Nitrite salts are traditionally used to cure meat product, but consumers are increasingly demanding ‘clean label’ products that do not contain E-number ingredients. Food manufacturers and retailers are keen to tap this trend, and are seeking solutions from ingredient suppliers than can allow them to cut out artificial additives without compromising quality or safety.
Chr Hansen has previously offered a culture that could be used instead of nitrites, called Bactoferm CS-299. The new version, Bactoferm CS-300, is a blend of two bacterial strains.
John Jensen, marketing director at Chr Hansen, told FoodNavigator.com that the new culture has an additional bacterial strain which makes it work faster, thereby bringing processing advantages.
He said the two bacterial strains together “provide a mild, round taste and the typical colour of cooked cured meta products”.
“The culture simply has a high nitrate reductase activity and provides the desired colour much faster than the market standard.”
The use of cultures provides processors with an alternative to using chemical nitrite for curing. When used with a natural nitrate source, such as vegetable, the enzyme complex reduces the nitrate into nitrite, which provides the appealing reddish colour.
Jensen added that the culture can be used in combination with Chr Hansen’s Natural Taste System, which is a vegetable flavour blend. The aim is to enable products that are all-natural, safe, and remain fresh throughout a long shelf-life.
Jensen explained that Chr Hansen has a large bank of bacterial strains, and two years ago it embarked on a project to scan all of them for their flavour development potential and other features.
He said that the new culture used in Bactoferm CS-300 is one of the benefits the company is now reaping from this exercise.
In addition to cured meat cultures, Chr Hansen’s portfolio for meat includes ranges of American style cultures, bioprotective cultures, fast fermenting cultures, mould cultures, single strain cultures, and traditional cultures.
Its scientists and technicians involved in R&D work with application technologists to develop new strains for very specific meat applications.