Meat, Plant-based Meat, Solid Oils and Fats
Alginate binds and molds meat and other food materials through the gelation reaction. Unlike enzymatic reactions, represented by transglutaminase (TG), it is possible to bind a wide range of materials to each other, such as meat, fish and vegetables, without depending on substrate specificity.
Applications and effects
※Alginic acid and all products derived from it are collectively called Alginate. Please note the correct product name for each application.
Binding and molding of meat
Any materials can be bound with no disintegration after heating.
※KIMICA ALGIN M429S is a gelling agent that combines alginate and a calcium salt in an optimal formula for meat binding. When sprinkled as a powder, it has good adhesive effect, as well as dissolved in an emulsion and then mixed.
Alginate forms a heat resistance gel when it reacts with calcium. By applying this reaction, you can bind meat pieces using an alginate gel and mold it.
Transglutaminase (TG)-type enzymatic reactions are most commonly used to bind meat, but enzymatic reactions have substrate specificity issues, which limits the materials available. Alginate is used to bind materials by filling the material gaps, irrespective of the type of material. It is a characteristic of alginate-induced adhesion that it can bind other materials, including fish and vegetables.
The gelation of alginate does not require heating or cooling. Ingredients can be glued and molded in their raw state. In addition, since the alginate gel does not dissolve by heat, the adhesive state is maintained even when the molded meat is cooked, preventing separation of the meat pieces. It does not contain milk-derived ingredients such as casein, so there are no allergen issues.
- 【Alginate to be used】
- Sodium alginate
Alginate can be used to make non-meat burger patties.
※KIMICA ALGIN M429S is a gelling agent suitable for processing burger patties and other products using plant based meats.
Recently, processed foods, such as soybean meat, veggie meat and plant-based meat have gained increasing attention as alternatives to livestock meat. Raw materials such as soy and other plant proteins can be processed into alternative meats. Plant-based meats were initially considered to be a vegetarian food but recently, they have attracted attention as a technology to reduce the environmental impact and achieve sustainability.
Plant-based meat, unlike meat, does not become sticky when it is mixed. Therefore, a "binder" with high adhesion is required to produce processed foods such as burger patties. Moreover, it is required to be a plant material. Alginate, a seaweed-derived material, is a valuable binder for plant-based meats.
Alginate can bind soybean meat and shape the burger patty using the same principle as described in “Binding and molding of meat”. Since gelation of alginate does not require heating and cooling, the process of molding is simple. Molded gelled products are not sticky and easy to handle and can be stored frozen in the raw state. As the alginate gel is heat resistant, cooking of the molded burger putty does not disrupt its shape. Food texture after cooking can be adjusted by changing the viscosity, M/G ratio or alginate dosage.
Solid oils and fats (Substitute for pork fat)
Healthy solid vegetable oils and fats can replace pork fat.
Replacement of animal fat (pork fat) that are kneaded into weiner or bologna sausages with vegetable solid fats can reduce the intake of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. Solid vegetable oils and fats, such as margarine and shortening, can be used but not as a substitute because they have distinctly different properties to pork fat. Therefore, alginate is used to process solid fats and oils that closely resemble pork fats.
Solid fats and oils using alginate are emulsion gels made by adding calcium to an emulsified solution of alginate and vegetable oil. When this is used as a substitute for pork fat, the following advantages can be obtained.
- Intake of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids can be reduced to prevent lifestyle-related diseases.
- No issues with trans fatty acids because alginate is not chemically modified (hydrogenated)
- High water content (50%), so calories are reduced
- The shape of the gel can be easily controlled and handled
- Alginate gels are heat resistant so there are no issues with melting or collapse when heated
- When heated, the emulsion gel breaks down, the oil and/or fat become liquid, which can reproduce dissolution of fat.