Consumers View of Preservatives in Processed Meats

In a side-by-side comparison of ingredient legends for deli-style turkey breast, consumers preferred the shorter list of ingredients featuring propionic acid (57%) versus the longer list with sodium lactate, sodium diacetate (43%) as the active ingredient for controlling Listeria.

These results, from a study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Kemin, follow the company’s announcement in June, in which Kemin highlighted the recent online survey of 1,004 U.S. adults that evaluated how certain preservatives found in processed meats can influence consumer purchase decisions. In fact, survey results showed that a combined 86 percent of consumers always or sometimes read the ingredient label when making these purchases and 34 percent always read the label.

As food safety remains an area of focus for food manufacturers, they are also challenged to address consumer health concerns as well as meet the demand for simplified ingredient statements. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that known pathogens cause an estimated 9.4 million illnesses annually in the United States, including hospitalizations and even death. As a result, many of the world’s largest food companies, retailers and manufacturers have set higher food safety standards.

“Our research indicates that 81 percent of grocery shoppers commonly turn to the refrigerated section when purchasing meat or meat products for their families,” said Brittany Bailey, product manager for the food technologies division of Kemin. “As the ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry market grows, it is imperative to manufacturers’ success that they meet consumer demand for safe and nutritious products with shorter, easy-to-read ingredient labels.”

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