Serious Eats: Talk
Questons on enhanced meats, mostly for Meatguy.
I try to avoid buying meats that have been 'enhanced' since I don't prefer the taste and texture but sometimes an alternative isn't available or I'm low on cash and have to settle for it. When the label says "Enhanced with up to a X% solution" does it mean that X% of the weight I'm paying for is buffer? I'm assuming the solution is saline, a phosphate or carbonate buffer plus chicken or pork broth and the mysterious natural flavorings. What is in the buffer that gives the fat and meat such a strange texture? The raw fat feels slippery or slimy compared to unenhanced birds while the cooked meat has a stiff, almost rubbery texture.
The other question is why don't food manufacturers have to label the gluten content in the natural flavors. Turkeys may contain gluten because of the 'enhancement' solution but it's not on the label. I got sick eating flavored Dannon yogurt for the same reason since every flavored yogurt Dannon makes has gluten but there is no warning on the package.
Why do food manufacturers do this? Do they think is helps the flavor or is the buffer included to increase shelf life or disguise inferior quality meat?