Substitutions in Beef Fat

March 31/Guelph, Canada/Food Weekly News -- According to recent research from Guelph, Canada, "The effects of beef fat (25%) substitution with rendered beef fat, canola oil, palm oil or hydrogenated palm oil at varying meat protein levels (8%, 11%, and 14%) were studied in emulsified beef meat batters. There was no significant difference in fat loss among meat batters made with beef fat, rendered beef fat, or palm oil."

"Hydrogenated palm oil provided the most stable batters at all protein levels. Increasing meat protein to 14% resulted in high fat loss in batters prepared with canola oil, which did not occur in the other formulations. This indicates that the physicochemical characteristics of fat/oil affect emulsion stability. Cooked batter hardness was higher (P < 0.05) when protein level was raised; highest in hydrogenated palm oil batters when compared at similar protein levels. As protein level was raised, springiness values were increased in all the meat treatments. Springiness was higher in the canola oil treatments. Light microscopy revealed fat globule coalescence in canola oil meat batters prepared with 14% protein, as well as the development of fat channels and more protein aggregation; both seem to result in lower emulsion stability," wrote M.K. Youssef and colleagues, University of Guelph.

The researchers concluded, "Hydrogenated palm oil batters showed fat particles with sharp edges as opposed to the round ones seen in all other treatments."

Youssef and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Food Science ("Physicochemical Effects of the Lipid Phase and Protein Level on Meat Emulsion Stability, Texture, and Microstructure." Journal of Food Science, 2010;75(2):S108-S114).

For additional information, contact S. Barbut, University of Guelph, Dept. of Food Sci, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

From the April 12, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition