Every once in a while we come across an ingredient that changes how we look at cooking. The newest one that we have found is sodium tripolyphosphate. There’s some ingredients that come with a learning curve. Some ingredients take quite a bit of know-how. And then there are some that just flat-out work. Sodium tripolyphosphate is one that just works. We were able to make a force meat that was perfectly emulsified from diced to ground to finished in less than 2 minutes. But what does it do, how does it work, and what can you make with it? Those are the questions that we like to answer here.
“What is sodium tripolyphosphate?”
One and Done
Sodium tripolyphosphate Is a phosphate salt that does a few things to perfectly emulsify meats. Sodium tripolyphosphate raises the pH of the meat. This allows for the proteins to retain more water, that way they can be more easily emulsified with the fat. Sodium tripolyphosphate also creates a stronger emulsion so that during and after the cooking process the meat will not degrade and become mealy or greasy.
In our testing we were able to find great uses for sodium tripolyphosphate. We found that it gives a texture to forcemeats that we were not able to get through the traditional emulsification process. The texture we discovered has a nice firm snap and was extremely juicy. On top of that we were able to make a “McRib” clone recipe that we are very proud of. This recipe is quick and simple, and can be ready to eat in about 10 minutes. Oh, that 10 minutes also includes the cooking time. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. The emulsification process in a food processor took about 1-2 minutes from start to finish. Another great thing about this process is that it only requires about 0.2% by weight of sodium tripolyphosphate to the meat. So in layman’s terms that’s 2g of sodium tripolyphosphate for every 1000g of meat. That’s an extremely small amount per recipe considering one 50g bag can emulsify 25kg of meat!
Sodium triphosphate can also be used as an emulsifier in cheese, similar to sodium citrate. This is a way to make any cheese into a perfectly melty cheese slice. Other benefits to sodium tripolyphosphate is it slows oxidation and will help preserve the meat for a longer period of time. Anywhere you want better emulsification and water retention sodium tripolyphosphate can be used to do so. Stay tuned to our channels to be one of the first people to catch a glimpse of our McRib clone recipe!