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Pimp my meatballs: Collagen injections safeguard nutrients

If your meat needs to be plumped up, try some collagen injections.

Injecting meatballs with collagen can help the meat to retain the important nutrients iodine and thiamine, a new study by researchers from the Agricultural University of Poznan in Poland shows.

During the processes of storing and cooking, pork meatballs tend to lose a percentage of iodine and thiamine. Adding collagen fibre or collagen hydrolysate saturated with potassium iodide to meat makes it more stable than potassium iodide introduced using iodized table salt. The collagen enhancement works on fresh meat before cooking, but the effect also lasts during cold- or freezer-storage (SCI’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, doi 10.1002/jsfa.2844).

In this study, collagen was injected into meatballs to act as a carrier of iodine salts. After storage and cooking of the meatballs, levels of iodine and thiamine were measured and they were shown to have maintained within the meat.

Thiamine (vitamin B1) helps the body’s cells to convert carbohydrates into energy. It is found in many foods, like lean meats, but especially pork. Insufficient amounts of thiamine can lead to nerve damage, weakness, fatigue and psychosis.

A lack of iodine in a diet can lead to iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), such as goiter or impeded mental development, which are a considerable problem in many countries. This study could help countries suffering from a great percentage of IDD to increase the iodine in their diets.

Professor Hans Burgi of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) in Switzerland agrees iodide in food can be unstable. While he doesn’t think that it is necessary to inject all meats with collagen, he believes there can be some benefits. “Since in iodine deficient areas, iodine is supplemented by salt as a carrier, improving its stability with collagen is of interest,” he said.

Lisa Richards | alfa
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