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Using Plant-based Material as Antioxidants and Fat Replacers in Meat Products

06 July 2014

Plant based derivatives have potential applications as fat replacers, antioxidants and antimicrobials in fresh and processed meat products.

According to two new studies from India the growing concern about diet and health has led to development of healthier food products.

Desugari Hygreeva, M.C. Pandey and K. Radhakrishna at the Freeze Drying and Animal Products Technology Division of the Defence Food Research Laboratory, in Karnataka, India, in their study Potential applications of plant based derivatives as fat replacers, antioxidants and antimicrobials in fresh and processed meat products say that in general consumer perception towards the intake of meat and meat products is unhealthy because it may increase the risk of diseases like cardiovascular diseases, obesity and cancer, because of its high fat content (especially saturated fat) and added synthetic antioxidants and antimicrobials.

Addition of plant derivatives having antioxidant components including vitamins A, C and E, minerals, polyphenols, flavanoids and terpenoids in meat products may decrease the risk of several degenerative diseases.

To change consumer attitudes towards meat consumption, the study authors say, the meat industry is undergoing major transformations by addition of nonmeat ingredients as animal fat replacers, natural antioxidants and antimicrobials, preferably derived from plant sources.

In another piece of research - Plant extracts as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products – by Manzoor Ahmad Shah, Sowriappan John Don Bosco, and Shabir Ahmad Mir, they show that antioxidants are used to minimize the oxidative changes in meat and meat products.

However, they say that oxidative changes may have negative effects on the quality of meat and meat products, causing changes in their sensory and nutritional properties.

Although synthetic antioxidants have already been used but in recent years, the demand for natural antioxidants has been increased mainly because of adverse effects of synthetic antioxidants.

Thus most of the recent investigations have been directed towards the identification of natural antioxidants from various plant sources.

Plant extracts have been prepared using different solvents and extraction methods.

Grape seed, green tea, pine bark, rosemary, pomegranate, nettle and cinnamon have exhibited similar or better antioxidant properties compared to some synthetic ones.

Their review provides the recent information on plant extracts used as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products, specifically red meat.

The two studies are published in the journal Science Direct.

Further Reading

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June 2014

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