Pea ingredients could offer low-fat, tasty meat products

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flour Nutrition

Substituting fat with various pea ingredients could lead to sausages with improved texture and acceptability of Bologna-type sausages, says new research from Canada.

Formulation of tests sausages with pea starch and fibre led to ‘favourable’ effects on hydration levels and heat stability, report researchers from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

Furthermore, “products with pea fibre or pea starch showed substantial potential for purchase, with 73 to 81 per cent of consumer panellists indicating willingness to buy these products”​, wrote the researchers in Food Research International​.

With obesity levels rising across the globe, consumers are increasingly seeking out low-fat and low-calorie versions of their favourite foods. As a result reduction of fat in products is a growing area of interest to food manufacturers.

“The results of this study indicate that successful formulations of reduced-fat meat products containing pea ingredients can be produced,” ​wrote the researchers, led by Zeb Pietrasik. “Further improvement in texture and processing characteristics may be realized by combining selected pulse ingredients,”​ they added.

Six different formulations of bologna-type sausages were produced: A high-fat variety with 22 per cent fat similar to conventional formulations, a low fat sausage with 10 per cent fat, or the low-fat version with added pea flour, pea starch, pea fibre, of wheat flour at a level of 4 per cent. All pea ingredients were supplied by Nutri-Pea Limited, Canada.

Compared to the conventional formulation, the low-fat sausage was softer, chewier, and was more elastic. However, on addition of the pea ingredients, except for the pea flour, improved the textural properties of the sausages, “restoring the values of these low fat samples to levels equivalent to regular fat bologna”​, said the researchers.

The colour of the resultant sausages was only minimally affected by the addition of the pea ingredients.

Furthermore, when tested by a panel of 74 consumers, the acceptability of the low-fat sausages formulated with pea starch and fibre was equivalent to high-fat sausage.

When asked if they ‘might or might not purchase’ these samples, 81 per cent agreed for the pea fibre formulation, compared to 77 per cent for the conventional high-fat formulation. Sausages made with pea starch and wheat flour scored 73 and 71 per cent, respectively, on this scale, leading the researchers to note that all four formulations “showed substantial purchase potential”​.

“In general, pea starch and fibre performed as well as wheat flour in low fat bologna, with little change in functionality and without compromising consumer acceptability,”​ wrote Pietrasik and his team.

“Thus, there may be some potential for substituting these pea fractions for wheat flour with little change in functionality and without compromising consumer acceptability,”​ they concluded.

Source: Food Research International
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2009.07.017
“Utilization of pea flour, starch-rich and fiber-rich fractions in low fat bologna”
Authors: Z. Pietrasik, J.A.M. Janz

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