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Use of modified starch added to meat

A colleague of mine in Turkey reported interest from the Turkish authorities to "deal with" the addition of modified starch to meat to increase apparent weight.  It was not specified whether this is processed products such a sausage (I thought that this was common and legal if declared) or other.  It was also not clear whether the product, also called "pregelatinized" flour or starch, was being used in combination with added water.  One example of the product apparently in use is marketed as Suprex (not Suprax!).

Has anyone come across the use of such products used in this fraudulent way?

I presume a simple detection method based upon total starch content is more likely to be of use in this context if the authorities did go down the enforcement route.

I am no expert in Turkish Food Law...

Any suggestions gratefully received...


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  • Simon,
    I have not heard of pregelatinised starch being used as a water holding agent in meat, but it would have a similar but much less efficient function as hydrolysed collagen. This has been widely used as you know for holding added water in injected meat and poultry. The advantage of using starch is that it is not animal based and would be more acceptable to Muslims, as most hydrolysed collagen would not be halal and a lot of it comes from pork. However, it would not be that good for freeze thaw stability. I think that some of the European chicken injection producers have moved onto plant gums as collagen replacers as the detection of soluble collagen have improved.
    I see from the internet that Suprex is a Turkish product and is pregelatinised wheat flour, and hence would also be a binder and stabiliser for meat emulsions such as sausages, and behave similarly to rusk, which is the main binder in British sausages. It would have the effect of holding the fat and water better, and so maybe this is its main use.
    Mark Woolfe
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