Enhancing the health-status of processed meats through ingredient manipulation and its effects on sensory and physiochemical product attributes

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Tobin, Brian David
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University College Cork
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An important component of this Ph.D. thesis was to determine the European consumers’ views on processed meats and bioactive compounds. Thus a survey gathered information form over 500 respondents and explored their perceptions on the healthiness and purchase-ability for both traditional and functional processed meats. This study found that the consumer was distrustful towards processed meat, especially high salt and fat content. Consumers were found to be very pro-bioactive compounds in yogurt style products but unsure of their feelings on the idea of them in meat based products, which is likely due to the lack of familiarity to these products. The work in this thesis also centred on the applied acceptable reduction of salt and fat in terms of consumer sensory analysis. The products chosen ranged in the degree of comminution, from a coarse beef patty to a more fine emulsion style breakfast sausage and frankfurter. A full factorial design was implemented which saw the production of twenty beef patties with varying concentrations of fat (30%, 40%, 50%, 60% w/w) and salt (0.5%, 0.75%, 1.0%, 1.25%, 1.5% w/w). Twenty eight sausage were also produced with varying concentrations of fat (22.5%, 27.5%, 32.5%, 37.5% w/w) and salt (0.8%, 1%, 1.2%, 1.4%, 1.6%, 2%, 2.4% w/w). Finally, twenty different frankfurters formulations were produced with varying concentrations of fat (10%, 15%, 20%, 25% w/w) and salt (1%, 1.5%, 2%, 2.5%, 3% w/w). From these products it was found that the most consumer acceptable beef patty was that containing 40% fat with a salt level of 1%. This is a 20% decrease in fat and a 50% decrease in salt levels when compared to commercial patty available in Ireland and the UK. For sausages, salt reduced products were rated by the consumers as paler in colour, more tender and with greater meat flavour than higher salt containing products. The sausages containing 1.4 % and 1.0 % salt were significantly (P<0.01) found to be more acceptable to consumers than other salt levels. Frankfurter salt levels below 1.5% were shown to have a negative effect on consumer acceptability, with 2.5% salt concentration being the most accepted (P<0.001) by consumers. Samples containing less fat and salt were found to be tougher, less juicy and had greater cooking losses. Thus salt perception is very important for consumer acceptability, but fat levels can be potentially reduced without significantly affecting overall acceptability. Overall it can be summarised that the consumer acceptability of salt and fat reduced processed meats depends very much on the product and generalisations cannot be assumed. The study of bio-actives in processed meat products found that the reduced salt/fat patties fortified with CoQ10 were rated as more acceptable than commercially available products for beef patties. The reduced fat and salt, as well as the CoQ10 fortified, sausages were found to compare quite well to their commercial counterparts for overall acceptability, whereas commercial frankfurters were found to be the more favoured in comparison to reduced fat and CoQ10 fortified Frankfurters.
Processed meat , Salt reduction , Fat reduction , Consumer sensory analysis , Bioactive ingredients , Co-enzyme Q10 , Consumer survey , Physiochemical evaluation
Tobin, Brian D., 2013. Enhancing the health-status of processed meats through ingredient manipulation and its effects on sensory and physiochemical product attributes. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.