Sodium-free meat preservation is now possible

Organic-salt specialist Niacet originally developed its Provian product line for meat preservation, to prevent outgrowth of Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogens. It has now produced a version to preserve meat products with low sodium content.

Niacet’s solution is the Provian product line, launched onto the market in 2010 as a sustainable and cost-efficient powder alternative to conventional liquid preservatives. It is produced in-house via its own advanced, unique, co-spray drying technique. ‘All products within our Provian range are lightweight, highly-concentrated acetate-based powders,’ explains Eelco Heintz, technical and innovation manager (food) at Niacet. ‘Doses as low as 0.5 per cent are effective, due to the extremely high, natural, preservation capacity of acetate.’

Niacet has extended its product line with a potassium powder-based variety: Most sodium-free preservatives on the  market produce a metallic aftertaste, a characteristic of potassium. ‘Provian K doses are so low that desired taste profiles are protected, as demonstrated in extensive sensory studies.’

Provian K has proven to extend the shelf life of processed meat products, such as frankfurters and cooked turkey ham, even if storage temperatures are abused – which is often the case in normal use. A doubling of the shelf life was observed in comparison to cooked meat applications without preservatives. Moreover, Provian K prevented growth of Listeria monocytogenes for 90 days.

Meeting salt-reduction targets

Substituting sodium-based preservatives by Provian K contributes to a significant reduction of the total sodium content of meat products. ‘Together with other measures, such as replacing sodium-containing taste enhancers and other sodium-based ingredients, Provian K is a valuable, low-cost addition for manufacturers striving to meet salt-reduction targets,’ Heintz stresses.

‘The demand for acetate is growing, a development that is presumably caused by the increasing awareness of its all-round functionality. Together with the trend for natural and/or clean-label preservation this has resulted in a demand for preserving vinegars,’ Heintz explains. This has prompted Niacet to develop a new, label-friendly variant of Provian K, an innovation that recently entered the marketing stage.

The product functions like Provian K, but contains naturally-fermented, instead of synthetic, acetate, and needs no E-number. It is still in its validation stage but is, understandably, attracting much interest. Heintz expects meat manufacturers to considerably reduce salt content. ‘They will need to combine strategies and techniques,’ he says, ‘but preservation will no longer be a limiting factor.’

CJP Chemicals proudly represents Niacet in South Africa.