Published in Applied Research
Quinoa could replace fat in dry-cured sausage

Different approaches have been previously studied in order to reduce the fat content of dry-cured sausages.

Among them, the use of polysaccharides, such as fiber, gums, or starch, have been proposed for fat replacing. Although scarcely studied, it is likely that starchy grains and vegetables might also be used as potential fat replacers in those sausages.

Quinua is a starchy seed with high nutritive value, which contains substances of technological interest in dry-cured manufacturing. Spanish Researchers published on Journal of Food Science a study where they assessed the effect of replacing fat by quinoa on the quality characteristics of a small diameter dry-cured sausage.

Three types of sausages were prepared: a control (C; no fat replacement; 30% of pork back-fat), a quinoa half-fat (50% of fat replacement; 15% of pork back-fat), and a quinoa low-fat (LF; 85% of fat replacement; 4.5% of pork back-fat) sausage. Sausages were analyzed for proximate and microbial composition, volatile compounds, and instrumental texture and color. Descriptive and hedonic sensory analyses were also performed. 

Fat reduction resulted in higher aw, protein content, hardness, chewiness and redness values and spice-derived volatile levels, and in lower cohesiveness values (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the descriptive sensory analysis showed a higher pungent flavor and lower juiciness in LF sausages than in C sausages (P < 0.05). In spite of those differences, fat reduction did not result in a decreased overall acceptance of the sausages by consumers.

Replacement of pork back-fat by boiled quinoa (up to 85% of fat replacement) in dry sausage manufacturing has been found to be a feasible strategy. Fat replacement resulted in changes in composition, texture, and flavor of sausages. However, consumer tasting showed no differences in preference between reduced-fat and full fat sausages. These reduced-fat sausages are potentially appropriate to be produced in regions where there is low supply of pork fat or where consumers demand reduced-fat meat products. The use of quinoa as fat replacer provides to sausage manufacturers an added value due to their excellent nutritional quality.

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