleen, business development manager EMEA at Corbion, about how the company is leveraging its antioxidants as a tool for meat producers and retailers looking to improve the quality and sustainability of their products.
Plant-based ingredients as preventatives
Synthetic antioxidants are commonly used in the meat industry to preserve meat products’ quality and shelf life by preventing oxidation, which can cause spoilage and product deterioration.
Synthetic antioxidants are typically made from chemical compounds such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). These compounds are added to meat products to prevent the oxidation of fats and oils, which over time can cause off-flavors, rancidity and discoloration.
However, there are natural alternatives that can help producers be more environmentally sustainable.
“Corbion’s antioxidants are derived from natural sources such as rosemary and acerola, a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic antioxidants, meeting the demand for environmentally sustainable meat products, appealing to conscious consumers and helping producers stand out in the market,” Marangoni explains.
“Together with our supply chain, we ensure the authenticity and natural origin of their antioxidant solutions, free from chemical traces found in synthetic alternatives, and prioritize equitable partnerships with suppliers, promoting localized processing to minimize the carbon footprint and boost local economies.”
Future of meat preservation
Aligned with Corbion’s meat preservation and food waste reduction objectives, the company will continue to provide a “holistic range of solutions” that improve sustainability while preserving “excellent taste.”
Karleen reveals what Corbion is currently working on and how the business will help its clients.
“Continued development of our world-class models, such as the Corbion listeria control model, will allow our customers to speed up their product development. Additionally, our expanded portfolio of natural antioxidants addresses key consumer and food industry requirements for maintaining the sensory quality of meat while ensuring food safety, meeting the desired shelf life, and consequently reducing waste.”
Preserving meat products involves considering various factors such as meat composition, formulation, processing, storage conditions and packaging.
“Corbion recognizes the need for different preservation techniques based on microbiological, physical and sensory aspects. We have developed ingredients to address specific preservation requirements, taking into account factors like meat type, pH, process, storage and packaging,” adds Marangoni.
“Additionally, when it comes to antioxidants, Corbion considers factors like myoglobin and fatty acids content and light exposure during the product’s supply chain and shelf life in shops.”
Efficient food systems
Karleen explains that interest in antioxidants has picked up due to companies doubling down on cutting food waste.
“In Europe, we see a growing demand for food products with extended shelf life, as well as for solutions to reduce food waste. With our Origin line of antioxidants, producers can improve the quality and shelf life of their products and maintain the bright, appealing color of their meat products, improving their attractiveness to consumers and reducing waste.”
“This line helps to improve efficiencies and cost-savings throughout the meat supply chain, improving profitability,” she underscores.
Salt reduction and meat preservation
Other than antioxidants, ingredients such as salt have to be considered at the time of food preservation. However, as companies increasingly demand sodium reduction, reformulation efforts have to be carefully maneuvered.
“In the past, salt was largely known for its ability to preserve food ingredients. We now know that salt has a high impact in terms of texture and binding properties in the application of meat, snacks and bakery,” explains Karleen.
“In the past, sodium reduction has always been related to the taste perspective, especially in the seasoning industries that represent snack and instant food. Replacement of NaCl to KCl by 50:50 or 70:30 was common to maintain the taste quality whilst sodium intake is reduced.”
“Nowadays, the approach is more about the hurdle concept, the same terminology from a microbiology perspective. This hurdle concept is approaching sodium reduction in a holistic manner, where every single step of the process or ingredients is being analyzed and verified.”
Corbion uses this hurdle concept, for example, in its Purasal Plus Line for food preservation systems, where solutions are potassium-based and high concentration, and in which the taste impact is limited
“Also, our natural flavor line, PuraQ Arome, supports our customers to reduce at least 30% of their NaCl usage while maintaining the same taste quality,” Karleen concludes.
By Marc Cervera
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