With a view to reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, health experts recommend replacing animal fat with another type. Hot dogs being quite popular and since they possess a very high fat content is a
prime target for such public health strategies. However, hot dogs in which vegetable fat is introduced develop an unpleasant 'tough' texture.
Using infrared spectrometry researchers have now been successful in explaining the reason for this change. They compared three types of hot dog- one made with pork backfat, and two with different olive oil-in-water emulsion, one was stabilized with casein (SC), and one with casein and microbial transglutaminase(MTG). It was seen that the low-fat options showed weaker lipid-protein interactions, especially the MTG ones.
This implies that physical entrapment in the lipid phase (oil-in-water emulsion) plays a greater part in these reformulated products. If this problem is totally solved, the result will be healthier meats which do not lose their familiar texture which is an important part of their appeal. Further work is needed to establish a quantitative and statistical significant relationship between structural and textural properties.
The study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.