Partial replacement of sodium in meat and fish products by using magnesium salts. A review
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- Barat, JM., Pérez-Esteve, E., Aristoy, MC. et al. Plant Soil (2013) 368: 179. doi:10.1007/s11104-012-1461-7
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Sodium intake exceeds the nutritional recommendations in most industrialized countries becoming one concern for public health. This elimination or reduction is not simple due to its role in final food sensory, quality and safety. The aim of this work is to review the possibilities of magnesium ion, due to its healthy properties, to become a partial substitute of sodium in the production of fish and meat products, and a particular case for Spanish dry-cured ham and loin. Magnesium diffusion into different muscle based foods such as ham or loin, and its effect in the most important characteristics of the final product (microbiology, physico-chemical and sensory properties) has been analyzed. Results show that magnesium has more difficulty to penetrate inside the muscle and slightly modifies the water-holding capacity of proteins, their solubility and the enzymatic activity. Salty taste, bitterness and off-flavor are the most affected characteristics. However, these effects could be compensated by using longer post-salting periods and by employing masking agents. It is possible to reduce the sodium content in fish and meat products using magnesium as one of the ingredients, allowing to obtain new products with similar physicochemical characteristics and safety conditions.