The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of different aspects of inulin functionality in meat and poultry products.
Several studies on the physiochemical, textural and sensorial effects of inulin incorporated in meat and poultry products as fat replacer and texture modifier were reviewed.
Inulin is a plant-derived carbohydrate composed of fructose units and glucosyl moieties at the end of the chain that exhibits unique nutritional and technological benefits. Among its main healthy characteristics, it has been reported to reduce the risk of colon cancer, arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity, to maintain low levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in serum and stimulate the immune system. As a functional food ingredient, it can be used in various foods as a fat replacer, improves water-holding capacity and emulsion stability, as well as modifying the texture and viscosity of foods. Incorporation of inulin into meat and poultry products can be beneficial in producing low-fat products with desirable texture and sensory attributes.
There are limited reviews regarding the application of inulin in meat and poultry products. In this review, chemical composition and physicochemical properties of inulin, its health effects and various effects of inulin incorporation into meat and poultry products including, physicochemical, textural and sensory characteristics of these products are discussed.