Working with Mother Nature

The concept of building better food involves the use of trusted ingredient technologies provided by Mother Nature. For meat and poultry processors, these ingredients are made from plants and are free of chemical nitrates and nitrites, as well as artificial ingredients and preservatives.

One such product is vinegar, a natural ferment that has been used to preserve foods for thousands of years. The active ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid, which is produced by a double fermentation whereby simple sugars (obtained from many varied carbohydrate-rich plants) are converted to ethanol using yeast. That ethanol then gets oxidized through an aerobic fermentation by acetobacter bacteria.

Corbion’s Verdad® vinegars provide a natural form of acetic acid in high concentration to deliver antimicrobial efficacy. They are buffered to avoid compromising the meat’s flavor, texture and water-holding capacity. These ingredients keep food safe and fresh by suppressing the growth of pathogens and a wide range of spoilage bacteria. And, because vinegars are generally recognized as kitchen cupboard ingredients, they are readily accepted by consumers.

Rosemary extract is one of the most common plant extracts used in meat and poultry. The active ingredient in rosemary is carnosic acid, a phytochemical that slows the oxidation process and delays rancidity. This is Mother Nature’s way of preserving a product’s freshness, color and taste and thereby extending shelf life. It also works with meat and poultry blends or protein alternatives made with vegetables, fruits, legumes and other plant varieties. Corbion’s Origin™ Powder RO2 delivers efficacy with lower off-flavor impact, allowing manufacturers to extend freshness with reduced sensory limitations.

Celery is another gift from Mother Nature. It is a natural source of nitrites and can be used to provide the distinctive color, flavor and texture consumer expect in cured meats, everything from bacon to ham to sausages.

Because the concentration of sodium nitrite in celery varies, it is important that ingredient suppliers routinely test the celery they process to determine nitrite levels, then standardize it to ensure a consistent dose of the active component in the end product. Corbion standardizes its Verdad® Avanta CS30 celery powder solution with sea salt, as needed, in order to consistently deliver 30,000 to 35,000 ppm of sodium nitrite to the product.

Corbion’s Origin™ Powder AC34 is a potent, effective acerola cherry extract often used in conjunction with celery ingredients because of its ability to accelerate celery’s natural curing properties. It also functions as a natural antioxidant, maintaining a meat’s fresh color and minimizing microbial spoilage.

With as much as one-third of food going to waste, from spoilage to leftovers to breaks in the supply chain, it is paramount that meat and poultry processors do their part to keep high-quality protein affordable, accessible and not going to waste. Preserving food safety, shelf life, texture and nutritional benefits with food ingredient solutions assists in these efforts. And, with the health of the planet now a top concern of consumers, according to research from Innova Market Insights, working with Mother Nature in a smart partnership. She provides an abundance of resources to the food industry to help feed the world and this appeals to today’s — and tomorrow’s — consumers.