Published in Ingredients
Innovation makes it to the meat counter: here is how an Italian business brings together industry and consumers


Alimeco—a young company in Italy, wants to revolutionize the meat industry. How? Natural innovation. This is their answer to problems felt by the whole sector. 

 

Lifestyles evolve, just like consumption patterns change and expectations towards products grow. It is the consumer to rule, and when it comes to the food industry new consumers want natural products and clean labels. We are referring to all those products free from: products free from allergens, artificial flavors and all those additives bearing difficult names. They are the answer given to consumers raising the standard and who do not stand reading ingredients with ugly names. 

The trend applies across the board, but from a technical point of view when speaking of meat the issue is complicated. To better understand how the sector is tackling the new expectation we spoke with Mirco Sciaraffia, Head of Research & Development at Alimeco, Italian producer of food ingredients. He is the one who studied the new Linea Naturale CL, a line of blends made to completely rethink hamburger and fresh sausages. So he tells us: “Processed meats use specific ingredients, and because each one has precise and unique purposes, it becomes difficult to “simply” take them out. The first issue is linked to the shelf-life of meat. It is imperative that fresh meat preserves all its organoleptic properties during all the steps of the supply chain: from production to transport to its permanence in the point of sale. When consumers buy burgers or fresh sausages from the local butcher, deli or in large-scale distribution the last thing they want is reading about additives or other ingredients with ambiguous-sounding names. However, when taking away ingredients such as acidity regulators or preservatives, the product will oxidize much faster, becoming unfit for consumption.”

From meat-processing establishments to small shops, everyone is trying hard to satisfy the new needs and expectations of the modern consumer. But as Mirco explained to us, more technical limitations await. This time the problem involves color. “Consumers are now used to see burgers in a bright-red, a type of red that doesn’t naturally belong to meat. It is in fact the result of shops or producers stepping in and fixing the color for a better appeal to viewers. Today a burger bearing a milder red will be less attractive, thus more difficult to sell.” Hence the issue involves looks. Truth, it seems, is that producers must keep up with expectations set by consumers that can be discordant and contradictory. The demand shows interest for natural products, consumer behavior shows interest for characteristics that meat naturally doesn’t have. Right here where the problem manifests itself is where Alimeco decided to take action and study a line of natural blends that solves problems of shelf-life, safety, look and appeal. 

The new Linea Naturale has as objective the well-being of consumers and the easing of the whole sector: artisanal productions and industrial firms equally. It consists of blends meant for fresh meat creations such as fresh sausages and burgers, offering them a longer shelf-life and better performances during cooking as well as look wise. They are all free from artificial flavors and any other additives of non-natural origins. The line is the result of over a year of research and it is the de facto solution for both consumers and industry. All ingredients, all natural, have been selected for their ability to highlight the natural properties of fresh meat. They naturally enhance color and texture and use the antioxidant properties naturally present in the plant extracts used in the blends. The line is one of many achievements of the young company. Today Alimeco offers many solutions, all natural, for meat-based products, pasta, ice-cream and bakery. More information is available on the website, soon to be offered in English. 

www.alimeco.eu

 

Alimeco offers ingredients-based, complete solutions for the food industry. Its laboratories have developed innovative solutions for the industries of meat, pasta, bakery and ice-cream. Alimeco is the ideal partner for innovation-oriented projects and the study of healthy foods for the final consumers.

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