Gelatine in meat & fish applications
Cooked pressed ham ham, cooked shoulder
Gelatine is added to the ham during preparation, once the bone has been
removed. Gelatine is also used to bond the meat where the rind and
excess fat have been trimmed.
The gelatine powder absorbs moisture from the meat and, during the cooking process, forms a film which seals the meat after cooling. The gelatine gels the liquid which exudes during cooking, and holds it in and around the ham. This added gelatine also stiffens the jelly obtained directly from the connective tissues during the cooking process to give an attractive aspect, and bind the ham together for improved slicing.
Hydrolyzed gelatine is also very often used to increase the dry protein content of the finished product. Gelatine also helps to improve the yield by binding the water inside the ham during cooking.
Canned meat products
Gelatine is used to gel the juices lost from meat products during cooking or pasteurization. Gelatine with high gel strength (200 – 250 Bloom) are used for this application at levels of 0.5 – 2 %. As sterilization temperatures are relatively high, gelatine gel strength and viscosity losses during processing should be taken into account as these essentially depend on thermal treatment duration.
As a result of their high fat and water content, these products present particular stabilization problems, mainly from exudation of water or fat and texture irregularities after cooking. The use of a cutter partially eliminates these problems but gelatine is still used to achieve better water binding, to stabilize the emulsion and to obtain a homogeneous batch texture.
Gelatine content varies considerably, depending on the presence of other binding agents, the amount of collagen present in the other ingredients, and local regulations.