March 1998 -- Cover Story By: James C. Burg
Technical Editor Meats always have played a large role in the American diet, and for obvious reasons. They're rich sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and possess high nutritional value relative to price.
However, during the last several decades, meat products have come under increasing scrutiny by medical, nutritional and consumer groups. Concerns about dietary fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates have increased the hunger for balance in the diet and the information supplied consumers. Food product designers have a wealth of opportunities for educating the public, and providing healthful new meats in the coming years.
Development of healthful new meat products must emphasize a large number of design features. The first goal is meeting the latest nutritional guidelines -- admittedly a shifting scale. Levels of fats (particularly saturated fats) and cholesterol have been a major focus for some years. Secondly, the palatability of products must meet the expectations of the consumer in order to develop a market at all.
Achieving these often difficult goals involves establishing maximum nutritional content in a product. Nutrient density must be sufficiently high in order to provide significant value to the purchaser, and supply as high a daily nutrient content as is appropriate to the product. For example, a snack food incorporating meat would directly benefit producer and consumer, due to its protein fortification. Beef, turkey and other jerky products provide portability, texture, flavor and consumer appeal. More applications of this type are needed to appeal to a mobile society. On the far end of this product spectrum, a snack food incorporating meat ingredients and another nutritional feature, such as high dietary fiber, is only one of many potential developments.
Special diets offer potential for using meats as ingredients. This is the case whether a diet is due to physical training, rehabilitation, weight loss or maintenance. Nutraceuticals represent another area that may offer paths to using meats -- as bases for incorporating other ingredients to improve the daily diet. The primary focus is on reducing the "empty" calories and increasing nutrient-dense ingredients.When using high-priced meat ingredients, the designer needs to increase the value and, typically, the appeal of a new prototype. Success isn't necessarily achieved by dropping prices perilously close to the break-even point to gain sales. Instead, it is achieved by preparing products that customers inherently like and are willing to pay a little more to obtain.
The skinny on fatThe ugliest word in the nutrition glossary probably is "fat" -- whether it be saturated fat, trans fatty acids or cholesterol. While consumers might consider all fat bad, nutritionists still recommend that it comprise 20% to 30% of total caloric intake for proper health, with calories from saturated fats maintained below the 10% level. Fats are important in many biological functions, and extremely low-fat diets are not healthy. It is more important to maintain a balanced diet containing fewer total calories.
Protein from all sources should be consumed in quantities of 3 to 4 oz. per day for adults. Lean meats can be consumed in quantities of 3 to 6 oz. daily, along with proteins from grains, legumes and dairy products.
The matter of the meatBeef, poultry and pork still are the most popular main-course platter presentations. Despite other choices, such as lamb and seafood, these three remain North American staples, each with a unique nutritional profile:
Beef. Lean beef contains, on average, 21.5% protein raw, and 30.0% cooked. The moisture content moves from 69.5% raw to 58.0% cooked, and calories per 100 grams increase from 160 raw to 230 cooked.Beef fat, the object of controversy, is at the 10% level in raw lean beef, increasing to about 12% upon cooking. If an individual consumes daily a 6 oz. (170.1 gram) serving of cooked lean beef, the intake of beef fats would be 20.4 g. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be 9.2% of the Daily Reference Intake for total calories. This allows 10% to 20% additional dietary fat from all other sources.
Beef is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins. It also provides fairly high levels of many minerals (except calcium), which are primarily found in the lean muscle tissues.
Poultry. Poultry products, primarily chicken and turkey, have enjoyed increasing consumer appeal during the last 25 years, due to their lower fat profiles and overall healthful attributes. For white meat, protein averages 23.4% raw, 31.6% cooked. Moisture is 73.7% raw, 63.8% cooked. Raw white meat contains 1.9% fat, with cooked containing 3.4% fat. A 100-gram quantity of lean, trimmed chicken white meat has only 117 calories, or 166 calories prepared and cooked. This makes chicken white meat one of the lowest calorie meats.Pork. The many cuts of pork offer lean choices as well as many opportunities for development of low-fat, re-formed products. The basic profile is not much different from beef. Protein levels in lean pork cuts are 19.5% raw, 29% cooked. Moisture levels are 69.5% raw and 57.0% cooked. Fat levels raw and cooked average 9.5% and 12.0%. Pork is a richer source of B complex vitamins than most other meats, with high levels of thiamin, and slightly elevated levels of biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
Additive valueEnhancing whole-meat cuts and developing re-formed meat products with added value are the challenges in developing the next generation of products. Reduction of fat and carbohydrate calories, and fortification with ingredients of greater nutritive value, could provide some interesting new product lines. Additionally, ethnic and regional specialties are of increasing interest, as the North American palate continues expanding. These new food and flavor interests offer opportunities to introduce new, more healthful products. Designing these new products will require an expanding array of components and technologies. Keep in mind, however, that the USDA strictly regulates the type and level of added ingredients in meat products. Soy. Processed meats, including low-fat products, are benefiting from ingredients that provide enhanced properties. Soy protein isolates contain approximately 90% protein with the same amino acid balance as meat, milk and egg proteins. Soy protein isolates reduce fat levels, maintain protein value, and achieve a number of functional advantages at levels of only 2%. Soy protein isolates have a clean flavor due to lack of carbohydrates.
In ground-meat products, such as hamburger patties, a blend of beef and soy can help replace leaner cuts with lower price meats, creating value-added products.
Soy protein replaces some properties of fats, allowing higher added water levels without additional meat protein. An improved texture in ground beef can be achieved with a frozen, structured, isolated soy protein granule by Protein Technologies International. "We have a granular soy protein product with a structure similar to meat," says Stanley Richert, vice president, meat science. "The granular material picks up moisture lost by the meat. A meat/soy particle is formed, which is less sticky and moisture-sensitive."
The product can be blended with meat to reduce fat levels, providing improved texture, appearance and distribution of added meat and seasoning flavors. Additionally, soy fibers can be used at 0.5% to 1.5% to decrease cholesterol content and reduce syneresis. Plus, this doesn't affect the product's flavor profile.
"We have soy protein isolate systems that are applicable to this type of product, most of which are currently being used internationally," says Gregory Kesel, vice president, industry management, Protein Technologies International. He expects use of these products to increase greatly.
Adding soy improves texture, juiciness and bite. In addition, it reduces fat capping in emulsified products, such as franks and cold cuts. Water control provided by the protein aids emulsion control, especially in low-fat products. Temperature tolerance during chopping and emulsification allows more room for error in loss of emulsion stability. Purge, or loss of water on storage, can be more readily controlled.
Increases in texture, purge control, tolerance to cooking and freezing abuse -- and associated palatability factors of juiciness and texture -- make soy protein isolates a useful additive in whole-muscle meats. Potential cost savings and greater ease of preparation provide incentives for developing applications with soy protein isolates. Its healthful profile, along with its functionality, prepare soy protein isolates an avenue of growth in new applications. Low cost, compared to meat products, should allow for introduction of many new products.
Functional soy protein concentrates consist of about 70% protein plus most of the dietary fiber found in the soybean. Similar to soy protein isolates, primary functions imparted by soy protein concentrates include texture enhancement, fat and water control, and emulsification. Different forms of concentrates impart different quality attributes.
Functional concentrates can be used in combination with textured concentrates to add textural sensation to whole or structured meats. Textured products are easily incorporated into ground meat, by first hydrating them to the appropriate levels. This provides a fibrous structure compatible with the meat.
Holding between three to seven times their weight in water, concentrates maintain moisture and flavor. Fat retention by concentrates is very efficient: It holds onto the fat through several cook cycles and is not affected by salt. Flavor retention is thus increased through the cooking period. Concentrates can be designed for either lipophilic or hydrophilic functionality. They have excellent emulsifying capability, which is retained through retorting, and exhibit no sensitivity to salt.
Food starches. Several food starches can be used in meat products for binding, fat reduction and water retention. Starches, modified food starches and maltodextrins can be used to effect in meat products. These substances are derived from corn, potatoes, rice, tapioca, arrowroot and other sources.
Native and regular modified starches are not cold-water-soluble. Gelatinization occurs when starch granules are heated to allow hydration. Maximum functionality becomes available when the starch is fully hydrated. Pre-gelatinization or correct water levels and heating times and temperatures are required for proper hydration of the granules.
Modifying starches improves solubility and texture, and provides greater acid stability. To prevent rupture of hydrated starch granules, two variations can be employed: Starch may be cross-linked with phosphoric acid, or substituted with acetylation or hydroxypropyl groups. These processes increase moisture control within the granules, decrease syneresis, and improve structure. Additionally, freeze-thaw tolerance and refrigerated storage quality are improved.
Food gums. More and more food gums are being developed for use in meat products. Binding, texturizing and maintaining "bite" in formed meat products are gum properties that have been tapped for decades. Distinct advantages of gums are their low caloric contribution compared to fats, and low usage levels.
Lower-fat products containing gums and starches with added water may yield lower flavor perception, requiring adjustment of flavor levels. Also, sufficient hydration is necessary for functionality.
"We can only massage meat so many times to reduce fat," says Roger Mandigo, Ph.D., professor, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. "There is a new religion emerging now about water management rather than fat management." In low-fat products, combinations of gums can replace fats, though in ways noticeable to consumers. Mandigo believes that systems approaches to water management will lead to wider acceptance of low-fat products. He cites ingredients such as methylcellulose as providing very good texture. Lubricity can be improved with gums. Potato starch is mentioned as a "flavor friendly" ingredient, as well as being a strong gel former. "Outside of a systems approach to fat replacement," Mandigo says, "there will be no silver bullet."
Meat products benefit from the water-holding capacity of carrageenans, which enhance juiciness and increase yield.
"Carrageenans are used at a very low level in meats," says Jim Lamkey, Ph.D., technical manager, meat ingredients business unit, FMC Corporation, Philadelphia. They are restricted by the USDA to 1 1/2%, but under normal circumstances the average usage is about 1/2%. They bind quite a bit of water, and they're neutral in terms of flavor; they don't add or take away flavor."
The type of carrageenan required depends on the desired result. Kappa and iota carrageenans are typically used because they form gels; the lambda form does not.
"A kappa-type carrageenan tends to form a firmer product," explains Lamkey. "If you are formulating a sliceable product, or if you are just looking for a firmer texture, usually a kappa carrageenan is used. Iota carrageenans will swell more quickly, and they can swell even in the presence of salt, but they are used for applications requiring a less firm texture. The gels formed by iota are a little more elastic."
Konjac offers rapid hydration at room temperature at low use rates. Konjac also is synergistic with carrageenan and xanthan gum, providing stable gels on application of heat. It develops stable gels with starch as well. In fat-reduction applications, konjac provides juiciness and tenderness. Konjac and combinations provide bite to sausage products and freeze-thaw stability in hamburger patties. Combining konjac with a starch creates a gel that can be chopped into particles resembling fat. This can add visual and functional appeal to chopped or comminuted meat products.
Cellulose gel may not possess a consumer-friendly name, but it is the same component found in vegetable fibers. Microcrystalline cellulose reduces calories in re-formed meat products, while replacing the texture and mouthfeel lost in the translation.Protein. Mandigo is researching the use of "meat replacers" prepared from connective tissues, a material that might be in greater supply in coming years. This process produces a "flavor-friendly" ingredient from collagen derived from beef and the skins of chickens and pigs. Basically, the raw materials go through a "shattering process," which consists of freezing and then pounding. The increased water retention of the modified connective tissue allows better water control. Mandigo is interested in increasing meat's resistance to abuse in cooking, due to low fat levels.
Saline solutionsDesigning meat products involves a number of functional compounds conferring textural, binding, taste, flavor and preservative properties. Collectively known as curing salts, these substances have a long history in the meat industry. Salt, spices and herbs have been used for thousands of years to preserve meats. Nitrates and phosphates came into use during the last 100 years and 50 years, respectively. The problem is that some of these products are considered deleterious, making sodium chloride and nitrites targets for reduced use in products with healthful auras.
Sensitivity to saltiness increases with lower dietary salt levels, making salt easier to reduce in the diet. Levels of nitrites, which are used for color curing of meats, have been reduced. But no complete substitute for nitrites has been found useful.
Sodium chloride is the original curing salt. Food-grade salt contains greater than 99.8% sodium chloride, with specified levels of less than 0.06% calcium and magnesium, and iron concentration below 2.5 ppm. Presence of salts and trace metals, such as iron and copper, may result in precipitation and catalytic oxidation of fat. These problems can be diminished by chelating agents, such as phosphates.
Curing brines can be injected into whole meats through multiple needles or into arteries. Or they can be formulated into processed meats.
Sodium chloride aids in moisture retention and flavor protection. Levels used depend on the application.
Curing salts "evolved," probably through unintentional mixing of sodium chloride and potassium nitrate in common containers. Not only did the nitrate provide a nice, red color in the cured meat, but greater preservative action occurred and the flavor profile was improved. Sodium and potassium nitrate, and preferably, sodium nitrite, are now used. Nitrite, along with sodium ascorbate or erythorbate is preferred, due to faster curing rates.
Sodium nitrite has several functions. Low levels prevent the growth of botulism in canned meats and other applications. It also preserves red meat color, an indication of freshness to consumers. A salt brine process alone produces gray, unappealing colors.
The reaction in fresh meats involves myoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in animal muscle, which becomes oxymyoglobin. Continual exposure to oxygen in cured meats produces metmyoglobin, which is brown in color. Cooking produces a brown color in the denatured proteins. Rare beef will still be red inside due to preservation of the oxymyoglobin. Cured meats maintain a red color when cooked. This is due to conversion of myoglobin by nitrite to nitric oxide myoglobin, a pink pigment. Nitric oxide myoglobin is converted, by cooking, to the red pigment nitrosohemochrome, a stable pigment creating the color in ham or bacon. Ascorbic acid and erythorbic acid increase the rate of reduction of nitrite in the curing process, and are used as accelerants in curing. Ascorbic acid residuals help maintain reducing conditions.
Researchers have investigated for some time whether nitrite use in meat is safe for humans. The reported conversion to carcinogenic nitrosamines has generally not been detected in meats, except occasionally in bacon exposed to high cooking temperatures. No reliable substitute has yet been found, and levels are set at a maximum concentration of 200 ppm, considered close to the limit for botulism prevention.
The presence of nitrates, which are converted to nitrites in curing, still sparks debate. "Saliva contains more nitrate than the current level of 150 ppm used in curing brines," says Curtis Melton, Ph.D., professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Nitrates in the saliva are converted to nitrites by denitrifying bacteria. Many plants humans consume, such as broccoli and leafy vegetables, contain high levels of nitrate. But since nitrite might pose health concerns, ingredient suppliers are seeking safer alternatives.
Another valuable group of compounds, phosphates, provides many functions in whole and formed meat products. Phosphates work in harmony with curing salts to provide moisture retention, binding, curing enhancement, flavor protection, and emulsion stabilization. In addition to providing functional properties, the enhancement of nutrient retention will play a role in building healthier meats.
"By using a lower pH blend of phosphates (pH 7.0 to 7.5), we can use less expensive cuts of meat, and get higher binding strengths with the phosphates," says Fred Bender, manager meat, poultry and seafood, Rhodia, Cranbury, NJ. "We are getting extraction of the binding protein myosin, which yields a less mushy frank, for instance. Low-fat franks benefit from a higher pH phosphate at 0.5%, which will retain more water, providing more firmness."
A number of phosphates -- such as sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate -- and other salts, along with blends, are utilized in brine solutions to open the protein fibers. This allows better moisture absorption. Phosphates and salt are synergistic in this regard, providing greater water and soluble protein retention. Meat juiciness and tenderness are thereby increased.
Less alkaline phosphates stabilize nitrite to produce good color development, while allowing for lower nitrite residuals and lower nitrosamines formation in high-temperature cooked meats, such as bacon.
Bacterial contamination of meat and poultry has become a serious health issue. Use of trisodium phosphate (TSP) reduces bacterial counts during processing of fresh chickens. From the final chiller tank, the chickens are immersed in a bath of TSP solution, and then rinsed with water.
The salt solution is highly effective against gram-negative bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli (including E. coli 0157:H7) and Campylobacter, reducing counts to threshold limits prior to chilling. "In our trials, we have seen reductions of 90% to 99% of various types of pathogenic organisms," Bender says. " E. coli 0157:H7 has no alkaline resistance to TSP."Treatment of turkeys shows similar results, and beef also might benefit.
A matter of tasteAll the physical aspects of designing a successful meat product -- the juiciness, the bite, the tenderness, the color and appearance -- are extremely important to consumers. They will willingly go to the meat counter, but if the flavor, aroma and taste are off, they will seldom be induced to try a product again.
One company offering a high degree of assistance and a broad flavor line in meat products is Oscar Mayer Ingredients, Memphis, TN. Restoring or enhancing meat flavor, whether it be in whole-meat or low-fat products, can be accomplished with specific flavor types such as natural roast-chicken flavor, natural roasted-beef flavor or natural smoked-ham flavor. Building on the basic characterizing meat flavor, additional notes can be built in to strengthen the composition.
"We add in keys that impart the flavor of grilling or smoky notes," says Dwight Grenawalt, associate director, Oscar Mayer Ingredients. "We can then impart a rare note and spices to develop just the product the customer needs." Grill flavors, from natural hickory grill to wood-fired mesquite grill, can be worked into the piece. Additional keys can be added to provide nuance to the product profile.
In low-fat applications, these flavors can be used to develop a product possessing full fatty notes, which enhance the sensation of higher fat contents. They also can yield full, deep savory meat notes, characteristic of a freshly grilled hamburger or a smoky chili. The ingredient lines are available in liquid, paste and spray-dried forms, in water- and oil-dispersible types. Use levels vary depending on product pH, with somewhat higher levels needed at lower pH. Flavor enhancers, including salt, are used.
To aid in the development of healthful meats, Food Ingredient Specialties, Solon, OH, has expanded its focus on culinary interactions in product development team projects. "We use chefs to deliver 'gold standard' products," says Jane Van Vliet, senior marketing manager, Food Ingredient Specialties. "In developing a 10%-fat frank, for instance, we determine the salt level desired, first. We then look at water-binding capacity needed, and then custom design a flavor system."Hickory Specialties Inc., Brentwood, TN, has developed smoke flavors that provide grilling, smoking and barbecuing characteristics. In addition, the company now offers products derived from smoke extracts that prevent or mask warmed-over flavor, as well as products inhibiting bacterial growth.
Getting betterRoom for improvement exists in the nostalgic knockwursts, the braids of bratwurst, and the first base-line franks our grandfathers used to make or buy. Nothing was wasted in those care-free days, when 50% fat was welcomed. Today, we must design a juicy, flavorful frank without all the fat, that doesn't split, crumble or burn like a stick on the campfire. Providing products that taste familiar to consumers will play a large part in low-fat product acceptance.
Smoked pork sausage is made from lean pork, containing 25% fat, so there's room for improvement in terms of additives. Pork is ground through a 1/4 in. plate, followed by addition of the cure. The salts contain sodium nitrite, sodium ascorbate, salt and phosphate or other desired ingredients. Seasonings would include red pepper, paprika and sage. These are mixed with the meat long enough to extract the binding proteins. The mix is reground through a 3/16 in. plate. The material is then carefully stuffed into hog or collagen casings so as to exclude air pockets. The links are moved to the smoke chamber for cooking and smoking.
Reducing the fat content in this type of smoked sausage follows a strategy similar to that for leaning-out beef products. Using leaner and less expensive, but flavorful, pork cuts, the meat base must be fortified with a choice of appropriate hydrocolloids, starches, textured soy proteins, curing salts and flavors. This will provide a smoked sausage recognizable to the ballpark boys, but much more healthful.
Many consumers want to enjoy a juicy, flavorful ground-beef experience. This is easily attainable if 30% or even 20% fat is acceptable to buyers. But what if they want the same experience with less than 10% fat?
Creating variations for a low-fat burger begins by examining the beef used. A 90% lean beef is a relatively expensive material. Nevertheless, cuts lower in marbling are graded lower according to USDA standards. Therefore, chuck and round-end cuts are often processed for hamburger. Fairly lean cuts of beef are available from the lower-priced end cuts, which constitute about 60% of the carcass weight.
"Most beef producers think 'high quality' means steak, and consumers think of Choice," says Mark Thomas, vice president of new marketing initiatives, National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), Chicago.. "We need to create food from end meats, which are nutritious. We have to present value-added food products that provide consumers with convenience, taste and nutritional labels." Thomas indicates that rounds are very lean cuts, but chuck is more complex and has better flavor attributes than round.
"As tenderness and juiciness are vital to meat palatability, we need to separate a window of performance in terms of the cuts," says Tony Mata, product development consultant, NCBA. Mata has been conducting a research program for determining the characteristics of all muscle groups in cattle. Organoleptic quality, usefulness for processing and cost, are being evaluated for development of new beef products. "Opportunity exists in promoting a number of new beef product categories," Mata says, "which the beef industry has to develop." Ground beef represents an important category, he says, despite current rhetoric.
Mata would like to see more selection of muscle cuts as opposed to the current practice of cutting across muscle groups, leaving variability in the cut. An example is the beef chuck top blade from the shoulder cut. The top blade is very tender, juicy and flavorful meat. Pot roasts, less in demand these days, are taken from the lower chuck area. This cut is one area of development for Mata, who is developing a pre-cooked pot roast for retail that will "allow us to flex our muscles."
The roast will then be injected with curing solutions at 10% to 15%. Spices are added, and the product will be pre-cooked six to 10 hours, packaged and distributed for retail. Mata predicts this product will be well-received due to its low fat and high flavor contributions.
NCBA also is working on a formed-beef product similar to chicken breasts. The development will allow a portion-controlled product that will not have the characteristics of a formed product and instead has uniformity of texture and flavor.
In the area of ground beef, Mata believes challenges lie ahead. One project being pushed is a pre-cooked hamburger, featuring improvement on the greasiness and thaw properties of frozen patties. The procedure involves reduction of fat of the starting beef content, a pre-cook, and freezing or refrigeration of the product before final cooking in the home or foodservice outlet.
"We've leaned-out too far in the beef industry," says Melton. The high-fat cattle of the 1950s have become the lean and mean breeds of the '90s, Melton claims. The average trimmed lean beef now contains only 10% to 12% fat. Selected cuts, such as a top round, can run as low as 4%. The problem with low fat levels is one of cooking quality. Fat is needed to maintain texture and flavor throughout the cooking process. Low fat levels lead to dryness, toughness, reduced flavor and burning."Total calories are more important than fat in the diet," Melton says, echoing a theme heard frequently. Balancing the diet and restricting total daily calories is becoming the accepted way to achieve health through dietary means. Diet likely has a more important longer term effect on health than has been generally emphasized, although knowledge of the effects has been recognized for many years. This is not a 20th century discovery. Within the scope of this healthful pursuit, meat and meat products have an alternative, yet important, role to play in the design of healthy products. SIDEBAR:
Extracting the Fat
Government researchers are proving the viability of determining meat's fat content without using traditional, solvent-based fat-analysis methods.
At the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research -- the laboratory branch of USDA's Agricultural Research Service -- lead scientist Jerry King, Ph.D., research chemist Janet Snyder and colleagues are analyzing the fat content of meat samples using enzyme-catalyzed SFE/SFR (supercritical fluid extraction/reaction). The process employs CO2 and lipase to sequentially extract the meat's fat, and react the triglycerides to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in the same reaction vessel. Total triglyceride levels are then determined by GC analysis of the FAMEs.
Because excess moisture inhibits SFE and enzymatic activity, the group ensures accurate results either by treating samples with Hydromatrix (diatomaceous earth), or by lyophilizing/freeze-drying to remove most of the moisture. "Hydromatrix is faster than freeze-drying," Snyder says. "You just mix it with the sample." Drying the samples also allows the lipase (Novo Nordisk's Novozyme 435) to be reused for at least 25 extractions without an activity decrease.
"We use CO2 because it is an environmentally friendly gas," Snyder explains. "We are working toward the total elimination of solvents. This follows the nationwide movement to cut down on solvent usage. In addition to the environmental issue, solvent disposal is expensive."
The group's efforts are garnering queries from various segments within the food industry. "There has been a lot of interest in our work," Snyder says. "We have received many calls about the process, and we've talked to several equipment manufacturers and food processors."The team's latest efforts are described in the Journal of Chromatography A, 750 (1996) 201-207 and the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 74, 585-588 (1997). Snyder can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com. -- Heidi L. Kreuzer
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