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Meat Sci. 2004 Nov;68(3):419-30. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2004.04.009.

Interactions between meat proteins and barley (Hordeum spp.) β-glucan within a reduced-fat breakfast sausage system.

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Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P5.


Barley β-glucan, a soluble fibre component with health benefits, has the potential to be used as a fat replacer in meat systems. Interactions between meat proteins and β-glucan gum were examined in reduced-fat (12%, w/w) sausages formulated with β-glucan at 0.3% (w/w) (0.3β-gl) and 0.8% (w/w) (0.8β-gl) levels, as well as high- and reduced-fat controls. Cooking loss results indicated that β-glucan gum held more water in cooked sausages than control gum (carboxymethyl cellulose), due to its ability to form a tighter network within the protein matrix, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. In a raw system, β-glucan gum was not as effective at retaining moisture as a stable protein network, formed by heating. Differential scanning calorimetry results showed that sausages with a higher gum to protein ratio required additional energy for protein denaturation to occur. Findings indicate that β-glucan gum increases the amount of moisture held in a cooked meat protein system, due to the physical entrapment of water, when compared to the high-fat control, but is similar to the reduced-fat formulation with added water.

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