Meat extenders are non-meat substances with substantial protein content. Extenders are distinguished from fillers by their high protein content, compared to the high carbohydrate content of fillers.
Extenders were originally used to reduce costs but they were later used to make meat products more healthy by adding dietary fiber, or to improve the texture. Meat extenders were used in the United States in the 1940s, with rolled oats used as an extender in sausage meat, and dishes such as stuffed cabbage were considered to be suitable ways of extending meat.
- Heinz, G. & Hautzinger, P. "Meat Processing Technology", "Food and Agriculture Organization", 2007, accessed April 27, 2011.
- "Meat Products with High Levels of Extenders and Fillers", FAO. Retrieved July 2, 2013
- "Rolled Oats Good Sausage Meat Extender", Chicago Daily Tribune, July 20, 1944, p. 15
- Weaver, Peter (1974) "Extender Saves on Meat", The Evening Independent, May 28, 1974, p. 11A