The intake of sodium in diets is of concern in many industrialized countries. Attempts have been made to lower sodium intake via meat products. The keeping quality, taste and water-holding/firmness of meat products have usually been impaired. The water-holding in cooked sausage was determined by a laboratory sausage method. Beef and pork with varying natural post-rigor pH-values (range: pork 5.50–6.12 and beef 5.60–6.48) were used as mixtures, and 0.5–2.5 % NaCl was used with or without added commercial sausage phosphate (2,5 g/kg determined as P2O5). The pH-values of raw batter increased to a level 0.0–0.7 units higher than the pH-values of the respective meat mixtures. The increase was higher in lower pH-values, with higher salt levels and with added phosphate. The cooking caused an additional increase of about 0.0–0.2 units, and the increase was again higher at lower pH-values. Maximum in water-holding was reached in 2.5% NaCl in all pH-values, both with and without added phosphate. The pH-value of meat raw materials for the maximum water-holding was ca. 6.3. The combined effect of salt and pH is important in high salt contents and low pH-values. By 2.5% NaCl , where the maximum in water-holding was obtained, raw meat pH has the largest effect, but in low NaCl contents, below 1.0%, only a minor effect in pH-values below 5.9, and above that, almost no effect. Approximately the same water-holding as with 2.5% NaCl in pH 5.7 can be reached with 1.5% NaCl in pH 6.1 and above. The effects of the variables were similar with pork and beef. It was concluded that when lowering the salt content in cooked sausages, the pH of the batter should be increased by using high-pH meat mixtures and/or pH-raising phosphates in order to reach a high enough level of water-holding.
Puolanne, E., Ruusunen, M., & Vainionpää, J. (2001). Combined effects of NaCl and raw meat pH on water-holding in cooked sausage with and without added phosphate. Meat Science, 58(1), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0309-1740(00)00123-6