Interactive meeting of the meat sector: healthier meat products and Clean Label

This Tuesday, May 30, the “II Interactive Meat Sector Conference” was held in the El Sucre building in Vic. Healthy and cleaner meat products organized by FECIC and IRTA, with the collaboration of the DARP.

Dr. Sara Bover of IRTA gave a presentation on the “consequences for food safety resulting from the reformulation of healthier meat products” and stressed that:
 Salt concentration, through water activity, is a key factor and determinant of the growth potential of altering and pathogenic microorganisms;
 In the elaboration of food intervene other multiple factors that can interact with the concentration of salt;
 It is necessary to identify, evaluate and implement technological strategies, based on new formulations and / or new processing approaches, to compensate for the possible negative effects of salt reduction to ensure the level of safety and quality of nutritionally improved foods. He recommended using the theoretical tools of predictive microbiology.



Dr. Xavier Serra of IRTA explained the “legal aspects and technological challenges for the development of healthier meat products”. His lecture focused on reducing sodium and reducing fat and saturated fats. He also presented a case study of sodium reduction in frankfurter sausage through the partial replacement of the salt (NaCl) with potassium chloride (KCl) and the substitution of sodium phosphates with potassium phosphates, as well as adjustments in processing temperature And addition of transglutaminase.

Mr. Narcís Grèbol of IRTA talked about “different strategies to sell healthier products with clean label” and highlighted some elements such as:
 The need for total transparency of food products, since if the company does not report openly, social networks will do so, and sometimes they could do so with negative ratings.
 The use of sensors and mobiles will go more to the consumer level and we must take advantage of the opportunities it entails.
 The strategies that are known in developing healthier meat products are:
Or Reduction (or elimination) of salt, fat, preservatives, antibiotics, etc.
O Incorporation, of prebiotics, probiotics, fibers, omega 3, etc, to give more nutritional and technological functionality.
Or Substitution of some ingredients, to give more “naturalness” in the product. Even so, vegetable or “nature” analogues often have the same active ingredient as a chemical ingredient and if they do not, they will eventually be added to the list of preservatives with their corresponding E.
O Meatless products that keep the name of meat products. These are often offered as healthier or more natural but surprising the long list of ingredients, with preservatives and allergens of all kinds, and the lack of regulation compared to traditional meat products.
Or Dilution of meat with other foods, usually vegetables, to offer a directly balanced diet to the consumer.
 The creation of Nutri-Score labeling in France, with a stoplight type system (letters A, B, C, D, E) that could be replicated to other EU countries, and which may have serious implications for the sale of products Meat It could be the case that the low salt or low fat product is identified in a red letter as unhealthy, despite the evident effort of the company to have improved its product nutritionally. Companies are advised to know what their current classification of the products they market, and to analyze the possibilities of improving these products towards a “healthier” letter.



Dr. Pere Gou of IRTA summarized the “needs and interests of the sector” mainly in relation to the theme of the day and grouping the answers that had previously sent to the attendees.

IRTA’s Dr Jacint Arnau served as moderator of the day and, in relation to the strong tendency to reduce nitrites and nitrates in meat products, recalled the need for these nitrifying substances for people and the health benefits of consuming a Predicting that “if they end up banning it in meat products, we will have to end up buying them in live pills.”

Finally, Dr. Josep Maria Monfort of IRTA closed the day, summarizing that “there are no good and bad foods, there are more or less adequate diets for each person” and encouraged companies to continue making progress in research and development Of all aspects dealt with during the session.