Trends in ingredients and additives in the manufacture of meat products
The global meat industry is growing. The consumption of fresh meat worldwide has increased by some 3% a year over the past five years. And, as a result of the increasing development of the highly populated threshold countries and the growing importance of meat in the diet, consumption is set to continue to rise further in the coming years. Since meat products always contain spices and condiments and since technically effective additional substances are also used, the mood among suppliers of ingredients and additives is also buoyant overall.
These manufacturers are important partners in both artisan and industrial meat processing. At the same time, they do not see themselves only as suppliers of products but as suppliers of information and knowledge, too. Alongside a concentration on product safety, it is also important to have a good nose for consumer trends.
‘Clean label’ recipes
The reduction of additives, together with the absence of declarable additives, represents an unmistakable trend in the sector. Spice manufacturers are therefore offering ‘clean label’ recipes for the most diverse product groups. Glutamate is avoided in all these recipes. There are ideas around for reducing salt - particularly in cooked sausages and boiled ham. As well as its use for traditional products such as salami or liver pâté, ‘clean labelling’ is also currently applied to barbecue spices and marinades.
The proportion of convenience products has been increasing for years and the trend towards marinating meat continues unbroken - not only in the barbecue season. In the world of convenience foods, meat is becoming a product prepared in advance and ready to cook; as such it reflects the trend towards ‘convenience cooking’. Marinades, with new - some of them exotic - tastes and integrated technical effects are the thing of the moment. There is also a trend for pre-cooked vegetable mixes with spicy fillings and strong hotpot concentrates.
Food safety and standardisation
The improvement in food safety and product quality is a topic that is preoccupying the entire meat-processing sector. Spice manufacturers have important new approaches to offer for keeping meat and meat products fresh, including, for example, the use of natural extracts.
For fermented foods there are starter cultures and protective cultures that have an important contribution to make to food safety. This applies particularly if the ingredients are not heated, as in the case of cured raw sausage manufacture. The manufacture of standardised meat products, too, continues to be a trend in the sector as before. In this area, there has recently emerged an extensive range of innovative possibilities based on enzymes and hydro-collides. This results in the availability of products of a kind that, in terms of size and quality, can be used both by the end consumer and in canteens and other large-scale catering institutions.
Eating habits have undergone regular changes for generations. ‘Walking food’ and ‘snacking to go’ describe current developments, especially among the younger target groups. The spices and condiments industry offers specialist retailers and snackbar operators appropriate concepts for these trends in food consumption. Characteristic spiced sauces and set products are an aid to standardisation and thus make it easier to produce food in situ.
When it comes to the ‘snacking to go’ segment, there is some appealing takeaway packaging on offer that can be used for takeaway sausage with curried sauce, hotpot, shashlik and similar dishes already popular.
Spices and herbs are not only used to refine the taste of foodstuffs, they are increasingly finding application as a way of enhancing the appearance of food, too. It is common to see meat products rolled in spices. Spiced foils, covered in layers of decorative herbs and spice mixes, make it easier, for instance, to manufacture cooked cured meat products. That way, different spices and herbs are used for decorative effect. Other innovations for sausage packaging, that involve additional useful features, are also being presented. With them, the colour and taste of the product can be positively influenced, too. This results in a direct transfer from the outer layer to the surface of the meat product itself.
Prices of raw materials and supply
Because of the economic development of the threshold countries, major increases in the demand for and price of individual raw materials have been recorded over the past few years. The spice industry has also been hit by the global increase in the price of agricultural raw materials. And the price of natural casings has spiralled dramatically, too. In the meantime, an interesting market has grown up for alternatives to natural casings, such as edible sheep casings, for instance. These alternative products have additional properties with advantages in the processing. In many export countries in the world, meat is a raw material that is not always available in the required quantities. The spices industry is offering solutions for this situation, too, with recipes that use modified starches, plant proteins and hydro-collides.
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