Pepperoni rules even with less fat

by Christian Vogel, senior application speicialist

Our nutritional makeover keeps the ‘mmm’ in a favourite pizza topping.

In this fast-paced world of ours, it can be a comfort to know that some things never change. One of them is the undying popularity of pepperoni as a pizza topping.

Our meat specialists at Nutrition & Biosciences have invested considerable time and energy in developing optimised pepperoni solutions. A frequent customer request we receive is for solutions that reduce raw material costs.

It was during such a development project that we found an opportunity to cut cost and improve the health profile of pepperoni at the same time – and lock the fat inside so it no longer melts and runs out onto the pizza during baking.

Cutting the fat
As a starting point, we looked at taking out some of the fat in a standard pepperoni recipe and replacing it with an emulsion, comprising fat or oil, water and an alginate-based stabiliser system. A healthier profile is achieved by choosing a vegetable oil for the emulsion, with its lower content of saturated fats and cholesterol.

To all intents and purposes, the white gelled emulsion looks very much like the fat it replaces and can be sliced, ground or chopped as required. In pepperoni production, it is simply added shortly after the meat without any alteration to the process.

Quality all round
We found it was possible to cut the fat content by half without any negative impact on texture or eating quality. The firm gel created by the alginate secures a high level of cooking stability, preventing the emulsion from melting in the oven.

If you are interested in a healthier pepperoni favourite for your pizza production, talk to your supplier about the opportunities for fat reduction.

We used GRINDSTED® Meatline 3451 Stabiliser System from the DuPont ™ Danisco® range for our trials.

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