Versatile Ingredient

New business driven by mustard substitute for sodium phosphate or soy protein isolate.

by Heather Angus-Lee

Mustard is a highly versatile food ingredient that is increasingly being used for different properties – as an emulsifier (stabilizer in processed foods), binder, and for health properties including natural preservative and antioxidant. Its source as a protein is leading to new business for G.S. Dunn, which sells mustard bran, flour and other forms of mustard seed to food manufacturers around the world.

A recent study by the Food Development Corporation (FDC) investigated the functional benefit of replacing sodium phosphate, or soy protein isolate, with mustard. Whole ground mustard and deactivated mustard were tested in two different processing scenarios – vacuum tumbling and injection. Boneless, skinless, 4 oz. chicken breast fillets were sized to specific standards for weight and dimensions to ensure consistency of experiment and results.

Chicken was tumbled/vacuum marinated or injected separately, yields were determined by weight, cooked, frozen and reconstituted to ensure a full cycle to include all commercial handling parameters. Tests were also conducted at various stages and included shelf life, sensory, yields, re-thermalization tests, SPC (micro indicators), lipid oxidation, colour, moisture, pH and protein analysis. Shelf life was extended without changing colour, surface sheen, or functional benefits; Yield savings were $15 million – based on three per cent, two shifts multiplied by five work days at a medium size plant with about $300,000 lbs. of throughput or tonnage/shift, and approximate cost of $3.25/lb.

Mustard as a protein substitution is particularly appealing to food processors in emerging markets such as China and India because of the relatively lower production costs. One of G.S. Dunn’s customers in Shanghai is testing the mustard protein on hamburger and sausage processing.