Red beet and Swiss chard juice extract as natural nitrate sources for the production of alternatively-cured emulsion-type sausages
Statements that naturally cured meat products may contain lower residual nitrite levels compared to classical variants led to a closer examination of emulsion-type sausage products in this study, where the input of nitrate from plant extracts (red beet and Swiss chard) was adjusted to typical input levels of nitrite from nitrite curing salt (0.5% NaNO2). The investigations showed that an incubation period of 150 min at 38 °C was necessary to complete the microbial reduction process of nitrate to nitrite and that residual nitrite contents of naturally cured sausages were comparable to the conventionally cured variant, regardless of the nitrate source. During the incubation period, the starter cultures were the dominant microorganisms and showed competitive properties against the natural accompanying flora. In terms of colour development, the variants with Swiss chard juice extract as well as synthetic nitrate showed similar colour formation to conventionally produced emulsion-type sausages. In contrast, colour-providing components of the red beet extract considerably masked the typical appearance.
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