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Non-Meat Ingredients. 13. Binders and extenders compounds that will increase binding properties (water and/or fat) or reduce overall cost in general, are limited to 3.5% but there are many exceptions

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Non meat ingredients l.jpg
Non-Meat Ingredients

13. Binders and extenders

  • compounds that will increase binding properties (water and/or fat) or reduce overall cost

  • in general, are limited to 3.5% but there are many exceptions

    • more is permitted in “non-specific” products such as loaf products “pickle and pimento”, “olive” or other “non-specific” named products

    • may also use greater levels if the product is not named in traditional fashion i.e. Veggie Dogs, or is labeled “artificial”

    • large number of very different compounds

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1. improve emulsion/batter stability

2. increase yields

3. improve slicing properties

4. may function as flavor components

  • hydrolized proteins

    5. allow for reduced fat products

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Generally classified as:

  • protein products

  • carbohydrates

  • hydrocolloids and gums

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Some specific binders and extenders

  • cereals / grain products

    • usually flours (wheat, corn, oat, rye)

    • about 50% carbohydrates and significant protein

    • oat fiber has gotten a lot of attention because of its’ positive health image --- also a good water binder

    • limited to 3.5% except mustard flour (1%) (significant protein content, new concerns as an allergen)

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  • corn, tapioca, potato

    • excellent water binders

    • usually soften texture also

    • especially useful in low-fat products

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dried milk products

  • generally very good for flavor

  • non-fat dry milk

    • traditional milk product for sausage use

    • must be calcium-reduced form

  • dried whey and hydrolized whey protein is becoming common

    • relatively inexpensive with good binding and flavor properties

  • caseinate

    • milk protein

    • very effective binder but relatively expensive

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  • from collagen

  • utilized as a cold-set gel used in jellied products and canned products

  • now see gelatin in some low fat products where it is not normally permitted

    • labeled as “ingredient not found in regular….”

    • not permitted in regular sausage or loaves

  • gelatin quality

    • “bloom” value

      • up to 200

      • higher values give greater clarity and viscosity

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  • previously considered a problem in all cases

  • more recently, finely chopped or powdered collagen has been found to be a good binder and collagen may see more use

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soy protein

  • tremendous amount of development and improvement in soy proteins

  • available as:

    • flour - 50 - 70% protein

    • concentrate - 70 - 90% protein

    • isolate - 90 + % protein

      • most are around 98-99%

      • limited to 2.0% in meat products (rather than 3.5%)

      • isolate has the least “beany” flavor

      • most common soy product in meat

    • all soy proteins need to be rehydrated with water before adding them to a meat system because soy does not rehydrate well with salt

    • soy can be texturized to give fiber-like texture and increase textural properties when added to products

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  • extracted from seaweed

  • excellent water binder

  • forms thermally reversible gels

    • heat to 65 - 70oC (150oF) to “melt”, gels when cooled

  • mixing/dispersion is critical

    • does not dissolve

    • does not absorb water well with 3% or more salt

  • 3 forms of carrageenan

    • kappa

      • hard and brittle gels

    • lambda

      • affects viscosity but does not form a firm gel

    • iota

      • elastic, springy gel

      • most applicable to meat product uses

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xanthan gum

  • most effective for increasing viscosity (thickness) of gravies, stews, etc.

  • good for maintaining freeze/thaw stability in meat products - or in pickled products where proteins can soften from acid

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enzyme/protein binders

  • transglutaminase (TG)

    • Ajinomoto

  • enzyme which crosslinks proteins i.e. “glues pieces together”

  • links covalent bonds between glutamine and lysine amino acids --- strong enough that the bonds are unaffected by heat or physical force (aids in slicing)

  • used for binding muscle pieces together such as hams, tenderloins, etc.

  • active over pH range of 4 - 9 (best at 6 -7)

  • inactivated by 70 - 75oC (160 - 170oF)

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enzyme/protein binders TG (continued)

  • widely distributed in nature

    • plants, animals, humans

  • calcium dependent

  • reacts well with casein, soy, myosin, collagen

    • often include caseinate in meat restructuring to help bind surfaces

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  • trade name for a binding system using blood clotting factors (fibrinogen (I), prothrombin (II), etc.)

  • works in similar fashion as TG but somewhat less convenient because two ingredients are used

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Non meat proteins

  • Reduce cost/fat content

  • Up to 2% soy isolate can go into ingredients list without other label changes

  • Structural, textured forms and unstructured (gel-like) forms available

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Causes of Food Allergies

Allergens are proteins

Only a few proteins are allergens

Allergy = abnormal immune system response to specific protein

Antibodies (IgE) cause release of histamine and other compounds which induce allergy response system

Categories of allergies



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Cause severe, potentially life-threatening reactions in some individuals

Labels are informative but:

Cross-contamination of equipment, rework and other processing problems can result in inadvertent inclusion of an allergen

Awareness and careful control with Good Manufacturing Practices is the processor’s responsibility

Collective listing or spices, flavors, colors are not comprehensive

Processing aids may not be included

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The “Big Eight” Causes of Food Allergies

Milk products





Tree nuts

Cereal glutens


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Less Common Allergens

Potentially used in meat products



Anise, fennel, coriander, cumin

Yellow mustard

Mustard flour

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Practices for Allergen Control

Review all formulations and labels

Use common language

“milk protein” rather than “caseinate”

Clarify spices, flavorings, colorings

Include “processing aids” if used

Apply Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s)for allergen control / HACCP-like approach

Equipment use and cleanup


Supplier information and control

Employee training and awareness