The optimization of plant protein meat re-placers and clean label water binders in processed meat (white pudding and chicken)

Thumbnail Image
Garvey O'Driscoll, Seán
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University College Cork
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Reformulations and the development of bespoke vegetarian/vegan products, are becoming increasingly popular for a host of reasons, including health, environmental, economic and ethical concerns. Processed meat products have been under the spotlight for much of the recent past, with particular regard to their typically higher fat and salt contents and the health consequences of these, as well as the impact of meat production on the environment. Therefore, the interest in plant-based alternatives is continuing to grow. A sequential reduction of meat and animal fat with either chickpea or red lentil protein was performed in white pudding, with the overall goal of producing an acceptable 100% vegan product, or failing this, identifying the optimal replacement level that was acceptable to consumers and would not compromise on technological quality. The technological, compositional and sensory quality of the samples were analysed. Replacement was performed in 10% increments from 10% to 100%. Samples that contained more chickpea or red lentil protein than meat and animal fat (50% + replacement) were significantly (P<0.05) less acceptable from a sensory perspective, while they were also significantly (P<0.05) higher in protein content, lower fat content and lower in pH. Overall, a vegan sample was not a viable possibility under the parameters due to significant deterioration in sensory and technological quality and the optimum replacement level was identified at 20% for both proteins. Replacement was possible up to 40% for CP and 30% for RLP before quality started to deteriorate. Further optimisation of the formula and/or production method to achieve further replacement of the meat and animal fat. Recent years have seen an increase in demand for products that are perceived to be more “natural”, organic, containing less additives and preservatives or by utilising clean label ingredients. Phosphates, a common water binding agent, are one such food ingredient that consumers may actively seek to avoid. Sodium triphosphate (STPP) was sequentially replaced (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) with Aquamin soluble, citrus fibre and carrageenan in a brine intended for injection into chicken breast fillets. The effect of the replacement on the technological, sensory and microbiological quality of the cooked chicken (in the form of restructured chicken hams) was investigated. The overall objective was to produce a phosphate-free brine system utilising Aquamin soluble as well as any other ingredients deemed necessary. Replacement yielded significantly (P<0.05) more acidic brines and cooked samples alongside a significant increase in WHC. The sensory quality was unaffected by replacement, with no significant differences in overall acceptability between samples. Similarly, no significant improvements or deterioration in microbiological quality were identified, though the acidic nature of the 75% and 100% replacement samples may have had a slight statistically nonsignificant antibacterial effect. Ultimately, the complete replacement of STPP yielded a cooked chicken sample that performed largely on par with one or two exceptions, most notably cook yield, in the quality parameters to the control. Further optimisation could be performed to address cook yield and protein solubilisation of the 100% replacement sample, as well as to attempt to produce a completely clean label brine, as carrageenan is not considered a clean label ingredient.
Plant protein , Processed meat , Meat replacement , Vegan , Product reformulation , Phosphates , Clean label , Water binding , Meat processing
Garvey O'Driscoll, S. 2021. The optimization of plant protein meat re-placers and clean label water binders in processed meat (white pudding and chicken). MSc Thesis, University College Cork.
Link to publisher’s version