Adding 12 grams of apple pulp per 100 grams of meat produced chicken nuggets that were ranked as “very good” by tasters, according to findings published in LWT – Food Science and Technology.
Researcher from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute report that the texture of the low fat, reduced-salt product were affected when salt was replaced by apple pulp, but the appearance, saltiness and juiciness scores were similar to the control products.
“Low salt, low fat and high fiber functional chicken nuggets can be developed with very good sensory rating by replacing 40 per cent common salt and incorporation of apple pulp,” they wrote.
Food industry mandate
Salt is of course a vital nutrient and is necessary for the body to function, but campaigners for salt reduction, like the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) consider the average daily salt consumption in the western world, between 10 and 12g, far too high.
Numerous scientists are convinced that high salt intake is responsible for increasing blood pressure (hypertension), a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) - a condition that causes almost 50 percent of deaths in Europe.
Salt reduction is a major mandate for the food sector. In the UK, the Food Safety Authority has set a voluntary target of salt in all kinds of sausages of 1.5g per 100g. It recognizes that product binding and succulence can be an issue, as well as end product extrusion. “However, product data shows that levels at or below 600mg sodium per 100g are achievable,” it says.
Many scientists are exploring ways of replacing salt. British researchers have considered seaweed extracts, while Japanese researchers have suggested soy sauce may replace salt in certain formulations.
Using the salt substitute blend containing potassium chloride, citric acid, tartaric acid and sucrose in association with the apple pulp, the Indian researchers produced chicken nuggets with 40 percent less salt.
“Salt replacement and apple pulp addition resulted in significantly lower emulsion stability and cooking yield,” said the researchers. “Among low salt and low fat nuggets, the product with 12 g/100 g apple pulp had the highest moisture percent.”
Despite lower scores for texture and overall acceptability, the researchers noted that scores for flavor, saltiness, juiciness, texture all fell in the “very good” range of the scale.
Source: LWT – Food Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2009.12.006
“Effect of sodium chloride replacement and apple pulp inclusion on the physico-chemical, textural and sensory properties of low fat chicken nuggets”
Authors: A.K. Verma, B.D. Sharma, R. Banerjee