Antioxidents protect pork appeal

US - The application of antioxidants at packaging slow bone discoloration of pork in the retail meat case, researchers find.
calendar icon 2 July 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
The color of fresh bone-in pork cuts is an important factor in consumer buying decisions. High-oxygen modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and poly-vinylchloride (PVC) overwrap trays are conducive to stabilizing the red color in pork. However, bone discoloration or darkening can be a problem in these systems.

In processed beef, the application of antioxidants upstream from packaging can inhibit bone darkening. Recently, Kansas State University researchers, C. R. Raines and M .E. Dikeman, evaluated the application of ascorbic acid—an antioxidant—and a commercial antioxidant on bone discoloration of pork.

The researchers took 48 fresh pork backbones from a commercial slaughter plant and applied one of six antioxidant solutions—Control (untreated), 1.25 percent ascorbic acid, 1.875 percent ascorbic acid, 2.5 percent ascorbic acid, a combination of 0.15 percent commercial antioxidant and 0.30 percent ascorbic acid solution, or a combination of 0.225 percent commercial antioxidant and 0.45 percent ascorbic acid—to the bones. The treated bones were packaged with one of three packaging systems—high-oxygen MAP, ultra-low oxygen MAP, and PVC overwrap.

Raines and Dikeman displayed the bones for eight days in a refrigerated retail meat case. Six trained panelists visually scored the bones at the end of the retail display period.

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