Meat extenders

Meat is considered the highest quality protein source not only due to its nutritional characteristics but also for its appreciated taste.

The use of extenders in the elaboration of food products is on the rise because the latter presents the advantage of minimizing product cost and improving or at least maintaining nutritional and sensory qualities of the final products.

A meat extender is a mixture that substitutes a percentage of raw material present in the formula of a meat product for various reasons; one of which is cost reduction, facilitating the acquisition of quality food for populations with few resources.

Meat extenders are made from defatted soy flour and soy protein concentrate, extruded at low moisture contents (20–35%), whereas meat analogues are obtained by extrusion at high moisture contents (50–70%) of soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, legume proteins including common beans and peas, or wheat proteins.

Meat extenders have been extruded from some cottonseed protein products. In addition to the above-mentioned raw materials sources, sunflower, peanut, sesame, pea, and bean proteins have also been used in the extrusion process for texturization.

Protein levels, protein quality, oil levels, fiber levels, sugar levels, sugar types, and particle size are most important features for the selected raw materials.

Functional properties of extenders are those physical and chemical properties which affect the behavior of the ingredients in meat emulsions during processing, storage, preparation and consumption.

Extrusion processing destroys the enzymes present in soybeans, including a urease that reduces the shelf-life, a lipoxidase that causes off-flavors by oxidation of soya oil and also a trypsin inhibitor that reduces protein digestibility. This improves the acceptability, digestibility and shelf-life of the product.

Meat extenders are available in flaked form (more than 2 mm), in minced form (less than 2 mm), and in chunk form (15 to 20 mm), and they can absorb 2.5 to 5 times their original weight in water.
Meat extenders

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