Clean-label antioxidant stabilizes par-fried meats

by Donna Berry
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The oil that meat and poultry absorbs during par-frying may be better protected from oxidation and off-flavor development when the oil contains an oil-soluble green tea extract and rosemary extract ingredient. 
Par-frying is a commercial process often used on value-added refrigerated and frozen meat and poultry products designed for further cooking. These proteins are placed in high-temperature oil for less than a full lethality cooking process in order to set batter or breading, set exterior proteins to hold a shape, or to impart a color or flavor on the surface of the product.

Historically processors have used oils stabilized with the antioxidant tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) to prevent the oils from oxidizing during transit and the frying process. This was to also ensure that the oil absorbed by the food is not rancid or does not go rancid during shelf life.

 Research by Kemin Industries, Des Moines, Iowa, showed that the majority of TBHQ flashes off during frying, suggesting that little of it may transfer to the par-fried food for a direct benefit to finished product shelf life. Kemin’s scientists discovered that oil-soluble green tea extract is an effective alternative to TBHQ, while also being a more label-friendly ingredient.

 “This study showcases a consumer-friendly alternative to traditionally used synthetic antioxidants such as TBHQ,” says Amanda King, technical manager-proteins. “It is very positive that the removal of TBHQ from frying oil does not mean you have to risk the flavor or shelf life of par-fried meat and poultry items.”

 The study results indicate that oil-soluble green tea extract provides equal performance to traditionally used TBHQ, while sensory evaluation of the oil-soluble green tea extract showed no negative sensory impact to flavor, color or quality attributes of the meat. While consumers continue to demand the removal of synthetic ingredients such as TBHQ, its removal without replacing it with an alternate ingredient can lead to development of oxidative rancidity during shelf life, which in turn can lead to customer complaints and ultimately, decreased repeat purchases affecting the bottom line.

 “Kemin offers a new solution with a consumer-friendly alternative that helps protect brands and meet consumer expectations, as well as their eating experience,” King says.

 Additional study highlights included that the oil-soluble green tea extract ingredient, which also contains rosemary extract for additional antioxidant benefits, is heat stable, meaning that the hot oil will retain more of the active molecules than TBHQ. Further, the oil that the meat and poultry absorbs during frying may be more protected from oxidation and development of off-flavors during the par-fried item’s shelf life due to protection from the oil-soluble green tea extract and rosemary extract.

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