Why change is needed
Consumers are clear about what they want from meat products today. Across Europe, consumers are rejecting products that use nitrites and phosphates and seeking out foods that are free from artificial ingredients, additives and preservatives. The trend creates a major opportunity. Whichever company has first-mover advantage in natural solutions stands to capture new markets and reenergise meat sales.
FINDING A NATURAL-BASED INGREDIENT SOLUTION
The challenge is to remove the nitrite salts that are widely used in cooked meats such as ham without affecting taste, texture, colour or shelf life. Solina looked to a traditional recipe for inspiration, leading to the development of a functional blend of natural essential oils, spices, plant extracts and salt. The blend provides meats with the full range of properties, from taste and colour, to antimicrobial and antioxidant functionalities, that consumers and manufacturers expect.
We created a powder that imbues meat with those properties by focusing on four pillars. Across the first two pillars, we added polyphenols, through ingredients such as cloves and cinnamon, and essential oils for their antioxidant and bacteriostatic properties. The other two pillars cover meat broth and starters to provide taste, colour, antioxidant properties and more. The result? Ham with a tender texture and fresh taste that uses ingredients consumers recognise and embrace.
the proportion of French consumers who want to avoid nitrites
Nitrites and phosphates are among the top ingredients that consumers across Europe want to avoid.
Source: Quantitative survey for Solina (min. 200 people per country, Q1 2021)
Customising the solution
The Orig’in ham concept is just one application of the toolbox created by Solina. Having worked for years to understand how to replace additives in general, we now have a flexible platform on naturalness that is applicable to a wide range of charcuterie products, such as preserved ham, cooked sausages and poultry slices, and to ready meals. For each project, we customise the blend to the specific needs of the product and the tastes of the local target consumer, enabling the creation of whole ranges of products based on aromatic solutions.
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