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Corn fiber offers improved meat yields

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 19-Jun-2009

Z Trim Holdings has expanded its range of fiber ingredients to provide a cost-effective, clean label way to boost moisture content in meat products as an alternative to starches and gums.

The company already has a line of Z Trim products on the market, which it claims reduce fat in a variety of products such as baked goods, dressings, and milk shakes, while improving texture and having no detectable effect on taste.

The new corn fiber is being marketed as a way to keep meat juicy, improve cook yields and lower costs, while also reducing sodium content and cutting calories.

Z Trim’s vice president of marketing and communication Phil Versten told “When someone buys Z Trim they buy into stability in pricing…Z Trim can help people cut margins by extending yields on certain products, and it improves shelf life. It can reduce fat in processed meats, especially in sausages. A little bit of Z Trim in a lot of water can go a long way.”

Cost effective

It is said to hold up to 30 times its weight in water, so in addition to flavor and texture, the company claims that in comparison to the use of starch in product formulation, Z Trim blends can be cost effective, with a usage level of about 1 to 1.5 percent compared to the 4 to 5 percent required of modified food starches. Z Trim for muscle meats is intended to be either injected or used in tumbling as part of a marinade solution.

The fiber can also be combined with other starches and gums, in order to improve yields and nutritional value, Versten said.

Boosting fiber content

American interest in high fiber products has shot up in recent years, according to a survey commissioned by the International Food Information Council Foundation last year.

When respondents were asked which specific elements they refer to on the nutrition facts panel of a label, 52 percent said fiber, compared to 42 percent in 2006 – and food and drink manufacturers are seeking new sources of dietary fiber and new ways to incorporate it into products as consumer awareness increases.

Phosphate alternative

Versten added that Z Trim also provides an alternative to phosphates, which have shot up in price over the past 18 months to two years. This is mainly due to increased demand for phosphates as fertilizer because of the hype over biofuels, which has affected the whole phosphate market.

Market research firm Frost and Sullivan has predicted that by 2011 the fiber market will have more than doubled in the US to $470m.

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