At Old Neighborhood Foods/Thin ‘n Trim, we use only the freshest ingredients and strive to operate in a transparent manner. So we’ve put together a list of the questions we get asked most frequently, and some definitions you might be curious about. If you have a question you don’t see answered here, please email us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are nitrates and nitrites?
Nitrate has been used for centuries as a preservative and color enhancing agent in the production of cured meat products. Nitrates and nitrites are found not only in cured meat products but also in vegetables and drinking water. Along with most major meat processors in the 21st century, Old Neighborhood uses the more stable sodium nitrite in the production of cured products such as frankfurts, corned beef, pastrami and deli cold cuts.
Vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, collard greens and broccoli, along with many root vegetables account for more than 70% of nitrates in the typical human diet, while cured meat products account for only about 6%.
Do your products contain nitrates or nitrites?
Old Neighborhood does not use nitrates in the formulation of product. However, because some products are cured, Old Neighborhood does use sodium nitrite in the production of certain items. All of our frankfurts, deli cold cuts and smoked sausages, along with corned beef and pastrami are manufactured in a very traditional manner and do contain sodium nitrite. The sodium nitrite is an essential ingredient and imparts a traditional old world texture and flavor while protecting our customers from the food poisoning known as botulism.
Do you have any nitrate or nitrite free product?
Yes, our roast beef and pre-sliced turkey are nitrite free. Also our pre-cooked hot and sweet Italian sausages are nitrite free.
What is sodium nitrite?
Sodium nitrite is an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of cured meat products. When meat containing sodium nitrite is cooked, the meat product has the distinctive “pink” color. Sodium nitrite also imparts distinct flavor and is the best ingredient available today to cure meats and prevent food poisoning known as botulism.
What is sodium phosphate?
Sodium phosphate is an ingredient approved for use in meat products by the USDA in 1982. It is used to make a more stable product. Sodium phosphate helps protect frankfurts and other emulsified products from variations in the cooking process and also helps products such as roast beef from becoming dried out during the cooking process.
What is sodium diacetate?
Sodium diacetate is a USDA approved ingredient. It is an antimicrobial agent used in meat and poultry products to improve food safety. As a pathogen inhibitor, it has the greatest effectiveness when used in combination with potassium lactate. The two chemicals limit the ability of certain pathogenic bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and some food spoilage bacteria from multiplying.
What is sodium erythorbate?
Sodium erythorbate is an antioxidant
structurally related to vitamin C
; it helps improve flavor stability and prevents the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines
. When used in processed meats such as, corned beef and pastrami, it increases the rate at which nitrite reduces to nitric oxide
, thus facilitating a faster cure and the retention of the pink coloring and imparting the cured flavor.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein combination found in wheat, rye and barley. Many individuals have a sensitivity or allergy to products such as bread, cakes and cookies because those products contain gluten. All products manufactured by Old Neighborhood Foods are gluten free.
What is MSG?
An abbreviation of monosodium glutamate, an approved food additive typically used to enhance the flavor of food. No Old Neighborhood Food products contain MSG.
What is dextrose?
Dextrose is also more commonly known as glucose. It is used to add sweetness. Old Neighborhood Foods uses dextrose instead of salt as a carrier for many concentrated flavorings and spice extractives.
What is ascorbic acid?
Ascorbic acid is also known as Vitamin C and is also an antioxidant. Ascorbic acid is used in the manufacture of frankfurts and other deli meats as a cure accelerator, which enables a faster cure giving the product the proper color and cure flavor. Ascorbic acid also inhibits the production of nitrosamines.
What is trans fat?
Trans fat is an unsaturated fat from vegetable oils that has undergone the man-made process of hydrogenation. Diets high in trans fats have been linked to an increase in blood cholesterol. All products manufactured by Old Neighborhood Foods are trans fat free./spoiler]
What is potassium lactate?
Potassium lactate is a USDA approved ingredient. It is an antimicrobial agent used in meat and poultry products to improve food safety and is most effective when used in conjunction with sodium diacetate. The two chemicals limit the ability of certain pathogenic bacteria such a listeria monocytogenes and some food spoilage bacteria from multiplying.
What is modified food starch?
Modified starch is prepared by treating any starch (found in plants) in order to change the properties of the starch. Modified starches are typically not used in the production of meat products, since the primary use is a thickening agent for sauces and gravies.
What holds skinless franks together?
The outer layer holding a skinless frank together is a protein coat formed in the cooking and smoking process. The frankfurt emulsion is stuffed into a special casing that is removed after cooking and smoking and prior to packaging.
What does oleoresin in Oleoresin of Paprika mean?
An oleoresin is an oil soluble extract of any spice. Oleoresin of paprika is used to enhance the color and flavor of processed meat products such a frankfurts and bologna.
How do you get 'natural smoke flavor'?
It is made by condensing smoke from a wood fire, typically hickory, until it rapidly cools to a liquid.
Where does soy protein come from?
Soy is a plant in the pea plant family. Soy protein comes from soybeans, the seed of the soy plant. Soybeans are very high in protein. Depending upon the product, the soy protein used by Old Neighborhood Foods is either hydrolyzed soy protein (80% protein) or isolated soy protein (greater than 90% protein). Soy proteins, when added to processed meat products, improve texture and mouth feel and also increase the protein content of the product.
What kind of flavor does coriander have?
Coriander is a spice from the parsley family. The flavor is a blend of lemon and sage. In the production of frankfurts, the ground dried seed of the coriander plant is one of the major spices.
What kind of flavor does fennel have?
Fennel is used either ground or whole and is the major flavor found in both sweet and hot Italian sausage. The flavor is very similar to anise, but sweeter and less pungent.