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Trends & Insights

5 ways to improve the attractiveness of a reformed ham

Whatever your motivation, here are 5 ways for you to improve the attractiveness of a reformed ham.
5Ways Ham 800X600
5Ways Ham 800X600

Appealing product appearance

When standing at the meat counter, consumers make their choice based on what they can see. Food appearance determined mostly by surface color is the first sensation that the consumer perceives and uses as a tool to either accept or reject food.

The physical factors of restructured meat products consist of the geometrical characteristics (size and shape) and the optical characteristics (color/pigmentation, surface gloss and dullness). Other visual attributes are the state of the packaging and the possible presence of fat and/or purge (syneresis).

Consumers judge the fluid retaining characteristics in the hope that these will indicate the freshness and potential eating quality. No doubt, quality perception increases with attractive appearance and decreases with amounts of visible purge.

5 ways of improving reformed ham

5 Ways Ham Infographics 1200X600

1. Syneresis control

Functional protein solutions can effectively reduce syneresis in sliced and vacuum/MA packed products, thus making the final product look more appetizing and reducing the risk of microbial spoilage. If you are looking to reduce purge in your ham or deli product, ScanPro™ HI Premium – a high functional pork protein – is the ideal ingredient choice.

2. Thin and even slices

ScanPro™ HI Premium is a high functional pork protein with exceptional gelling and water binding properties that increases the elasticity and improves cohesion between the ham muscles. It delivers the ideal consistency for creating thin and even slices. And what is more appealing than thinly sliced ham?

3. Appealing color – naturally

The quality and the perception of freshness of a product is often judged alone by the color. As the color has such a significant influence on the purchasing decision, stabilizing the color of your reformed ham can make a big difference in terms of attractiveness. AProRed™ – our natural micro-granulated meat pigment derived from pork blood – is ideal for color stabilization in reformed hams. It even has a positive effect in hams made from PSE meat – also after cooking. The big advantage of AProRed™ is that it only colors muscle tissue and not fat. Therefore, AProRed™ is the perfect pigment solution for meat applications consisting of mixed tissues.

Eating experience

Consumers use their senses to assess quality attributes of food, and texture plays a major role in this. Texture is a critical factor in an individual’s eating experience. The role texture plays within food acceptability is complicated and encompasses a variety of parameters. Texture can be defined as the sensory and functional manifestation of the structural, mechanical and surface properties of foods detected through the senses of vision, hearing, touch and kinesthetics.

Consumers have grown accustomed to certain food products having specific textures and deviating from these expected textures negatively impacts product quality in the consumers’ mind.

4. The desired bite - extra juicy

Protein ingredients play a vital role as functional components in meat products because of their gel forming ability and water binding capacity.

The gelling properties of ScanPro™ HI Premium help bind the meat pieces together, bind the water content, and at the same time improve the texture. ScanPro™ HI Premium is a gently processed, long molecular chain length, native collagen product, which, when gelled, will provide a meaty texture on its own. When integrated into the final product, it will react with and support the original meat texture. Dosed and distributed properly in the meat, it will improve juiciness, texture and elasticity. All together it improves the eating experience as it helps bring out the desired bite in restructured meat products.

5. Increased yield

ScanPro™ HI Premium is basically collagen, and collagen retains water chemically through a protein matrix. Due to the physical form of the protein matrix, it swells on contact with water and blocks the exit of moisture (and fat) from the system contributing to the reduction in cooking loss.

ScanPro™ HI Premium can reduce cooking loss by as much as 10 % or more, depending on the meat quality, extension level and processing parameters.

Due to the clear textural synergy and the complementary effect of colloidal collagen on globular proteins or hydrocolloids, compositor blending with ScanPro™ HI Premium can be very advantageous for cost in use optimization.

This results in better quality products and a cost-in-use solution for your reformed meat products.

A nice firm texture combined with a better cohesion between the ham muscles will offer a better sliceability and result in less slicing loss.

The whole range of high functional proteins has an extremely high water and fat binding capacity, which makes ScanPro™ HI Premium an excellent choice for fresh meat preparations and cured, cooked products with high extension levels.

Furthermore, ScanPro™ HI Premium pork proteins can be used with great benefit in the solitary preparation of granules, fat/oil and skin emulsions, encapsulated spice particles and viscous flavor infusions.

ScanPro™ HI Premium binds more than 20 times its own weight in water or fat/oil and has excellent emulsification capacity. It reacts spontaneously with water at temperatures above 25°C, demonstrating thermo reversible, viscous elastic behavior.

Adding meat cuts and brine made from our functional proteins directly into a tumbler, allows you to produce a reformed ham with e.g. 150 % extension. No injection needed – it’s easy and helps you stay competitive.