Basting sauces and marinades

Basting sauces and marinades

To baste or not to baste? That is the question. Basting sauces and marinades are a saucy topic of which we will give a quick overview today and much more interesting than you would initially anticipate.


Marinades have two functions: flavour enhancing and tenderizing. Generally marinades have an acid and oil base. The acid base of a marinade acts as the tenderiser. The marinade needs to be specifically designed to accent the flavour of a particular meat. In order for the marinade to act a tenderiser, the meat must be soaked for a period of time and the marinade needs to be engineered for maximum absorption. There’s a lot of science that goes into this process.

A little known facts is that by marinating meat first you can decrease the carcinogenic, black, charred layer that form due to high heat and dripping fat. Of course with the current health awareness mega trend sweeping the marketplace this this is a great selling point for suppliers.

Basting sauces and rubs

Basting sauces are brushed onto meat during the cooking process. Basting retains moisture and reduces shrinkage. It is a fantastic way to add flavour to meat dishes, especially after the meat has been marinated or rubbed with seasoning.

Dry marinades or rub-on seasonings are a mixture of spices that are hand rubbed onto meat or poultry. Different meats are complementary to different flavours and it requires experience to know what will work and what won’t.


The following trends have been identified by retailers:

  • Demand for international flavours (e.g. Korean, Chinese etc.)
  • Increased demand for products containing pineapple, lemongrass, miso or tamarind
  • Demand for hotter peppers and specific chilies, like Thai chilies and habaneros
  • Demand for affordable gourmet sauces made from all-natural ingredients without high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, preservatives and gluten
  • Increasingly sauces are made with alcohol such as white wine, Marsala, bourbon and beer

The biggest demand from suppliers in the meat industry is specialisation. Customers are lured to ‘one of a kind’ products and suppliers want to have their own signature products. Innovative flavours, global inspiration and natural ingredients are likely to continue to be a driving force. Customers want the following elements in their products:

1)      versatility of use

2)      unique flavour profiles

3)      low sugar

4)      low salt

5)      low calories

6)      gluten-free

7)      all-natural

Contact the Lakeland Food Company today to discuss how we can help you engineer unique marinades and basting sauces to specifically suit your required tastes and products.

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