Givaudan’s natural nitrite alternative a game changer for the  meat industry

SWITZERLAND – Swiss multinational food ingredients manufacturer, Givaudan has developed a new natural alternative to nitrite to help meat processors meet growing consumer demand for healthier foods.

Nitrite is a common preservative in meat products and is frequently used to give cured meats like bacon a pink colour.

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But while nitrites serve a useful functional purpose, a 2015 World Health Organization report classified processed meat as carcinogenic.

According to the report, curing – by adding nitrates or nitrites by smoking – can lead to the formation of potentially cancer-causing chemicals.

Since the designation as a potential carcinogenic, consumers have been wary of its use in meat, but the lack of an alternative has left many with no choice.

Aurélie d’Espalungue, Regional Product Manager Functional Ingredients, Europe, said the launch is well timed as ‘many European regulators are questioning the use of nitrites in processed meat’.

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Givaudan describes its patent-pending nitrite alternative in meat as a ‘synergistic combination’ of plant-based ingredients and natural flavorings.

The new solution, NaNino+, leverages natural ingredients to provide what Givaudan describes as ‘a lasting multi-sensorial food experience’ with ‘great taste, color and freshness.

Givaudan says it developed this latest innovation in response to ‘increased scrutiny around nitrites’ and ‘growing consumer demand for healthier alternatives’.

“Because nitrites provide multiple benefits, replacing them is no easy task. Alternative solutions must provide the same level of performance without the associated risks,” explained Guillaume Gaborit, Global Product Manager for Sense Preservation at Givaudan.

NaNino+ is ‘an integrated solution’ that not only ensures freshness throughout shelf life but also ‘delivers a cured-like multi-sensory experience’ in terms of taste and color, the product manager suggested.

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“This compelling combination provides high performance in the application itself and may allow for a ‘nitrite-free claim on the label,” depending on the rest of the recipe.

NaNino+ complements Givaudan’s existing clean label curing alternatives and will be available initially in Europe for emulsified cooked sausages with plans underway to introduce it to other applications, such as cooked ham and bacon.

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