Meat preservation or meat processing is an essential part of the food industry. Without preservation, processed meat quickly loses its freshness and taste. Potassium derivatives from Vynova are a key ingredient in meat preservation agents that help control spoilage by slowing down enzymatic activity, inhibiting rancidity by preventing the oxidation of fatty acids and the growth of microorganisms.
Types of meat preservation
There are a wide range of meat preservation methods, such as drying, chemical treatment, thermal processing, chilling, curing, irradiation and fermentation. In this blog post we will focus on the different chemical treatments. Food such as meat can be preserved by adding chemical substances. The most used substances are nitrates, nitrites, acetates, phosphates, sorbates and lactates, which are created by adding an alkali such as sodium or potassium to an acid, providing a salt that can be used in the meat preservation process.
In the past, sodium was very popular for meat preservation but recent studies have shown that potassium is a healthier alternative. Studies have been inclined to say that sodium is easier to use because it acts more rapidly and it is easier to determine the quantity that should be used because it is more predictable. But it has some major disadvantages as studies have linked the usage of sodium to cardiovascular diseases and increased blood pressure.
Vynova potassium derivatives: a key ingredient
Potassium derivatives from Vynova, such as potassium hydroxide (KOH) or potassium carbonate (K2CO3), are essential for the formulation of a wide range of meat preservation agents.
Potassium nitrate (KNO3) is a common ingredient in salted meats such as salami, dry-cured ham and charcuterie. There are a few different ways to make potassium nitrate. One way is to add potassium hydroxide (KOH) to ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), resulting in water (H2O), ammonia (NH3) and potassium nitrate (KNO3).
Potassium acetate (CH3COOK) can be made by adding acetic acid (CH3COOH) to potassium hydroxide (KOH) or potassium carbonate (K2CO3). Potassium acetate is a product that is frequently used by the food industry, as an acidity regulator and a preservative.
Potassium phosphate (KH2PO4) can be produced by neutralizing phosphoric acid (H3PO4) with potassium hydroxide (KOH). Phosphates are often used in the meat, poultry and fish industry.
Potassium sorbate (C6H7KO2) is manufactured by neutralizing sorbic acid (C6H8O2) with potassium hydroxide (KOH). It is a widely employed preservative and is used for cheese, wine, yogurt and also dried meats. To strengthen the preservative, citric acid is added. When you use both, the effectiveness of the sorbate against the growth of bacteria improves.
Potassium lactate (C3H5KO3) is manufactured by mixing lactic acid (C3H6O3) with potassium hydroxide (KOH). Potassium lactate is used in meat and poultry preservation and is the potassium salt of lactic acid. It gives a mild salty taste and is readily biodegradable.
Better taste, look and shelf life
In addition to its preservative qualities, adding salts also improves the taste, texture and colour of different types of meat products. The salt will make the meat turn a red or pink colour that will last a long time, the taste will become more salty and most importantly: it will alter the meat’s texture in a subtle way. In a nutshell: the meat will taste better, look more appealing and keep fresh for longer.
Vynova is a leading European supplier of potassium derivatives with manufacturing sites in Belgium and France. Our potassium derivatives are used in numerous applications that improve our quality of life – such as meat preservation agents. Find out more about potassium derivatives from Vynova or contact one of our sales representatives here.