Emulsifier Applications in Meat Products

  • M. Wes SchillingEmail author


Emulsified meat products include frankfurters, bologna, chicken nuggets, spreadable sausage, surimi, and other products in which salt-soluble, amphiphilic proteins, emulsify the lipid. Myosin and actomyosin are the predominant emulsifiers, largely due to their high concentration and amphiphilic nature. Myosin is present in pre-rigor meat and has greater emulsifying capacity than actomyosin. Salt, most often NaCl, solubilizes these meat proteins by increasing electrostatic repulsion, which allows the proteins to unfold and orient themselves to the lipid, non-polar phase and the aqueous liquid phase. Once lean meat tissue is chopped with salt and water, ground fat can be mixed with the lean meat, and the hydrophobic portions of the proteins orient themselves such that they form a protein film around the fat, which makes an oil in water emulsion. Most emulsions are heated in a smokehouse or other thermal process which stabilizes the emulsion through protein coagulation. Salt, phosphates, nitrite, dextrose, and binders are commonly used in emulsion products. Soy proteins have a similar structure to myofibrillar proteins in the meat and can therefore be used to make imitation meat emulsions. Soy protein, modified food starch, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, whey protein, and fiber can all be used to bind water and in some cases bind fat, which enhances emulsion stability. Though the science behind meat emulsions is well established, ingredient technology and product development continue to occur in order to produce clean label, reduced fat, and reduced sodium meat emulsion products.


Emulsified meat products Myosin Actomyosin Salt Pre-rigor 


  1. Aberle ED, Forrest JC, Gerrard DE, Mills EW (2001) Principles of meat processing, Chap. 7. In: Aberle ED, Forrest JC, Gerrard DE, Mills EW (eds) Principles of meat science, 4th edn. Kendell/Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, IA, pp 117–154Google Scholar
  2. Acton JC, Zeigler GR, Burge DL (1983) Functionality of muscle constituents in the processing of comminuted meat products. CRC Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 18:99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashgar A, Samejima K, Yasui T (1985) Functionality of muscle proteins in gelation mechanisms of structured meat products. CRC Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 22:27–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Atughonu AG, Zayas JF, Herald TJ, Harbers LH (1998) Thermo-rheology, quality characteristics, and microstructure of frankfurters prepared with selected plant and milk additives. J Food Qual 21:223–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barbut S (1988) Microstructure of reduced salt meat batters as affected by polyphosphates and chopping time. J Food Sci 53:1300–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barbut S, Findlay CJ (1991) Influence of sodium, potassium and magnesium chloride on thermal properties of beef muscle. J Food Sci 56:180–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bendell JR (1954) The swelling effect of polyphosphates on lean meat. J Sci Food Agric 5:468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bodner JM, Sieg J (2009) Fiber. In: Tarte R (ed) Ingredients in meat products: Properties, functionality and applications. Springer Sciences, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowker BC, Wynveen EJ, Grant AL, Gerrard DE (2000) Effects of electrical stimulation on early postmortem pH and temperature declines in pigs from different genetic lines and halothane genotypes. Meat Sci 53:125–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boyer C, Joandel S, Roussilhes V, Culioli J, Ouali A (1996) Heat-induced gelation of myofibrillar proteins and myosin from fast and slow twitch rabbit muscles. J Food Sci 61:1138–1142, 1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Briskey EJ, Wismer-Pederson J (1961) Biochemistry of pork muscle structure. Rate of anaerobic glycolysis and temperature change versus the apparent structure of muscle tissue. J Food Sci 26:297–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brouillette M (2007) Salt and phosphate as functional ingredients for meat, poultry, and seafood. In: Muscle foods and functional ingredients workshop proceedings, 29–30 Aug. Mississippi State University, Starkville, MSGoogle Scholar
  13. Camou JP, Sebranek JG (1991) Gelation characteristics of muscle proteins from pale, soft, exudative (PSE) pork. Meat Sci 30:207–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. CFR 9.319.180 (2011) Frankfurter, frankfurter, hotdog, weiner, vienna, bologna, garlic bologna, knockwurst, and similar products. United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. Clark JP (2013) Emulsions: when oil and water do mix. Food Technol 67(8):1–9Google Scholar
  16. Claus JR, Colby JW, Flick GJ (1994) Processed meats/poultry/seafood, Chap. 5. In: Kinsman DM, Kotula AW, Breidenstein BC (eds) Muscle foods. Chapman & Hall, Inc., New York, pp 106–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Codex General Standard for Food Additives (2011) Codex Alimentarius Commission, FAO and WHOGoogle Scholar
  18. Desmond E (2006) Reducing salt: a challenge for the meat industry. Meat Sci 74:188–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fox JB (1987) The pigments of meat, Chap. 5. In: Price JF, Schweigert BS (eds) The science of meat and meat products, 3rd edn. Food and Nutrition Press, Inc., Westport, CT, pp 193–216Google Scholar
  20. Froning GW, Babji AS, Mather FB (1978) The effect of pre-slaughter temperature, stress, struggle and anesthetization on color and textural characteristics of turkey muscle. Poult Sci 75:630–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fukawaza T, Hashimoto Y, Yasui T (1961a) Effect of some proteins on the binding quality of an experimental sausage. J Food Sci 43:541–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fukawaza T, Hashimoto Y, Yasui T (1961b) The relationship between the components of myofibrillar protein and the effect of various phosphates that influence the binding quality of sausage. J Food Sci 43:551–555Google Scholar
  23. Fulmer RW (1995) Soy protein processing and utilization. In: Erickson DR (ed) Practical handbook of soybean processing and utilization, vol 1. American Oil Chemists Society Press, Champaign, IL, p 152Google Scholar
  24. Gordon A, Barbut S (1990) The role of the interfacial protein film in meat batter stabilization. Food Microstruct 9:77–90Google Scholar
  25. Gordon A, Barbut S (1992) Mechanisms of meat batter stabilization: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 32:299–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hermansson AM (1986) Soy protein gelation. J Am Oil Chem Soc 63:658–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hogenkamp HW (2011) Protein performance in emulsion stability. Fleischwirtschaft Int 3(54):56–59Google Scholar
  28. Ishioroshi M, Samejima K, Arie Y, Yasui T (1979) Effect of blocking the myosin-actin in heat-induced gelation of myosin in the presence of actin. Agric Biol Chem 4:2185–2194Google Scholar
  29. Jones KW (1984) Protein-lipid interaction in processed meats. In: Proc 37th rec meat conf, Lubbock, TX, p 52Google Scholar
  30. Karlovic S, Jezekm D, Tripalo B, Brncic M, Bosiljkov T (2009) Effect of addition of dietary fiber in coating mixtures on a textural properties and oil uptake in deep fried chicken meat. Chem Eng Trans 17:945–950Google Scholar
  31. Kenney PB, Kastner C, Kropf D (1992) Raw and preheated epimysium and gelatin affect properties of low-salt, low-fat, restructured beef. J Food Sci 57:551–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kin S, Graham RG, Tolentino AC, Pham AJ, Smith BS, Kim T, Silva JL, Schilling MW (2013) Physiochemical and sensory properties of smoked catfish sausage. J Aquat Food Prod Technol 22:496–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kissel C, Soares A, Rossa A, Shimokomaki M (2009) Functional properties of PSE (Pale, Soft, Exudative) broiler meat in the production of mortadella. Braz Arch Biol Technol 52:213–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. MacFarlane JJ, Schmidt GR, Turner RH (1977) Binding of meat pieces: a comparison of myosin, actomyosin, and sarcoplasmic proteins as binding agents. J Food Sci 42:1603–1605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McClements DJ (2005) Food emulsions: principles, practices, and techniques. CRC Press LLC, London, pp 229–300Google Scholar
  36. O’Neill D, Lynch PB, Troy DJ, Buckley DJ, Kerry JP (2003) Effects of PSE on the quality of cooked hams. Meat Sci 64:113–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Owens CM (2001) Coated poultry products. In: Sams AR (ed) Poultry meat processing. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 227–242Google Scholar
  38. Pearson AM, Gillett T (1996) Least cost formulation and preblending of sausage; Sausages; Sausage formulations; Extenders and binders, Chaps. 8–11. In: Processed meats, 3rd edn. Chapman & Hall. New York, pp 180–209, 210–241, 242–290, 291–310Google Scholar
  39. Petracci M, Bianchi M (2012) Functional ingredients for poultry meat products. In: World’s poultry congress, poultry welfare and environment, 9–12 Aug, Salvador Bahia, Brazil, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  40. Rust RE (1987) Sausage products, Chap. 13. In: Price JF, Schweigert BS (eds) The science of meat and meat products, 3rd edn. Food and Nutrition Press, Inc., Westport, CN, pp 457–485Google Scholar
  41. Samejima K, Egelandsdal B, Fretham K (1985) Heat gelation properties and protein extractability. J Food Sci 50:1540–1544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sato R, Katayamam S, Sawabe T, Saeki H (2003) Stability and emulsion-forming ability of water-soluble fish myofibrillar protein prepared by conjugation with alginate oligosaccharide. J Agric Food Chem 51:4376–4381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schilling MW (2013) Use of synthetic and natural antioxidants and antimicrobials to increase the shelf-life and safety of processed meat products. Meatingplaceonline., 2013
  44. Schilling MW, Smith BS (2010a) Utilizing starches to maximize yields. Meatingplaceonline., 2 Aug 2010
  45. Schilling MW, Smith BS (2010b) Properly applying carrageenan in breaded and marinated poultry products. Meatingplaceonline., 17 Dec 2010
  46. Schilling MW, Smith BS (2012) How to reformulate for low sodium and fat in cooked sausages. Meatingplaceonline., 27 Feb 2012
  47. Schilling MW, Williams JB (2014) Use of antimicrobials with natural and clean labels., 8 Sept 2014
  48. Schilling MW, Behrends JM, Williams JB, Jackson V (2008) Flavor challenges of sodium reduction in processed meat products. In: Conference proceedings. Invited concurrent technical session. Reciprocal meats conference, Gainesville, FL, 20–23 June. American Meat Science Association, Champaign, IL, pp 1–5Google Scholar
  49. Schilling MW, Herring JL, Smith BS (2012) Solutions to yield challenges in further-processed poultry. Meatingplaceonline., 5 Mar 2012
  50. Schmidt GR (1987) Functional behavior of meat components in processing, Chap. 11. In: Price JF, Schweigert BS (eds) The science of meat and meat products, 3rd edn. Food and Nutrition Press, Inc., Westport, CN, pp 413–429Google Scholar
  51. Sebranek J (2009) Using pre-rigor meat to improve sausage yield and texture. Meatingplace., 9 Feb
  52. Shrader KD (2010) Investigating the control of Listeria monocytogenes on uncured, no-nitrite or nitrate-added meat products. Dissertation, Iowa State University, Ames, IAGoogle Scholar
  53. Sindelar J (2011) Food safety of natural and organic processed meats. In: Proceedings of the reciprocal meats conference, June 2011, Manhattan, KS. American Meat Science Association, Champaign, ILGoogle Scholar
  54. Steenblock RL, Sebranek JG, Olson DG, Love JA (2001) The effects of oat fiber on the properties of light bologna and fat-free frankfurters. J Food Sci 66:1409–1415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Su YK, Bowers JA, Zayas JF (2000) Physical characteristics and microstructure of reduced-fat frankfurters as affected by salt and emulsified fats stabilized with nonmeat proteins. J Food Sci 65:123–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Swaisgood HE (1996) Characteristics of milk. In: Fenemma OR (ed) Food chemistry, 3rd edn. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp 841–878Google Scholar
  57. Ugalde-Benitez V (2012) Meat emulsions, Chap. 23. In: Hui YH (ed) Handbook of meat and meat processing. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 447–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. USDA-FSIS (2007) Safe and suitable ingredients used in the production of meat and poultry products (FSIS Directive 7120.1, Amendment 13), Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  59. Walstra P, Geurts TJ, Noomen A, Jellema A, Van Boekel MAJS (1999) Milk components and heat treatment. In: Dairy technology, 1st edn. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp 27–105, 189–239Google Scholar
  60. Xiong YL, Brekke CJ (1991) Protein extractability and thermally induced gelation properties of myofibrils isolated from pre-and post-rigor chicken muscles. J Food Sci 56:210–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xiong YL, Kenney PB (1999) Functionality of proteins in meat products. In: Proc. 52nd international meat conf., Stillwater, OK, pp 66–70Google Scholar
  62. Yasui T, Ishioroshi M, Samejima K (1980) Heat-induced gelation of myosin in the presence of actin. J Food Biochem 4:61–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhang L, Barbut S (2005) Rheological characteristics of fresh and frozen PSE, normal and DFD chicken breast meat. Br Poult Sci 46:687–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health PromotionMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA

Personalised recommendations