Sodium phosphate substitute launched as prices soar

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Advanced Food Systems (AFS) has developed its Actobind range to include a clean-label ingredient system for either completely or partially replacing sodium phosphate in meat products.

The new group of Actobind ingredients has been designed to increase yield and improve texture as well as reduce cost in a range of end products, from raw marinated meat, seafood or poultry, to fully-cooked and retorted products.

A blend of starches and proteins, the system was developed in response to rocketing phosphate prices, which the company says have doubled in the past year.

AFS senior food scientist Mark Purpura told “The main functionality is water binding and texture. The new group is mostly for use of lower or even no phosphates at all while producing very high yield.”

Natural bonus

He said that although reducing reliance on sodium phosphate and its unstable price was the primary reason for extending the range, it also has additional benefits.

“For years, the price of phosphate was fairly set​,” Purpura said, “But when it went up we were looking to ease that by cutting it out or reducing it with these products. The fact that it can be natural and allergen-free is a bonus…This uses native or modified starches so it makes it possible to chase the all-natural market.”

He also claims that in applications that normally use higher levels of sodium phosphate, replacing it can give a cleaner flavor.

Customized formulation

Actobind is typically unseasoned although the company tailors it to the requirements of each end user.

“We have a lot of starting points with dozens of Actobind products,”​ he said. “We specialize in customizing products for any specialty, so it could be introduced within a couple of days.”

A version of the ingredient system is also available for marinades, in which it helps to avoid a granular texture.

In April, the company announced the first of its Actobind products, for use as a replacement for some of the semolina in pasta, to increase its yield while reducing the impact of high wheat prices at that time.

The company has previously introduced an ingredient system to replace some dairy ingredients for use in soups, sauces and baked goods to reduce fat and cut costs.

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