Alheiras with animal fat replacement: application of a gelled emulsion based on hemp oil (Cannabis sativa L.) and buckwheat uri icon


  • A gelled emulsion elaborated using hemp seed oil and buckwheat flour was utilized as pork backfat substitute in a typical Portuguese meat product named Alheira. Three different formulations were prepared: Alheiras control (AC) with a fat content of 13%, alheiras where the 25% pork backfat was substituted with a hemp seed oil-GE (AH25), and alheiras where the 50% pork backfat was substituted with a hemp seed oil-GE (AH50). The chemical composition as well as the physicochemical properties and lipid stability of different samples were assessed. Reformulated samples showed similar protein, moisture, and fat content (p < 0.05) that AC. However, AH25 and AH50 had a higher amount of linoleic acid (16.29 and 22.14 g/100 g, respectively) and linolenic acid (1.75 and 3.45 g/100 g, respectively) than AC (12.71 and 0.51 g/100 g). Similarly, AH25 and AH50 showed lower saturated fatty acids (35.28 and 30.37 g/100 g, respectively) than AC (37.37 g/100 g). The substitution of pork backfat for hemp seed oil-GE did not modify significantly the physicochemical properties of samples. On the other hand, the lipid oxidation values increased by 30 and 65% in AH25 and AH50 respectively, in comparison to AC due to the use of polyunsaturated oils, which are highly susceptible to oxidation. This work established that the use of gelled emulsions elaborated using hemp oil and buckwheat flour may be a promising strategy to obtain meat products with a better healthier profile.

publication date

  • January 1, 2023