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New meat culture gives quality a lift in cooked ham

Press release   •   May 29, 2013 10:10 UTC

Chr. Hansen’s protective Safepro® ImPorous limits the formation of holes in cooked whole muscle products.

The world’s total meat supply keeps increasing. Sky-rocketing by 300% from 1961 to 284 million tons in 2007, the world meat consumption is expected to double once more by 2050 (source: The New York Times).

Chr. Hansen’s new solution targets the part of a 20 million tons cooked meat segment that experiences quality issues in terms of formation of holes in cooked ham or cooked whole muscle products. The holes/pores are mostly caused by spoilage bacteria which produce gas as part of their metabolism.

“Pore formation is observed from time to time, and the cause of these pores has been a puzzle to the industry. But Chr. Hansen set out to investigate if certain bacteria can be the culprit and that has been confirmed through a collaboration with Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Germany. A thesis* documents this,” explains John Jensen, Marketing Director, Meat Cultures, Chr. Hansen.


Several advantages
Good manufacturing practice and high quality raw materials can remedy the situation to some extent, but with Chr. Hansen’s new protective meat culture SafePro® ImPorous meat producers can not only minimize the pore formation with no change in process – the improved quality of cooked whole-muscle products also leads to reduced scrapping (or re-processing). That is both financially sound and environmentally responsible.

Consumer satisfaction
Last but not least it increases consumers’ positive buying decision.

“Taste and appearance are crucial when consumers decide to buy a particular product. At first the appearance is very important, but if the taste is not as expected consumers will not buy again,” underlines John Jensen.

At triangle-tests carried out at the university in Stuttgart, hams treated with SafePro® ImPorous were preferred (88% positive buying decision) over the non-treated product (20% positive buying decision).

Chr. Hansen launches the new product on a global scale although Central and Eastern Europe are initially considered to be the main markets. “We are in no doubt that this will increase our sales and allow us to penetrate new market segments,” concludes John Jensen.



*) “Impact of starter cultures on pore formation in cooked ham. Rahn et al, Institute of Food science and Biotechnology“

Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2013/14 financial year was EUR 756 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.

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