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Sodium-free meat preservation is now possible

Published: 23-05-2017, | Member: Niacet

Organic-salt specialist Niacet originally developed its Provian product line for meat preservation, to prevent outgrowth of Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogens. They have now produced a version to preserve meat products with low sodium content.


With a broad range of food and feed preservatives, pharmaceutical products and technical formulations in its portfolio, Niacet serves a variety of markets in the food, pharmaceutical and technology industries. The company – headquartered close to Niagara Falls in the USA – is manufacturing its products in the USA and the Netherlands.

“Building upon our strong track record in bakery preservatives”, says Eelco Heintz, Technical and Innovation manager Food at Niacet, “about ten years ago we saw opportunities to support the meat industry; a sector enjoying global growth but faced with challenging safety and quality issues.”

Sustainable and cost efficient

Niacet’s solution is the Provian product line, launched onto the market in 2010 as a sustainable and cost-efficient powder alternative to conventional liquid preservatives. It is produced in-house via their own advanced, unique, co-spray drying technique. “All products within our Provian range are lightweight, highly-concentrated acetate-based powders”, explains Heintz. “Doses as low as 0.5% are effective, due to the extremely high, natural, preservation capacity of acetate.”

Taste enhancing

Niacet has recently extended its product line with a potassium powder-based variety: Provian K. “We noticed manufacturers were looking for sodium-free preservatives that do not compromise product taste”, says Heintz. “Most sodium-free preservatives on the market produce a metallic aftertaste, a characteristic of potassium. “However, Provian K doses are so low that desired taste profiles are protected, as demonstrated in extensive sensory studies.”

Shelf-life extension

Provian K has proven to extend the shelf life of processed meat products, such as frankfurters and cooked turkey ham, even if storage temperatures are abused – which is often the case in normal use. A doubling of the shelf-life was observed in comparison to cooked meat applications without preservatives. Moreover, Provian K prevented growth of Listeria monocytogenes for 90 days.

Meeting salt-reduction targets

Substituting sodium-based preservatives by Provian K contributes to a significant reduction of the total sodium content of meat products. “Together with other measures, such as replacing sodium-containing taste enhancers and other sodium-based ingredients, Provian K is a valuable, low-cost addition for manufacturers striving to meet salt-reduction targets”, Heintz stresses. In addition to meat, Provian K is effective in ready-to-eat meals, sauces, fish and salads.

Label friendly

“The demand for acetate is growing, a development that is presumably caused by the increasing awareness of its all-round functionality. Together with the trend for natural and/or clean-label preservation this has resulted in a demand for preserving vinegars.”, says Heintz.  This has prompted Niacet to develop a new, label-friendly variant of Provian K, an innovation that recently entered the marketing stage.

“The product functions like Provian K, but contains naturally-fermented instead of synthetic acetate, and needs no E-number”, says Heintz. Provian K’s ‘little brother’ is still in its validation stage but is, understandably, attracting much interest.

With the introduction of new technologies, Heintz expects meat manufacturers to considerably reduce salt content. “They will need to combine strategies and techniques”, he says, “but preservation will no longer be a limiting factor.”



Food Valley Summit: Reformulation Salt Reduction

Innovation insights and new developments. Sharing opportunities, challenges and market experiences. Meet Niacet during the Food Valley Summit on 8 June 2017 in the Netherlands.
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