Selecting the Proper Phosphate for Improving Processed Meat Yields and Quality
Selecting the proper phosphate for your cooked meat or poultry product is key because meat phosphates are not all the same. Meat technologists and production management understand that getting your phosphate completely soluble in your brine tank before the addition of salt and any other ingredient is fundamental. And that the phosphate level in the finished cooked meat cannot exceed 0.5% by USDA/FSIS regulations. Other requirements include checking that you don’t have hard water and making sure residual salt and phosphate are not be left in the tank before making up the next brine.
So what do phosphates do in meat applications? The primary thing phosphates do is allow meat muscle tissue to return to their near pre-rigor natural state. During rigor mortis, the freshly processed muscle tissue constricts and squeezes out water due to the absence of ATP(Adenosine Triphosphate) . This state of rigor results in the meat being tougher and drier when cooked. Phosphate functions by replacing ATP thereby relaxing the muscle allowing it to open up and moisture to be replenished. Added to this function, the selected phosphate will help adjust the meat pH away from it’s denaturing (isoelectric point) and capture(chelate) the minerals in the water and in the muscles;allowing the meat to remain relaxed. Relaxed and open muscles allow for moister and better eating quality meats. That is why the addition of food phosphates is needed in most processed meat applications.
And how do phosphates differ? A recent blind study at a 15% extension level showed that Wenda “Best-Value” phosphate blends like WendaPhos 900 dissolves (37.5%)faster, and provide better cooked yields in both marinaded and tumbled(+3.5% ) or injected poultry(+1.5% better) than other competitive phosphate blends and much better than standard STPP ! These results were expected as WendaPhos blends are higher in purity than most of the competitors and are specifically designed and processed to not only replace ATP but to dissolve well in the presence of salt or in hard water while having application dependent pH levels for the best results.
For more information about the WendaPhos blends for your particular product needs contact us.