Whey tops formulation, cost list as meat ingredient

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk

Modified whey protein could be the additive of choice for processed
meat, with Canadian researchers reporting it is the most
functionally effective and cost-efficient of five dairy proteins
tested.

"This indicates that on an equal protein level, the whole milk and modified whey provided better moisture retention and equal or higher fracturability values compared with caseinate addition. This is of interest to the meat industry, which is looking at the contribution to moisture retention, texture, and cost,"​ wrote lead author Shai Barbut from the University of Guelph in Canada. According a to a report by Research and Markets​, the European processed meat market was worth €106.0bn in Western Europe in 2005, and is predicted to grow by about 1.2 per cent annually during 2005-2010. Production of meat products requires the initial extraction of salt-soluble proteins (SSP) from the muscle tissue, which otherwise would become denatured during cooking and result in water loss from the meat. This has undersirable knock-on effects on meat tenderness and yield. "Therefore, there is a growing interest in ingredients that can enhance water binding in a cost-effective way,"​ said the researchers. In background information in the article Barbut and Valerie Choy explain that formulators regularly use non-meat additives like proteins and hydrocolloid gums to replace the SSP and tie up moisture. The new study, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology​, compared five difference dairy proteins - dry whole milk, skimmed milk, caseinate, regular and modified whey - for use in processed chicken meat. The meat batter was prepared by adding 2 per cent (w/w) of each dairy ingredient (containing different protein levels), and was found to retain significantly more liquid compared with the control. The best improvement was reported for the caseinate protein. However, when the ingredients were compared on an equal protein level, equivalent to two per cent total protein, the best performing ingredients were reported to be the whole milk and modified whey. Moreover, setting the regular whey concentrate as the cheapest ingredient, equivalent costs for the other proteins was calculated as 85 per cent more expensive for the modified whey concentrate, 160 per cent for the skimmed milk powder, 200 per cent for the whole milk powder, and 440 per cent for caseinate. "Therefore, the most cost-effective ingredient tested here was the modified whey concentrate, which provided the lowest cooking loss, and highest fracturability and hardness values,"​ they said. Whey proteins from cow's milk are used as emulsifiers in a broad range of food products including ice creams, beverages, salad dressing and sports supplements, and are classified as either concentrates (protein content between 25 and 80 per cent) or isolates (more than 90 per cent protein). The global whey protein concentrates and isolates market is estimated at 395,000 MT in 2004 representing a value of just over $1bn. The US remains the biggest producer at 187,000 MT followed by Europe with 159,000. Source: International Journal of Food Science and Technology​ Volume 42, Pages 453-458 "Use of dairy proteins in lean poultry meat batters - a comparative study" ​Authors: S. Barbut, V. Choy

Related topics: Dairy-based ingredients

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