One of the most widely consumed meat products in the world is sausages, which have been transformed according to the culinary traditions of the place where they are made. The quality of these products is defined to a great extent by their color, since this attribute is one of the most important among the sensations experienced by the consumer. The color is determined by the properties of the ingredients applied in their processing. In order to avoid negative changes and satisfy customer requirements, the meat industry uses a series of food additives which in this case have the effect of enhancing the color of the raw materials used.
General information on additives
Additives are currently an important tool in food production. Their use contributes to the quality, safety, attractiveness, convenience and price of products, and they are periodically regulated and evaluated by different competent bodies worldwide.
Evaluation, Regulation and Safety of Use
At world level there are several bodies that carry out this task, among them the following stand out.
The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) jointly administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Additives in Sausage Processing
The use of food additives in sausage production is intended to improve the manufacturing processes of the product. At present, sausage manufacturing involves the addition of various additives that exert an effect on the color of the sausage.
Among them we have:
Carminic Acid: It is considered an ortho-phenoxy-carboxylic acid, which presents a red coloration that can vary up to purple when the pH increases. It is an additive identified with the number INS 120 that is extracted from Cochineal, it is used as a colorant in cooked sausages to compensate for the lack of myoglobin, stable to light, heat and pH variations.
The addition of additives in the production of sausages improves preservation and modifies the sensory characteristics of the sausage, which are defined by color, since this is a quality that influences consumer acceptance.
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