Challenges and approaches in the use of natural antioxidants of plant origin as food additives in meat and meat products


Adriana-Ioana Moraru Manea, Diana Moigradean, Diana-Nicoleta Raba, Daniela Stoin, Viorica-Mirela Popa, Adrian Rivis, Mariana-Atena Poiana*

Volume 28, Issue 1;
Pages: 46-53; 2022
ISSN: 2069-0053 (print) (former ISSN: 1453-1399), Agroprint;
ISSN (online): 2068-9551


The purpose of this work is to review several studies focused on the use of natural antioxidants of plant origin as food additives in meat industry. This study is motivated by consumers' preference for meat and meat products with an improved composition, without addition of synthetic antioxidants. The reducing the content of fats, cholesterol, salt and nitrites, as well as improving the profile of fatty acids and the incorporation of bioactive compounds are growing worldwide. Also, the negative health consequences or beliefs regarding the utilization of synthetic antioxidants in meat and meat products, causes the industry to include the natural antioxidants in foods, a good alternative being the plant sources. Some natural sources of antioxidants are spices, herbs and fruit which can be added to meat products in various forms: whole, ground, powder or as isolates from their extracts. These plant materials are rich in bioactive compounds that contribute to the reducing of microbial growth and inhibit the lipid oxidation during storage, improving the quality of fresh and processed meat and meat products. Compounds such as phenolic acids, phenolic diterpenes, flavonoids and volatile oils, often have strong H-donating activity, making them extremely effective antioxidants; some compounds can chelate metals and donate H to oxygen radicals, slowing down oxidation. Thus, it can be said that the natural antioxidants are used in meat industry in order to delay or prevent the lipid oxidation, delay the development of off-flavors, improve color stability and microbiological quality and extend the shelf-life, without affecting the sensory or nutritional properties.

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