Dried and Fresh Plums Give New Life and Value to Underutilized Meat Proteins
April 28, 2008
For Immediate Release
DRIED AND FRESH PLUMS GIVE NEW LIFE AND VALUE TO UNDERUTILIZED MEAT PROTEINS
At a time when food processors, consumers and foodservice operators are coping with rising food prices, a natural approach to improving the utilization of undervalued meat proteins emerges using California dried plums.
In a newly released Technical Bulletin titled: Dried Plums Naturally Raise The Value Of Underutilized Meats, the California Dried Plum Board outlines the efficacy of dried and fresh plum ingredients to raise the quality and value of such animal proteins as beef chuck, heavy roasting hens, extra-lean pork and turkey thigh and leg meat. By adding small amounts of dried and fresh plum ingredients through needle injection and/or vacuum tumbling, these proteins that are often ground and sold for lower prices can now be marketed as higher value whole muscle or coarse ground alternatives.
Dried plums’ naturally occurring sorbitol, fiber and malic acid increase moisture retention, improve texture and round out flavors particularly for whole muscle proteins that are further processed raw or pre-cooked and destined for foodservice establishments and supermarket refrigerators and freezers. And dried plums’ natural antioxidants can suppress the growth of normal bacteria, thus extending shelf life. Also important is the ability to shorten and simplify meat labeling with natural ingredients having known consumer identities. When processed using this method, lifter steak, for example, matches or exceeds that of flank steak and London broil. Thus, substituting lifter steak for flank steak significantly improves the profit return for the processor as well as the retailer or foodservice operator with comparable eating quality.