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Color is an important factor in evaluating the quality of meat products. Adding the food color fixatives to meat products, which can optimize their appearance and improve their quality. In traditional meat products, nitrite is usually added as a coloring fixatives, which will seriously threaten human health. Nowadays, food coloring substitutes are the popular development direction of coloring fixatives for meat products.
Monascus coloring is derived from microorganism and is a natural pigment produced fermented from Monascus. Among them, Monascus red is an alcohol-soluble Monascus color obtained by fermenting the raw material. Adding nitrogen-containing substances such as soybean meal enzymatic hydrolyzate can also generate water-soluble monascus red pigment.
Monascus pigment has good coloring properties, endows meat products with unique meat red and flavor, and monascus pigment has a strong antibacterial effect. As a natural coloring, Monascus can not only reduce the amount of nitrite used in meat products by 60% but also increase the amino acid content of the product and give the product a special flavor.
Allura Red is a pigment widely used in the food industry. In many countries such as the United States, Japan, and European countries, they are permitted food additives. Allura Red is allowed to be used in frozen drinks, dried fruit, ham, meat sausages, beverages, jelly, puffed food, and other foods. Among them, the maximum usage in ham is 0.025g/kg, while the maximum usage in meat enema foods is 0.015g/kg.
Sorghum red pigment is extracted from black purple sorghum husk, and its main coloring substance is apigenin. Sorghum red pigment has good coloring properties for protein, and the color tone is close to the natural color of meat, which is realistic. In ham, sausage, and other filled sausage products, adding it in the amount of 0.3~0.5 g/kg can achieve the ideal coloring effect. Compared with other pigments, sorghum red pigment has better light fastness. After repeated tests, the pigment solution has been placed in 1 month under indoor scattered light conditions. The absorbance of Sorghum has no obvious change, and it can extent shelf life and have good color retention performance.
Lycopene is the main pigment in ripe tomatoes, which belongs to a kind of carotenoid. Lycopene is used as a colorant and food additives, which has strong antioxidant properties. In meat products, it can improve the color of meat as a preservative and colorant for meat products.
Caramel coloring is widely used in meat products, such as canned meat and artificial meat made from plant protein. Positive and negatively charged caramel colorings can be used in meat products, and the red index should be considered when selecting them. The application of caramel coloring in food coloring in meat products mainly has the functions of flavor enhancement, anti-oxidation, and dispell peculiar smell.
Cochineal red is a pigment which from ground powder of dried female cochineallas parasitic on cactus plants by water extracted. Cochineal can be used in cooked meat products with a maximum dosage of 0.5g/kg. Carmine and aluminum lake can be used in edible animal casings of meat products, and the maximum usage amount is 0.025g/kg.
NaturAce is an innovative combination of vegetable and spice extracts with high coloring properties suitable in all kinds of raw processed meat applications. It makes products bright with a nice shade, implying products' freshness and high-quality.