The effects of fat level (5, 12 and 30%) and maltodextrin on emulsion stability, cook loss, colour, texture and sensory characteristics of frankfurters were investigated. Three fat levels (5, 12 and 30%) were formulated containing added maltodextrin. For each fat level a control was prepared without added maltodextrin giving a total of 6 treatments (3×2 factorial design). Reducing the fat from 30 to 5% increased cook loss and decreased emulsion stability. Panellists detected an increase in juiciness and a decrease in overall texture, overall acceptability when the fat level was reduced from 30 to 5%. Instron texture profile analysis showed a decrease in hardness, chewiness and gumminess and an increase in springiness with decreasing fat level. Maltodextrin addition caused a significant decrease in cook loss of the frankfurters but also decreased the emulsion stability. An interactive effect (P<0.05) occurred between fat level and maltodextrin resulting in no significant difference in hardness, gumminess and chewiness values when maltodextrin was present in the reduced-fat (5 and 12%) frankfurters. Saltiness, overall flavour intensity, overall texture and overall acceptability were unaltered (P>0.05) by maltodextrin. The results indicate that maltodextrin can be used as a suitable fat replacer since it offset some of the changes brought about by fat reduction, decreasing cook loss and maintaining a number of textural and sensory characteristics of the frankfurters.