Technologies for Value Added Buffalo Meat Products-A Review
Meat production and importance of processing of value added products are presented. Physico-chemical and functional properties of buffalo meat and their improvement by using polyphosphates and pre-blending of meat with salt and food additives are discussed. Processing of comminuted meat products such as patties, sausages, nuggets and rolls, low-fat sausages, enrobed cutlets, restructured meat blocks and rolls, cured and smoked meat chunks, snacks, shelf stable and traditional meat products and their packaging have been highlighted. Strategies for quality enhancement of meat and meat products are proposed in this review.
The livestock sector is poised for revolution in developing countries where the major increase on meat and milk are anticipated. Livestock production is a vital activity in rural areas and has helped to provide employment and income generation for farmers, rural poor and weaker sections. India possesses large livestock resources but their production and utilization is not up to the optimum or comparative levels of developed countries. Presently India possesses 96.9 million buffaloes, 226.1 million cattle, 124.5 million goats, 59 million sheep, 18.5 million pigs, 842 million chicken and 107 million ducks (FAO, 2004). They provide milk, meat, draft power, hides and skins and other valuable by-products. They significantly contribute to sustainable human nutrition and economy of the nation. Livestock sector contributes at current prices Rs.1, 302, 330 millions (US$ 28, 311.5 millions), wherein milk group provides Rs.903, 580 millions (US$ 19643 millions) and meat group Rs.208, 560 millions (US$ 4, 534 millions) as output to total agriculture (APEDA, 2005).
Buffalo is a versatile triple-purpose animal and rightly referred as backbone of Indian Commercial Dairying. About 11 million buffaloes are being slaughtered annually contributing 1.47 million tons (MT) of meat accounting for 24.3% of total Indian meat production (FAO, 2004). Preference for water buffaloes has continued to increase due to higher fat content of milk, ability to thrive on harsh conditions and low quality rations as well as ever increasing export market for buffalo meat. It is expected that buffalo will ultimately emerge as the future animal of Indian dairy-cum-meat industry. As the demand for lean red meat has been increasing consistently world wide, buffalo meat is expected to get consumer preference due to its leanness and lower cost.
Livestock Products and Sustainability
Pragmatic approaches for efficient livestock production and utilization
are important to sustain livestock production activities. Sustainable animal
production depends on: feed supplies and costs, production efficiency and optimum
utilization of produce. They further depend on hygienic production of milk and
meat, value addition and diversification, better utilization of by products,
cost efficient processing technology, creating sustained demand for the products,
building positive image and innovative marketing approach.
Value Addition of Livestock Products
Value addition is an important avenue for efficient utilization of livestock
resources with increased demand and higher returns. Higher demand for meat,
eggs and milk in developing countries would be a positive attribute for Indian
livestock sector with increased trade opportunities. Value added products offer
increasing convenience to the consumer. The growth of products industry assures
the farmers a regular off take of their produce at reasonable prices and provides
variety to the consumers. It involves a larger component of labour where India
is at advantage with nearly lowest labour cost in the world. Employment potential
would be substantial.
Importance of Processed Meat Products
Processing aids to produce value added, variety and convenience meat products
to meet life style requirements. It offers better utilization of different-carcasses,
cuts and edible byproducts. It facilitates incorporation of non-meat ingredients
for quality and economy. It helps preservation, transportation, distribution
and marketing to over larger populations. Processing promotes employment, entrepreneur
ventures and exports and also competes imports. Value added products are further
processed products with increasing convenience to consumer through decreasing
preparation time, minimizing preparation steps. It facilitates the use of specific
parts, creation of products with different flavours and increases the shelf
life of products. Value added products could be broadly classified based on
processing, variety/convenience and function.
Demand for Meat and Meat Products
Muscle foods play a major role in human diet as they contribute macro and
micro nutrients required for the growth and maintenance of health. The rate
of increase in per capita consumption of animal products was found to be higher
in the developing countries compared to developed countries. The per capita
animal protein consumption in India is about 10.4 g per day compared to world
average of 25 g per day. Based on targeted minimum requirement of 20 g per capita/day
for animal protein (from milk 10 g, meat 4 g, fish 4 g, eggs 2 g), the estimated
demand for the present population would be: milk 104 MT, meat 7.7 MT and eggs
4.6 MT (104 billion number) as against the present production of: milk 84 MT,
meat 6.04 MT, fish 5.6 MT and eggs 30 billion.
Prospects of Meat Products
We must aim at technologies and equipments to result in process efficiency
for achieving lower production costs and higher yields, product diversification,
byproducts utilization, improving shelf life, developing quality control and
management systems and providing positive image to meat products. Product diversification
is also necessary to minimize imports to the detriment of domestic industry.
Mainly fresh/frozen buffalo meat is being exported from India. Small quantities
of processed meat products are being produced which is meager in relation to
enormous quantity of available buffalo meat at cheaper prices. Processing technology
should also focus on global competitiveness, energy conservation and socio-ecological
Meat processing is carried out both in organized and unorganized sectors. Organized processing under the supervision of professionals can make sure that the right kind of product is delivered to the consumers with safety and at affordable price. Meat based fast food industries have great potential in this country. Multinational food companies have already started their business in India. As quantitative restrictions have been removed, the imported meat and meat products may be available in cities and major towns. Globalization promises a wealth of product choices and product value for the consumer. The demand for convenience meat based fast food is ever increasing due to rapid industrialization and urbanization, higher standards of living and increasing number of working women. Rising literacy and increasing health awareness also influence the purchasing pattern of the consumers. The shift in the food consumption pattern from cereals to dairy and meat products and such shift is more prominent in the growing middle class with high purchasing power.
This review mostly covers the extensive research done in India to develop appropriate processing technologies for improving the functional properties and palatability of different meats and buffalo meat in particular and their use in value added convenience meat products for efficient utilization.
The palatability characteristics, shear force values and taste panel scores
of buffalo meat and beef obtained from identical age groups have been reported
almost similar (Ognjanovic, 1974). Buffalo meat has certain outstanding attributes
such as lower intramuscular fat, cholesterol and calories, higher units of essential
amino acids, biological value and iron content (Anjaneyulu et al., 1990a).
Moisture (76.4%), protein (20.4%), fat (1.5%), ash (1.0%), water soluble proteins
(5.1%), salt soluble proteins (7.2%), non-protein nitrogen (0.37%) and hydroxyproline
(0.12%) of LD muscle from male buffalo calves were reported (Anjaneyulu et
al., 1985) and also attributed the low energy value of 6.8 Kcal/g on dry
matter basis to the negligible amount of marbling. Recently low cholesterol
content of buffalo meat has been re-emphasized (Lazar, 2001). Buffalo meat has
been recognized as one of the healthiest meats for human consumption. India
has recorded an export of 0.3 million tons of buffalo meat worth Rs. 16, 200
million (US$ 360 million) in the year 2004-05 (APEDA, 2005). It has been projected
that export of buffalo meat by its virtues will further increase. Although buffaloes
are reared primarily for milk production, they are being salvaged for meat production
after their productive life. Meat obtained from these old/spent animals is generally
tough, coarse, dry and poor in marbling (Kondaiah et al., 1982) which
affect the quality and palatability of meat and meat products: Meat from old
animals is fibrous, tough and chewy in nature due to increase in tensile strength
of collagen with age. Further, tenderness, flavour and juiciness tend to decrease
with increase in age of animals. A great deal of research has been conducted
to develop appropriate technologies for improving the palatability of buffalo
meat and its processing into value added convenience products.
Functional Properties and Polyphosphates
The pH, Water Holding Capacity (WHC), Emulsifying Capacity (EC) and Emulsion
Stability (ES) of buffalo meat play major role in processing of meat products
and which depends on handling and processing conditions (Anjaneyulu et al.,
1994). Carcass and head meat have better functional properties than tripe and
heart meat for use in processed meat products (Kondaiah et al., 1986).
The popularity of food additives is based on their diverse functionality, nutritive
value and economics. Polyphosphates are used widely in processing of meat products
because they occur naturally in foods consumed by man. Incorporation of 2% salt
and 0.3 to 0.5% sodium tripolyphosphate or tetrasodium pyrophosphate or blend
of phosphates to buffalo meat significantly improve the pH, WHC, EC, ES, extraction
of salt soluble proteins and product yield (Kondaiah et al., 1985; Anjaneyulu
et al., 1989). Use of food grade polyphosphates in the formulations of
meat products significantly improved their quality due to increase in pH as
well as specific effect of polyphosphate over and above the pH effect in meat
system (Anjaneyulu et al., 1990b). They also prevent oxidative rancidity
in muscle foods due to their sequestering/chelating ability of metal ions. Physico-
chemical parameters of buffalo meat, beef, mutton and goat meat were evaluated
(Turgut, 1984). Further, the EC of salt soluble proteins from muscles of buffalo
was reported higher and more efficient than that of sheep and goat. Buffalo
meat is stated to have physico-chemical, biochemical and technological properties
comparable to those of beef (Kandilov et al., 1978).
Palatability of Buffalo Meat
Despite nutritional excellence, palatability of buffalo meat is the deciding
factor for consumer acceptance. Although buffalo meat from older animals is
considered darker in colour, tough and poor in flavour, this is not true in
respect of meat of young buffaloes that are reared and fed for early slaughter
(Ognjanovic, 1974; Charles, 1982). Meat from buffalo calves was brighter in
colour than beef but the amount of meat pigments did not differ significantly.
The myoglobin content varied from 2.7 to 9.4 mg/g depending upon the age and
meat becomes darker with increasing age (Marinova et al., 1985). Visual
evaluation of LD muscle cross section of spent buffaloes indicated darker meat
colour for males than females (Kondaiah et al., 1981). The palatability
characteristics of buffalo meat and beef obtained from identical age groups
were found to be either almost similar or buffalo meat had better scores on
many occasions (Charles, 1982). Age at slaughter (20 to 34 months) and feeding
regimes (four rations) did not influence the flavour and tenderness of meat
(Charles, 1982). However, flavour and overall acceptability of buffalo meat
were significantly less than meat from Brahman steers (Robertson et al.,
1983). Market research and consumer panel have abundantly proved that corned
beef produced from buffalo meat and cows are indistinguishable in organoleptic
characteristics. Further, corned beef made from buffalo meat was better in appearance
due to the white colour of fat (Karvir, 1985).
Pre-Blending of Ground Meat
For efficient use of tough meat from spent animals, many researchers have
suggested development of value added comminuted meat products wherein meat and
other components are minced to reduce their particle size and other ingredients
are incorporated to improve the processing quality and palatability. Pre-blending
of meat with salt and polyphosphate improves its functionality significantly
for product processing (Anjaneyulu et al., 1994). Further, pre-blending
of ground buffalo meat with 500 ppm sodium ascorbate, 10 ppm alpha-tocopherol
acetate and 0.5% sodium tripolyphosphate alone or in combination enhance its
functional properties and reduce the pigment and lipid oxidation during refrigerated
(4±1°C) storage (Sahoo
and Anjaneyulu, 1997a).
Processed Products from Spent Animals
Meat from spent animals is fairly tough and less palatable. Processed products
particularly from minced meat or emulsion based would be advantageous to incorporate
other ingredients to improve palatability and reduce cost of production. A variety
of emulsion based products such as sausages, patties, nuggets, meat balls, slices,
kababs etc. have been developed utilizing meat and byproducts from spent animals-sheep,
goats, buffalo and hens. Technologies have been developed to produce one kg
of value added product from one kg of dressed weight of chicken.
Combination of Meats
In order to compliment and supplement qualities of different meats and their
byproducts use of combination of meats is desirable to produce value added products.
Emulsion-type buffalo meat sausages with good acceptability were developed by
using a combination of 80% meat components with 20% pork back fat (Krishnan
and Sharma, 1990). The meat components were constituted of 70 parts buffalo
skeletal meat and 30 parts offal meat (rumen meat and heart meat in equal proportions).
Comminuted Meat Products
Buffalo meat has been consumed as fresh meat or in the form of indigenous
products and western type products. Buffalo meat is well suitable for processed
meat products. The processing techniques for high quality buffalo meat patties
(Anjaneyulu et al.,1989), burgers (Modi et al., 2003), sausages
(Krishnan and Sharma, 1990; Sathu et al., 2006), loaves (Devatkal et
al., 2004), salted and cured meat (Paleari et al., 2000), buffalo
corned beef (Spanghero et al., 2004), kababs (Mir Salahuddin et al.,
1991), meat blocks, nuggets and rolls as well as restructured products (Anjaneyulu
et al., 1995; Sahoo and Anjaneyulu, 1997b; Thomas et al., 2006)
have been developed (Table 1).
|| Consumer and trained panelists
ratings of sensory attributes* of buffalo meat nuggets
|*Based on 8 point descriptive scale (Source: Thomas et
al., 2006), n = 107; n = 39
Low sodium, calcium fortified restructured buffalo meat rolls were developed
by replacing Sodium Tripolyphosphate(STPP) with Calcium Phosphate (CP) which
improves tenderness and binding without affecting proximate composition and
microbial quality (Mendiratta et al., 2002). In an attempt to use blood
proteins in buffalo meat sausages, decolorized Globin Protein Isolate (GPI)
prepared from buffalo blood was incorporated into sausages (Mandal et al.,
2001). GPI can be added to replace up to 9% lean meat in sausage formulation
without affecting palatability and storage quality. Incorporation of fat in
the formulations improves juiciness and palatability of the meat products, but
addition of buffalo fat, which is highly saturated causes mouth coating and/or
after taste problems resulting lower palatability of emulsion based buffalo
meat products. This adverse effect can be significantly reduced by addition
of fat pre-mix in place of fat for its better dispersion and emulsification
which significantly improves the palatability of the meat products (Pati et
Incorporation of whole egg liquid in the formulations enhances the quality of buffalo meat products (Thomas et al., 2006). Instead of hard buffalo fat, use of refined vegetable oil increases the palatability of buffalo meat products (Sahoo and Anjaneyulu, 1997a; Thomas et al., 2006). Green ginger rhizome (0.5%) alone or in combination with onions and garlic causes undesirable soft texture to the patties, which affect the palatability of meat products. Hence, dried ginger should be added for its flavour and antioxidant effect (Anjaneyulu et al., 1988). Incorporation of sodium lactate at 1% level markedly increases the yield and sensory attributes of cooked buffalo meat salami (Ambadkar, 2002). Buffalo meat has been utilized in the manufacture of salami sausages in Philippines and traditional sausages in Russia (Kocharli et al., 1984).
Simple Technology for Meat Blocks, Slices and Nuggets
A simple technology has been developed to produce nuggets from different
meats and their combination by forming a block using a mould and cutting the
cooked meat block into nuggets of different sizes and shapes. This technology
is of very low cost as compared to modern technology using forming machines
and emulsion of any desired consistency could be used. Fried, smoked and pickled
type variety meat nuggets could be produced.
Restructured Meat Products
Restructuring is a processing technique used for developing convenience
products with texture in between intact steak and a comminuted product. It facilitates
to develop more palatable products from buffalo meat. Some of the modern meat
processing techniques such as blade tenderization, flaking and tumbling can
be used to improve the product yield, binding, texture and sensory attributes
of the products. Meat from male buffalo calves (about one year) is suitable
for production of restructured blocks, nuggets and rolls (Anjaneyulu et al.,
1995). Rolls made from chunks have better juiciness, texture and overall acceptability
than that of emulsion. However, restructured products made from meat of adult
buffaloes are relatively less palatable. Intermittent vacuum tumbling for 18
h significantly enhanced the yield, binding, cohesiveness and sensory attributes
of restructured buffalo meat blocks (Keerthi, 1998). Addition of whey protein
concentrates along with polyphosphate markedly improved the emulsion stability,
product yield and sensory attributes of restructured buffalo meat nuggets (Anjaneyulu
et al., 1998).
Low Fat Meat Products
Buffalo meat can be effectively utilized in producing low-fat products by
incorporating fat replacers (Sathu et al., 2006). According to the Nutrition
Labelling and Education Act, 1990, whole muscle beef products with not more
than 10% fat can be labelled lean and products with less than 5% fat as extra
lean (Keeton, 1994). Most of the recent low-fat ground beef products have a
fat content of 10% or less. Low fat (<6%) sausages formulated with preformed
gel of hydrocolloid (0.9%) and whey protein concentrates (6%) and added fat
(4%) is found comparable with that of control product with respect to physico-chemical
properties and sensory attributes (Sathu et al., 2006). Low fat sausages
have markedly lower TBARS values and longer shelf life at refrigerated storage
(4±1°C). A combination of hydrocolloid fat substitutes, sodium alginate
(0.1%) and carrageenan (0.75%) significantly increased the sensory attributes
of low-fat ground buffalo meat patties (Suman and Sharma, 2003).
Enrobed Meat Products
Further enrobing/coating of meat products is a method of value addition
which enhances the acceptability of meat products. Highly acceptable enrobed
buffalo meat cutlets have been made using meat emulsion as binder (Eyas Ahmed
et al., 2006). Further enrobing of buffalo meat cutlets significantly
reduces the shrinkage and enhances all the sensory attributes and shelf life
up to 90 days under frozen storage (-18±1°C).
Cured and Smoked Meat Products
Curing and smoking contributes attractive colour, unique flavour along with
shelf life extension of meat products, which makes them popular among consumers.
Sodium nitrite level of 150 ppm is found optimum for producing smoked buffalo
meat chunks with better colour and flavour (Mathew Thomas, 1992). Incorporation
of milk proteins improves the sensory attributes of smoked buffalo meat sausages
(Sathu et al., 2006). Curing and smoking enhances the storage stability
of the products.
Shelf Stable Meat Products
Production of thermally processed meat products either in cans or retort
pouches with extended shelf life at ambient temperature promotes distribution
and marketing. Buffalo meat blocks processed in retort pouches were found to
be microbiologically safe and acceptable over 3 months of storage at ambient
temperature (Prince Devadason, 2000). Market studies have indicated that corned
beef produced from buffalo meat and beef were indistinguishable in their organoleptic
quality while the former was found to have better appearance due to white colour
of the fat (Karvir, 1985). Shelf stable buffalo meat chunks can be prepared
by desorbing meat chunks in an infusion solution and subsequent dehydration
followed by pressure cooking (Malik, 1999).
Extruded snacks are made from meat and non meat ingredients. Extrusion helps
to create different forms and shapes of products. They are very popular for
convenience, crispiness and shelf stability. Meat incorporation improves flavour,
taste and nutritive value of the products. Meat based snacks includes curls,
chips and samosa (Sharma and Kondaiah, 2005) and snacks from the tripe of buffaloes
(Anna Anandh et al., 2005).
Traditional Meat Products
The rich heritage of India contributes to wide range of traditional foods
and has a role to play in health foods. Indigenous meat products are unique
in their spicy flavour, simplicity and ease of preparation. They have the potential
of becoming value added convenience products of good palatability. Popular indigenous
meat products are Seekh kabab, Shami kabab, Tikka and Kofta
etc. Some of the variety meats are used in traditional manner. The yield, quality
and acceptability of kababs have been significantly enhanced by addition of
food additives like polyphosphate irrespective of meat handling conditions (Mir
Salahuddin et al., 1991). Buffalo meat is well suitable for making pickles
of high palatability (Khate, 2002). Marination of meat chunks with acetic acid
prior to cooking significantly improves the tenderness of meat and overall acceptability
of the pickle. Use of Cucumis trigonus roxb, Ginger officinale and
papain in the preparation of roasted buffalo meat chunks contribute a significant
improvement in flavour, juiciness, tenderness and overall acceptability of the
product (Naveena et al., 2004). Addition of ginger extract increases
the collagen solubility and decreases the shear force values and TBARS values
of meat chunks. It can be effectively used to improve the sensory and keeping
qualities of battered meat chunks. With many processing methods and tools offered
by contemporary food technology along with scientific packaging, the quality
and shelf life of traditional meat products can be raised to world-class standards.
Convenience and variety in the range of meat products is required to cater
to the needs of different consumers for the sustainability of meat based food
industry. Apart from the traditional and popular western products, meat products
from other continents and regions can be tried with buffalo meat to evaluate
its suitability and economic feasibility. Appropriate strategies need to be
evolved for popularizing buffalo meat based products in domestic and international
Packaging of meat and meat products with appropriate plastic films and laminates
plays significant role in retention of the quality and extension of shelf life
during refrigerated and frozen storage and also promote their marketability.
Vacuum packed preblended buffalo meat and nuggets have better refrigerated storage
stability (Sahoo and Anjaneyulu, 1997b). Vacuum packaged buffalo meat sausages
have consistently better flavour scores during refrigerated storage (Deenathayalan,
1997). Use of vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging certainly enhance shelf
life of buffalo meat and its products during storage.
Meat Quality Assurance
Indian meat gets relatively lower price in the international market mainly
due to poor conditions of abattoirs. Social prejudice, ignorance and resistance
of some groups with vested interest have resulted in tardy progress of meat
sector. Up-gradation of meat processing facilities and good manufacturing practices
as well as introduction of quality standards are essential to significantly
enhance the value of meat and meat products for higher returns. Programmes followed
in developed countries for reduction of pathogens in food supply includes- pathogen
eradication campaigns, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and GMP
programmes, better animal feeding regulations, use of potable water in food
processing, more effective preservatives, improved antimicrobial products for
sanitizing food processing equipments and facilities and adequate surveillance
of food handling and processing methods. Every day food safety and quality issues
vary dramatically from country to country. National capabilities to use and
apply food standards must be enhanced if global food safety is ever to be realized
in wider aspects of applying food standards at a practical level (Kondaiah,
Food distributors seek their supplies from the processing plants following preventive food safety and quality assurance systems based on HACCP system. Large retailers in Australia have been demanding HACCP implementation by their suppliers. Practice of OIE/Codex standards would meet WTO requirements and would boost up export meat trade. Safety and quality are viewed very important central elements of business focus and are indispensable for business sustainability in the competitive markets. Processed meat products should reach the consumer at a competitively low price.
Impacts of WTO on Livestock Products
The uniqueness of Indian livestock sector is characterized as production
by masses as compared to mass production by a few in developed countries and
this need to be kept in mind while deciding policy approaches in economic liberalization
programme. A large number of livestock farmers need to be retained and sustained
in livestock sector as no alternative is possible for their livelihood. WTO
provides a wealth of choices to the consumer. Hence, value added products need
to be produced to satisfy the consumer demand and prevent adverse impact of
large scale imports. Small scale ventures of value added products would go a
long way in improving the economics of livestock production and meeting the
Constraints in Development of Processed Meat Sector
The developing processed meat sector is facing several constraints which
includes limited availability and high cost of good quality meat, non availability
of tested indigenous technology for commercial scale processing, batch processing,
high cost of imported meat processing equipments and non availability of cold
chains required for storage, distribution and marketing as meat products are
perishable. Inadequate power supply and frequent power failures further detracts
the entrepreneurs to enter into this sector.
The quality and palatability of buffalo meat products can be further significantly
improved by following some of the steps either during production of meat or
processing of meat products to fetch higher profits.
||Electrical stimulation of carcasses can be practiced in modern
abattoirs to improve the quality of meat, in particular tenderness.
||Mechanical blade tenderizer can be used in processing plants to enhance
the palatability of tough meat from spent animals. Marination of meat chunks
with ginger rhizome paste markedly improves the tenderness of meat.
||Production of shelf stable meat products in retort pouches will facilitate
their distribution and marketing in the absence of cold-storage network.
||Appropriate technologies need to be further standardized for profitable
utilization of edible offals like tripe into snack products or incorporation
into other comminuted meat products or pet foods.
||Processing technologies need to be dynamic for economic survival and to
meet the ever increasing consumer needs. Use of standardized low-cost processing
technologies for several meat products can benefit entrepreneurs in producing
better quality products.
||Pragmatic long-term slaughter policy of meat animals by Government would
help to attract private investments for production of wholesome meat, safe
and nutritious meat products for developing sustainable meat industry.
||Further reduction of custom duties on imported meat processing equipments
would encourage the growth of the meat processing sector.
The abundantly available low-cost buffalo meat from spent animals has vast potential for production of several value added convenience meat products. Production of meat products with adequate process and quality control may find their entry into global markets and fetch higher returns. The future success of meat industry in India depends on how well industry partners and R and D Institutions join hands for meaningful partnership and alliance towards converting scientific knowledge into value added systems by improving linkages, infrastructure, adjusting taxation and food laws as well as drawing clear plans which benefits producer, processor and consumers.
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