By Liz Mulvey - 19 October 2018
Sausages are a staple in many households. Sausages were once seen as a cheap meal, but the humble banger now also has gourmet status. Unusual fillings like wild boar and chorizo are now regularly available alongside more traditional pork or beef sausages and meat-free recipes. This versatility gives new product developers lots of options
A competitive market
Sales of sausages continue to grow, particularly in the convenience food sector, and the summer barbeque season boosts sales, especially during this year’s heatwave. According to AHDB, the UK sausage market is worth £159 million. However, with many competitors working on improved and/or cheaper products, product innovation is vital within this growing market.
The retail and food service sector contains a large variety of sausage types and recipes. Sausages differ on many characteristics including meat content, cooking method, texture and how they are manufactured. The order in which ingredients are combined is important to optimise their functionality. Most products will use either a cereal or starch to absorb water; choosing the correct binder enables efficient raw processing and ensures the desired texture upon consumption. Rusk is the traditional binder of choice, however, increased demand for clean and ‘free from’ labels has led to the development of alternatives, such as pea starch, gluten free and organic.
Perfect your product on a pilot scale
It is vital to get the recipe and process right to ensure the quality of your sausage and to avoid costly mistakes in product development. We use a range of equipment to develop and test new sausage formulations on a pilot scale. We have recently invested in a new bowl cutter, the Mainca Bowl Cutter CM-21. The adjustable speed setting of the bowl cutter can be used to produce a variety of textures depending on the speed of the blades and length of processing time. We can manufacture batches from 5-30 kg. You can take a peek behind the scenes of our pilot plant by visiting our virtual online pilot plant.
We can assess the quality of products, help to improve taste and texture, and increase shelf life. It’s important to carry out sensory and consumer testing if you make any alterations to your sausage. We have a lot of experience in this area. Recently, we evaluated the effect of a rusk replacer on processing performance, shelf life, textural properties, colour, cooking loss and sensory analysis. We have also investigated fat content and cooking loss in low fat sausages. We also carried a complete reformulation and change of process to address consumer complaints for a client to improve the quality and extend shelf life.
Maximise your chance of a successful product launch
You can increase the chance of a successful sausage product launch by collecting focused consumer insights and identifying a clear customer need right at the start of the product development process. With a detailed description of the brief, the developer can produce a prototype which is compliant with legislation, technically-feasible, safe and commercially-viable.
To find out more or to discuss how we can help with your sausage manufacturing requirements, please get in touch.