Meatball is a processed meat product that uses a restructuring method, which is the re-formation of small pieces into whole meat with the addition of binder, thickener, and filler so that quality meatballs are produced in terms of texture, high water binding capacity, low cooking loss, containing SNI standard nutrition and organoleptic quality.
Ir. Aris Sri Widati, MS, a lecturer from the Faculty of Animal Husbandry, Universitas Brawijaya (Fapet UB) revealed that the quality of meatballs in general is influenced by the formulation of the ingredients, the production process, and their storage. While the chewiness is influenced by the main raw material, namely meat, which is a source of myofibrils protein and other additives that can form a gel.
He expressed the opinion in his final research dissertation entitled “The Role of Seaweed Flour (Eucheuma cottonii) and Its Interaction with Salt (NaCl) and Tapioca Flour on the Quality of Meat and Meatball Protein Gel.” Aris is recorded as a student of the Postgraduate Doctoral Program at Fapet UB and has taken an online dissertation exam, Monday (23/11/2020).
According to him, seaweed is included in the red algae class which contains kappa carrageenan, which can act as a chewer, stabilizer, water-binding agent in making meatballs. Beside that, seaweed has a high soluble fiber content. When it is consumed it, will reduce cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels, prevent colon cancer, and lose weight.
Meanwhile, tapioca flour which contains amylose and amylopectin has a role in starch gelatinization. Namely the development of starch, especially in amylose and trapping of water in the starch gel, which will affect the texture of the meatballs, so that tapioca is suitable to be made as a filler.
Then the function of NaCl salt in addition to preserving meat, it can also improve the taste and texture of meat products. And can significantly increase myofibril protein, which is protein dissolved in salt, composed of myosin and actin proteins play an important role in the ability to form three-dimensional gel on heating and determine the texture of processed meat.
The study was divided into four stages, including (1) fractionation of beef myofibril protein with natrium chloride (NaCl) salt, (2) the interaction of salt-soluble beef protein at different NaCl salt levels with seaweed flour on gel quality, (3) quality of meatball with the addition of seaweed flour, (4) the interaction effect of using seaweed flour and tapioca flour on the quality of beef meatballs.
The results of the study concluded that the addition of seaweed flour, tapioca flour, and salt in the making of meatballs, apart from affecting the texture of the meatballs, also affected the chemical quality. Among them are water content, protein, fat, ash, physical quality (pH, WHC, cooking losses), and organoleptic values (color, texture, taste, and aroma). (dta / Humas UB/ Trans. Iir)