essay/report/assignments/paper/research/summary代写-Meat Processing and Quality Control



Preservation technologies for fresh meatA review

G.H. Zhou


, X.L. Xu


, Y. Liu


aLab of Meat Processing and Quality Control, EDU, Nanjing Agricultural University, P. R. China bCollege of Food Science and Technology, Shanghai Ocean University, P. R. China

article info abstract

Article history: Received 3 February 2010 Received in revised form 19 April 2010 Accepted 23 April 2010

Keywords: Fresh meat Preservation technologies Superchilling HHP Natural biopreservation Packaging

Fresh meat is a highly perishable product due to its biological composition. Many interrelated factors
influence the shelf life and freshness of meat such as holding temperature, atmospheric oxygen (O 2 ),
endogenous enzymes, moisture, light and most importantly, micro-organisms. With the increased demand
for high quality, convenience, safety, fresh appearance and an extended shelf life in fresh meat products,
alternative non-thermal preservation technologies such as high hydrostatic pressure, superchilling, natural
biopreservatives and active packaging have been proposed and investigated. Whilst some of these
technologies are efficient at inactivating the micro-organisms most commonly related to food-borne
diseases, they are not effective against spores. To increase their efficacy against vegetative cells, a
combination of several preservation technologies under the so-called hurdle concept has also been
investigated. The objective of this review is to describe current methods and developing technologies for
preserving fresh meat. The benefits of some new technologies and their industrial limitations is presented
and discussed.
2010 The American Meat Science Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction…………………………………………………….. 120
2. Refrigeration…………………………………………………….. 120
2.1. Chilling……………………………………………………. 120
2.2. Freezing …………………………………………………… 120
2.3. Superchilling…………………………………………………. 120
2.3.1. Advantage and application ……………………………………….. 121
2.3.2. Challenges in superchilling ……………………………………….. 121
3. Ionising radiation ………………………………………………….. 121
4. Chemical preservatives and biopreservation……………………………………….. 122
4.1. Chemical preservatives …………………………………………….. 122
4.2. Biopreservation and natural antimicrobials…………………………………….. 122
5. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP)……………………………………………. 122
6. Packaging……………………………………………………… 123
6.1. Vacuum packaging (VP)…………………………………………….. 123
6.2. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)………………………………………. 123
6.3. Active packaging (AP)……………………………………………… 124
6.3.1. Antimicrobial packaging…………………………………………. 124
7. Hurdle technology (HT) ……………………………………………….. 126
8. Conclusion……………………………………………………… 126
References ……………………………………………………….. 127
Meat Science 86 (2010) 119 128
Corresponding author. Lab of Meat Processing and Quality Control, EDU, Nanjing Agricultural University, P. R. China.
E-mail Zhou).

0309-1740/$see front matter 2010 The American Meat Science Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.04.

Contents lists available atScienceDirect

Meat Science

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1. Introduction

Meat is defined as theflesh of animals used as food. The termfresh

meatincludes meat from recently processed animals as well as

vacuum-packed meat or meat packed in controlled-atmospheric

gases, which has not undergone any treatment other than chilling

to ensure preservation. The diverse nutrient composition of meat

makes it an ideal environment for the growth and propagation of

meat spoilage micro-organisms and common food-borne pathogens.

It is therefore essential that adequate preservation technologies are

applied to maintain its safety and quality (Aymerich, Picouet, &

Monfort, 2008). The processes used in meat preservation are

principally concerned with inhibiting microbial spoilage, although

other methods of preservation are sought to minimise other

deteriorative changes such as colour and oxidative changes.

A number of interrelated factors influence the shelf life and

keeping quality of meat, specifically holding temperature, atmospher-

ic oxygen (O 2 ), endogenous enzymes, moisture (dehydration), light

and, most importantly, micro-organisms. All of these factors, either

alone or in combination, can result in detrimental changes in the

colour (Faustmann & Cassens, 1990), odour, texture andflavour of

meat. Although deterioration of meat can occur in the absence of

micro-organisms (e.g., proteolysis, lipolysis and oxidation), microbial

growth is by far the most important factor in relation to the keeping

quality of fresh meat (Lambert, Smith, & Dodds, 1991). Traditionally,

methods of meat preservation may be grouped into three broad

categories based on control by temperature, by moisture and, more

directly, by inhibitory processes (bactericidal and bacteriostatic, such

as ionising radiation, packaging, etc.), although a particular method of

preservation may involve several antimicrobial principles. Each

control step may be regarded as ahurdleagainst microbial

proliferation, and combinations of processes (so-called hurdle

technology (HT)) can be devised to achieve particular objectives in

terms of both microbial and organoleptic quality (Lawrie & Ledward,

2006 ).

The most investigated new preservation technologies for fresh

meat are non-thermal inactivation technologies such as high

hydrostatic pressure (HHP), new packaging systems such as modified

atmosphere packaging (MAP) and active packaging (AP), natural

antimicrobial compounds and biopreservation. All these alternative

technologies attempt to be mild, energy saving, environmentally

friendly and guarantee natural appearance while eliminating patho-

gens and spoilage micro-organisms. The aim of this article is to review

these technologies for the preservation of fresh meat.

2. Refrigeration

Temperatures below or above the optimum range for microbial

growth will have a preventative action on the latter. For fresh meat,

refrigeration, including storage above or below the freezing point, has

been the traditional preservation method. Superchilling technology,

which stores meat just above the freezing point, has been used with

success (Nowlan, Dyer, & Keith, 1974; Beaufort, Cardinal, Le-Bail, &

Midelet-Bourdin, 2009).

2.1. Chilling

Recognition by early civilizations of the preservative effects of cool

temperature storage of perishable products such as meat led to

storage of such products in natural caves where temperatures were

relatively low throughout the year. The principles of artificial ice

formation and of mechanical refrigeration date from about 1750 (see

Lawrie & Ledward, 2006) and commercial-scale operations based on

mechanical refrigeration were in use 100 years later.

Chilling is critical for meat hygiene, safety, shelf life, appearance

and eating quality. Chilling in air reduces carcass surface temperature

and enhances carcass drying; both of which reduce the growth of

bacteria (Ockerman & Basu, 2004). An increase in air velocity and/or a

decrease in temperature (both controllable) decrease chilling time. A

limiting factor, however, is the difficulty in removing heat quickly

from the deeper tissue of carcasses.

Natural-convection air chilling, where refrigerant is pumped

through cooling tubes, is slow and largely uncontrollable, whereas

forced-convection air chilling, coupled with fans for air movement is

much more efficient. Rapid carcass chilling increases product yield

due to lower evaporation from the surface, while rapid drying of the

carcass surface helps to reduce bacterial growth. Ultra-rapid chilling

of pre-rigour meat may, on the other hand, lead to cold-shortening

and toughening. Spray-chilling can enhance the oxygenation of

surface myoglobin without increasing metmyoglobin, thus maintain-

ing a bright appearance and eliminating weight loss (Feldhusen,

Kirschner, Koch, Giese, & Wenzel, 1995).

2.2. Freezing

In Britain, large-scale preservation of meat by freezing commenced

about 1880, when thefirst shipments of frozen beef and mutton

arrived from Australia (Critchell & Raymond, 1969; Arthur, 2006). At

that time, there was a surplus of meat animals in the southern

hemisphere, especially in New Zealand and Australia, and freezing

offered a means of preserving meat during the long voyages involved

between the two areas (Critchell & Raymond, 1969). The advantages

of temperatures below the freezing point were in prolonging the

useful storage life of meat and in discouraging microbial and chemical

changes (Lawrie & Ledward, 2006).

Fast freezing produces minute intracellular ice crystals and thus

diminishes drip on thawing. The rate of freezing is dependent not only

on the bulk of the meat and its thermal properties (e.g., specific heat

and thermal conductivity), but also on the temperature of the

refrigerating environment, on the method of applying the refrigera-

tion and, with smaller cuts of meat, on the nature of the wrapping

material used.

A temperature of55 C has been suggested as ideal storage

conditions for frozen meat to completely prevent quality changes

(Hansen et al., 2004). At these low temperatures, enzymic reactions,

oxidative rancidity and ice recrystallisation are likely to be minimal

and thus few deteriorative changes will occur during storage.

Cryogenic freezing offers faster freezing times compared with

conventional air freezing because of the large temperature differences

between the cryogen and the meat product and the high rate of

surface heat transfer resulting from the boiling of the cryogen.

Cryogenic freezing requires no mechanical refrigeration equipment;

simply a cryogen tank and suitable spray equipment. However, there

may be some distortion of the shape of the product caused by the

cryogenic process that might impact on the commercial application.

Furthermore, the cost of cryogenic liquid is relatively high and

therefore may limit its commercial application. (Lovatt, James, James,

Pham, & Jeremiah, 2004).

2.3. Superchilling

The process of superchilling was described as early as 1920 by Le

Danois, even though he did not actually use the termssuperchilling,

deep-chillingorpartial ice formation. The termssuperchillingand

partial freezingare used to describe a process where a minor part of

the product’s water content is frozen (Magnussen et al., 2008). During

superchilling, the temperature of the product is lowered, often 12 C,

below the initial freezing point of the product. After initial surface

freezing, the ice distribution equilibrates and the product obtains a

uniform temperature at which it is maintained during storage and

distribution (Magnussen et al., 2008). This has been effectively used

for seafood (Olafsdottir, Lauzon, Martinsdottir, Oehlenschlager, &

Kristbergsson, 2006; Beaufort et al., 2009) and there is now increasing

interest in this process for extension of chilled storage life of meat

(Schubring, 2009).

2.3.1. Advantage and application

At superchilling temperatures, most microbial activity is inhibited

or terminated. Chemical and physical changes may progress and, in

some cases, even accelerate. Superchilling, as a commercial practice,

can reduce the use of freezing/thawing for production buffers and

thereby reduce labour, energy costs and product weight losses. The ice

present in superchilled products protects the meat from temperature

rises in poor cold chains; however, some increase in product drip loss

may occur during storage (Magnussen et al., 2008).

Superordeepchilling has been commonly used in the USA,

although the product is seldom referred to assuper-chilledsince,

legally, in the USA poultry meat kept above3.3 C (26 F) can be

marketed asfresh(US Poultry Products Inspection Regulations

9CFR381). The process involves water chilling of carcasses and then

putting them through an air freezer operating at15 C for

approximately 30 min. After packaging, they are again placed in an

air freezer to achieve the required meat temperature. The carcasses

are then stored and distributed at1to2 C.

The main reason for implementing this technology is its ability to

prolong shelf life of meat for at least 1.44 times the life of traditional

meat-chilling methods (Magnussen et al., 2008). Ice-forming and

recrystallisation can cause microstructural changes to food tissue

during freezing, resulting in cell dehydration, drip loss and tissue

shrinkage during thawing. Food characteristics such as pH, ionic

strength, concentration of dissolved gases, viscosity, oxidation-

reduction potential and surface tension may also be altered, leading

to changes in enzymic activity and protein denaturation (Cheftel,

Levy, & Dumay, 2000).

Reports on superchilling have mainly involvedfish (Beaufort et al.,

2009 ) and poultry (Bogh-Sorensen, 1976).Gallart-Jornet et al. (2007)

evaluated the effect of superchilled storage compared with ice and

frozen storage on the quality of raw Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

fillets and found superchilled storage was beneficial for the preser-

vation of freshness of the raw material before processing.Duun,

Hemmingsen, Haugland, & Rustad (2008)also found the storage time

of vacuum-packed salmonfillets could be doubled by superchilled

storage at1.4 C and3.6 C compared to ice chilled storage. Drip

loss was not a major problem in superchilled salmon. Textural

hardness was significantly higher in superchilled salmonfillets stored

at3.6 C compared to those stored at1.4 C, ice chilled and frozen

(Morkore, Hansen, Unander, & Einen, 2002; Hultmann, Rora, Steins-

land, Skara, & Rustad, 2004). Cathepsins B and B+L remained active

at the selected storage temperatures, which may therefore lead to

softening during subsequent chilled storage.

Duun et al. (2008)found superchilling of pork roasts at2.0C

improved the shelf life significantly compared with traditional

chilling at +3.

C. The superchilled roasts maintained good sensory

quality and low microbiological counts during the whole storage

period (16 weeks), while the shelf life of chilled samples was just

14 days. Sensory tests indicated that the quality of the superchilled

roasts was not reduced by high numbers of psychrotrophic bacteria.

The drip loss in superchilled samples was low and showed less

variation than in the chilled references and the temperature-abused

samples. The temperature-abused and chilled samples had lower

liquid losses, measured by centrifugation, than the superchilled

samples (Duun et al., 2008).

2.3.2. Challenges in superchilling

Calculating the required superchilling times and estimating the

temperature distributions in a chilling and freezing process is a

challenging exercise. It is also difficult to define the degree of

superchilling required to sufficiently improve shelf life and fulfil the

demands of the process to achieve the quality attributes desired

(Magnussen et al., 2008).

The media used to achieve superchilling will affect the possibilities

for implementing it in an industrial process. A change from

traditional technologiessuch as chilling, freezing, thawing to the

more complex superchilling technology is difficult. Superchilling

demands more accurate information on product variation andflow.

Special care needs to be taken prior to, and after, the superchilling

process itself. Most equipment producers today do not have the

required energy and thermodynamic competence to design and

control superchilling processes (Magnussen et al., 2008).

Clearly, industry will need support to develop basic data for graphs

and software, of chilling times, chilling temperatures, air-flow and

refrigeration loads. This also includes principles for control regulate

monitor (CRM) systems for the superchilling process and refrigera-

tion system (Magnussen et al., 2008).

3. Ionising radiation

Ionising radiation has been a method of direct microbial inhibition

for preserving meat since around 1940 (seeLawrie & Ledward, 2006).

In 1980, participating bodies (including the Food and Agricultural

Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO)) pro-

posed that irradiation with a dose less than 10 kGy (1 Mrad) should be

accepted as a process for preserving all major categories of food

(WHO, 1981). In the UK,The Food (Control of Irradiation) Regulations

(1990)allows certain classes of food may be irradiated up to a

maximum dosage (e.g., 7 kGy for poultry) and underThe Food

Labelling (Amendment)(Irradiated Food) Regulations (1990)all

irradiated foods are required to have a label indicating that they

have received such treatment. Irradiation technology was promoted

by the FAO in the Codex Alimentarius in 2003 and has been well

accepted in 50 countries, especially in the USA, Egypt, China and

across Latin America (Aymerich et al., 2008).

The radionuclides approved for food irradiation include^137 Cs and


Co. Radioactive cobalt (


Co) decays to non-radioactive nickel by

emitting high-energy particles and X-rays. The X-rays kill rapidly

growing cells (microbes) but do not leave the product radioactive.

Because it is highly penetrating, it can be used to treat packaged food

(Brewer, 2009).

The advantages of ionising radiation for food preservation include

its highly efficient inactivation of bacteria, the fact that the product is

essentially chemically unaltered and the appreciable thickness of

material, which can be treated after packing in containers (Lawrie &

Ledward, 2006). A maximum dosage of 10 kGy represents a low

amount of energy (equivalent to that needed to raise the temperature

of 1 g water 2.4 C), which is why the technology is considered non-

thermal, thus preserving the freshness and nutritional quality of the

meat and meat products when compared with thermal methods

(Aymerich et al., 2008).

Colour changes in irradiated fresh meat occur because of the

inherent susceptibility of the myoglobin molecule to energy input

and alterations in the chemical environment; haem iron being

particularly susceptible.Brewer (2004)summarised the effects of

ionising radiation on meat colour, and concluded that mainte-

nance of ideal meat colour during the process of irradiation could

be enhanced by various combinations of pre-slaughter feeding of

antioxidants to livestock, condition of the meat prior to irradiation

(pH, oxymyoglobin vs. metmyoglobin), addition of antioxidants

directly to the product, gas atmosphere (MAP) or lack thereof, pack-

aging and temperature control (Brewer, 2004). Radiation treat-

ment resulted in essentially no loss of thiamine (one of the least

stable vitamins) (Graham, Stevenson, & Stewart, 1998), therefore

suggesting that such radiation has no detrimental effects on these


4. Chemical preservatives and biopreservation

4.1. Chemical preservatives

Carbon dioxide and ozone have been used to discourage the

growth of surface micro-organisms on beef carcasses during pro-

longed storage at chill temperatures. Although ozone leaves no toxic

residues in meat, its use in a production environment can be

dangerous for personnel. Moreover, it accelerates the oxidation of

fat and is more effective against air-borne micro-organisms than

against those on meat (Lawrie & Ledward, 2006).

Various micro-organisms produce organic acids and alcohols by

anaerobic fermentation of food substrates and these, by inhibiting

other organisms that are concomitantly present and which could spoil

the food or make it toxic, can act in its preservation. Lactic acid, for

example, is a frequently effective inhibitory agent used in fresh meat

preservation; however, other organic acids have also been found to be

responsible for discolouration and production of pungent odours

(Teotia, 1974).

Salts such as sodium lactate have been used in the meat industry

because of their ability to increaseflavour, prolong shelf life, and

improve the microbiological safety of products (Diez, Santos, Jaime, &

Rovira, 2009). The antimicrobial effects of lactates are due to their

ability to lower water activity and the direct inhibitory effect of the

lactate ion (Houtsma, Wit, & Rombouts, 1993; Koos & Jansener, 1995).

Several researchers have successfully extended the shelf life of fresh

meat products (Shelef, Mohammed, Wei, & Webber, 1997; Vasavada,

Carpenter, Cornforth, & Ghorpade, 2003) by adding sodium lactate.

Nadeem et al. (2003)extended freshly slaughtered sheep and goat

carcasses stored at 57 C for 3 and 2 days, respectively, after spraying

the carcasses with solutionBcontaining potassium sorbate, sodium

acetate, sodium citrate, sodium lactate each at 2.5% and sodium

chloride at 5%, when compared with solutionA(without potassium

sorbate) and control.

4.2. Biopreservation and natural antimicrobials

Natural compounds, such as essential oils, chitosan, nisin and

lysozyme, have been investigated to replace chemical preservatives

and to obtaingreen labelproducts. Storage life is extended and safety

is increased by using natural or controlled microflora, of which lactic

acid bacteria (LAB) and their antimicrobial products such as lactic acid

and bacteriocins have been studied extensively. Bacteriocins are a

heterogeneous group of antibacterial proteins that vary in spectrum of

activity, mode of action, molecular weight, genetic origin and

biochemical properties (Stiles & Hastings, 1991).

Various spices and essential oils have preservative properties and

have been used to extend the storage life of meat products. These

include eugenol in cloves and allyl isothiocyanate in mustard seed.

Roller et al. (2002) and Sagoo, Board and Roller (2002)reviewed the

antifungal and antimicrobial properties of the polysaccharide chit-

osan. Its efficacy, especially in combination with other antimicrobial

agents, warrants further investigation.

Nisin is the only commercial bacteriocin and has been used to

decontaminate artificially contaminated pieces of raw pork (Murray &

Richard, 1997) and in combination with 2% of sodium chloride as an

anti-listerial agent in minced raw buffalo meat (Pawar, Malik,

Bhilegaonkar, & Barbuddhe, 2000). Bacteriocins produced by lactic

acid bacteria are listed inTable 1.

Recently, pentocin 31-1, which was produced byLactobacillus

pentosus31-1 and isolated from the traditional Chinese fermented

Xuanwei ham, was studied as a biopreservative in storage of tray-

packaged chilled pork. Results showed that pentocin 31-1 could

substantially inhibit the accumulation of volatile basic nitrogen (VBN)

and generally suppress the growth of microflora, especiallyListeria

andPseudomonas, during chilled pork storage (Jinlan, Guorong,

Pinglan, & Yan, 2010).

5. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP)

Derived from material sciences (ceramics, superalloys, artificial

diamonds, etc.), high-pressure technology (1001000 MPa, i.e., 1000

10 000 bar) is of increasing interest to biological and food systems

(Cheftel & Culioli, 1997). High hydrostatic pressure (HHP), a non-

thermal technology, is of primary interest because it can inactivate

product-spoiling micro-organisms and enzymes at low temperatures

without changing the sensory or nutritional characteristics of the

product. Pressure processing is usually carried out in a steel cylinder

containing a liquid pressure-transmitting medium such as water, with

the sample being protected from direct contact by using sealed

flexible packaging. Maintaining the sample under pressure for an

extended period of time does not require any additional energy apart

from that required to maintain the chosen temperature (Cheftel &

Culioli, 1997).

HHP renders food more stable due to its ability to reduce the

number of spoilage and pathogenic micro-organisms, and to inacti-

vate certain food enzymes (Patterson, 2005). HHP is a powerful tool to

control risks associated withSalmonellaspp.andListeria monocyto-

genesin raw or marinated meats (Hugas, Garriga, & Monfort, 2002).

The effectiveness of HHP for microbial control depends on factors such

as the process parameters, pressure level, temperature and exposure

time, as well as by intrinsic factors of the food itself, such as pH, strain

and growth stage of micro-organisms, and food matrix (Hugas et al.,

2002; Garriga, Grebol, Aymerich, Monfort, & Hugas, 2004).

HHP, combined with moderate temperature, has been shown to

result in changes in the mechanical properties leading to improved

tenderness of meat (Cheftel & Culioli, 1997; Ma & Ledward, 2004;

Sikes, Tornberg, & Tume, 2010). However, HHP even at low

temperatures may have an undesirable effect on fresh meat colour.

Table 1
Bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria (Adapted fromStiles & Hastings, 1991;
Castellano, Belfiore, Fadda, & Vignolo, 2008).
Bacteriocin Producer organism Bacteriocin
L. Lactis subsp.
Nisin Lb. curvatusLTH1174 Curvacin A
L. LactisBB24 Nisin Lb. curvatusCRL705 Lactocin 705
L. LactisWNC Nisin Z Lb. curvatusFS47 Curvaticin FS
L. lactis subsp.
Lacticin 481 Lb. curvatusL442 Curvacin L
L. lactis subsp.
Diplococcin Lb. plantarumCTC305 Plantaricin A
L. lactis subsp.
Lactostrepcins Lc. gelidumUAL187 Leucocin A
L. lactis subsp.
Lc. mesenteroides
Leucocin A
L. fermenti 46 ND Lc. carnosumTA11a Leucocin A
L. helveticus27 Lactocin 27 P. acidilacticiL50 Pediocin L
L. helveticus Helveticin J P. pentosaceousZ102 Pediocin PA-
L. acidophilus Lactacin B C. piscicolaLV17B Carnobacteriocin B
L. acidophilus Lactacin F C. piscicolaV1 Piscicocin vla
L. plantarum Plantaricin A C. piscicolaLV17A Carnobacteriocin A
L. sakeiLb 706 Sakacin A C. piscicolaJG126 Piscicolin 126
L. sakeiI151 Sakacin P C. piscicolaKLV17B Carnobacteriocin B1/B
L. sakei
LTH673, 674
Sakacin K, P C. divergens 750 Divergicin 750
L. sakeiCTC494 Sakacin K C. divergensLV13 Divergicin A
L. sakeiL 45 Lactocin S E. faeciumCTC492 Enterocin B
L. sakeiMN Bavaricin MN E. faeciumCTC492 Enterocin A
Lb. brevisSB27 Brevicin 27 E. casseliflavus
Enterocin 416K
L. casei Caseicin 80 P. acidilacticiiPAC1.0 Pediocin PA
P. acidilacticH Pediocin AcH P. pentosaceusFBB61 Pediocin A

Colour of fresh beef (Carlez, Veciana-Nogues, & Cheftel, 1995; Jung,

Ghoul & de Lamballerie-Anton, 2003) changes with pressure as a

result of denaturation of globin in myoglobin and haem displace-

ment or release, and ferrous oxidation (Mor-Mur & Yuste, 2003).

Denaturation of other proteins such as myosin and actin results in a

greater opacity and therefore minimises the red appearance. In

contrast to beef and pork, poultry muscles are not drastically

discoloured because of their lower myoglobin content (Hansen,

Trinderup, Hviid, Darre, & Skibsted, 2003). Lipid stability of pressure-

treated foods of animal origin has been little investigated, and results

are contradictory (Orlien, Hansen, & Skibsted, 2000; Wiggers,

Kroger-Ohlson, & Skibsted, 2004; Tume, Sikes, & Smith, 2010).

Rivas-Caedo, Fernndez-Garca and Nuez (2009)used high

pressure (400 MPa, 10 min at 12 C) to treat minced beef and

chicken breast, which was packaged with or without aluminium foil

in a multilayer polymeric bag. They found pressurisation produced

significant changes in the levels of some volatile compounds

presumably originating from microbial activity and the plastic

material (Rivas-Caedo et al., 2009). In the USA, several meat

companies have made this methodology available (e.g., Hormel

Foods and Purdue Farms) for the extension of shelf life of processed,

sliced meats (Hugas et al., 2002).

Although the initial investment is high, the processing cost has

been estimated at about 14 eurocent per kilogram of product when

treated at 600 MPa, including investment and operation costs, and the

technology is well accepted in Europe as an alternative technology

(Aymerich et al., 2008).Table 2lists some applications of HHP in meat


6. Packaging

Packaging protects products against deteriorative effects, which

may include discolouration, off-flavour and off-odour development,

nutrient loss, texture changes, pathogenicity and other measurable

factors. Variables that influence shelf life properties of packaged fresh

meat are product type, gas mixture, package and headspace,

packaging equipment, storage temperature and additives.

Fresh meat packaging is only minimally permeable to moisture

and so surface desiccation is prevented, while gas permeability varies

with the particularfilm type used. Packaging options for raw chilled

meat are air-permeable packaging, low O 2 vacuum, low O 2 MAP with

anoxic gases and high O 2 MAP. While air-permeable packaging is not

MAP, use of overwrapped packaging materials within master pack or

tray-in-sleeve systems allows for this packaging option to be a

component of MAP (McMillin, Huang, Ho, & Smith, 1999).

6.1. Vacuum packaging (VP)

Vacuum packaging materials for primal cuts are usually three

layered co-extrusions of ethyl vinyl acetate/polyvinylidene chloride/

ethyl vinyl acetate, which generally have an O 2 permeability of less

than 15.5 ml m^2 (24 h)^1 at 1 atmosphere as a result of the

polyvinylidene chloride layer (Jenkins & Harrington, 1991). The lack

of O 2 in packages may minimise the oxidative deteriorative reactions,

and reduce aerobic bacteria growth, which usually causes pigments to

be in the deoxymyoglobin state. Low O 2 vacuum packages for retail

meat cuts are usually vacuum skin packaging (VSP) systems for

placing the retail cut in a barrier styrene or polypropylene tray and

vacuum sealing barrierfilms that are heat shrunk to conform to the

shape of the product (Belcher, 2006). VSP packaging equipment

removes atmospheric air orflushes the air from the package with

gaseous mixtures such as N 2 ,CO 2 or mixtures of N 2 and CO 2 before

heat sealing thefilm layers. The common construction for the top and

bottom package webs is nylon barrier polymer of polyvinylidene

chloride or ethylene vinyl alcohol, tie layer and ionomer. Nylon

provides bulk, toughness and low melting point, while the barrier

layer prevents vapour permeation and the ionomer gives necessary

seal characteristics (Jenkins & Harrington, 1991). A variation of VSP is

for the liddingfilm to have outer barrier and inner air-permeable

layers so that before retail display, the outer barrierfilm layer is

peeled away from the permeable layer so that air can then contact the

meat product and result in a bloomed colour (Belcher, 2006;

Jeyamkondan, Jayas, & Holley, 2000; Renerre, 1987).

6.2. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)

MAP for meat requires a barrier of either of moisture and gas

permeation through packaging materials to maintain a constant

package environment during storage. For any type of MAP, it is

necessary to remove or change the normal composition of atmo-

spheric air, and encompass both aerobic and anaerobic types of

packaging for meat. The major gases in dry air by volume at sea level

are N 2 (78%), O 2 (20.99%), argon (0.94%) and CO 2 (0.03%), but the

percentages vary when calculated by weight (McMillin, 2008).

Low O 2 MAP has been readily available, but lesser used even

though VP is the most cost-effective packaging (McMillin, 2008).

Shrinkablefilm development for use on horizontal form-fill-seal

equipment eliminates excessivefilm use, and wrinkles (Eilert, 2005).

Low O 2 MAP may be used as a barrier package with an anoxic

atmosphere of N 2 and CO 2 .N 2 is an inert gas that is not reactive with

meat pigments or absorbed by the meat; therefore, it maintains

integrity of the package by its presence in the headspace. However,

Table 2 Application of HHP in meat products (adapted fromAymerich et al (2008).

Target Product Initial counts Reduction Processa Reference
log (CFU/g) log (CFU/g)
FBPb Meat homogenate 6  7 Total inactivation after treatment 400 MPa, 10 min, 25 C Shigehisa, Ohmori, Saito,
Taji and Hayashi (1991)
C. freundii Minced beef muscle 7 N5 after treatment 300 MPa 10 min, 20 C Carlez, Rosec, Richard
P.fluorescens 200 MPa 20 min, 20 C and Cheftel (1993)
L. innocua 400 MPa 20 min, 20 C
Total microflora Minced beef muscle 6.8 N4 after 10 days (3 C) 450 MPa, 20 min, 20 C Carlez, Rosec, Richard
and Cheftel (1994)
E. coliO157:H Raw minced meat 5.9 5 after treatment 700 MPa, 1 min, 15 C Gola et al. (2000)
Aerobic total count Marinated beef loin 6.5 N4.5 after 120 days (4 C) 600 MPa, 6 min, 31 C Garriga, Aymerich, Costa,
Monfort and Hugas (2002)
Toxoplasma gondiicysts Ground pork meat Viable tissue cysts Non-viable 300 MPa Lindsay, Collins, Holliman,
Flick and Dubey (2006)
Salmonella enteritidisstrains Chicken breastfillets 7 4.8 400 MPa, 15 min, 12 C Morales, Calzada, Rodriguez,
de Paz and Nunez (2009)

aInitial temperatures are reported.bEscherichia. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia enterocolitica.

CO 2 reacts with meat, changing the properties as noted in the next

section. Barrier trays arefilled with product and then sealed with

barrier liddingfilm afterflushing with the desired gas mixture. The

barrier tray is usually preformed off-site, but may be made on form-

fill-seal packaging equipment where the web or basefilm is heated

and drawn into the tray mould by a vacuum so product can be placed

into the formedfilm cavity before heat sealing of barrierfilm to the

top edges of the formed tray (Jenkins & Harrington, 1991). This

process leads to the meat pigment being in the deoxymyoglobin state,

which appears as a purple colour and may be unfamiliar to many

consumers (Lynch, Kastner, & Kropf, 1986).

Non-barrier overwrapped packages of meat may be enclosed in a

barrier pouch appropriately sized for each individual overwrapped

tray package (tray-in-sleeve configuration), or in a larger barrierfilm

master pack that contains multiple packages in the anoxic gas

(McMillin et al., 1999). The meat pigments become oxygenated

when the overwrapped permeablefilm package is removed from the

master pack for retail display (Belcher, 2006). Another variation is the

use of anoxic MAP that has an inner air-permeablefilm and outer

barrierfilm sealed to the barrier tray or bottom web containing the

meat. When the outerfilm is peeled before display, the meat is

exposed to O 2 in the atmospheric air and subsequently blooms. Where

air-permeablefilms may not allow sufficient O 2 passage for adequate

oxymyoglobin formation, microperforated shrinkfilms with addi-

tional holes or perforations have been manufactured and used to

promote faster meat blooming after removal of barrierfilm or removal

of overwrapped trays from master packs (Beggan, Allen, & Butler,

2005 ).

Carbon monoxide (CO) has also been used in low O 2 retail

packaging systems. Meat may be exposed to CO before packaging or

CO may also be used to gasflush VSP packages before sealing, but the

small amounts of CO are still sufficient to impart a desired red meat

colour (Belcher, 2006; Eilert, 2005; Sebranek, Hunt, Cornforth &

Brewer, 2006). The majority of MAP for fresh meat has been with a

high O 2 environment (around 80% O 2 ) that allows sufficient shelf life

for processors and retailers with controlled distribution systems

(Eilert, 2005).

6.3. Active packaging (AP)

AP is the incorporation of specific compounds into packaging

systems that interact with the contents or environment to maintain or

extend product quality and shelf life, while intelligent or smart

packaging provides for sensing of the food properties or package

environment to inform the processor, retailer and/or consumer of the

status of the environment or food (Kerry, O’Grady & Hogan, 2006).

In AP, the primary active technologies mostly enhance the

protection or shelf life of the product in response to interactions of

the product, package and environment, although it may perform other

functions. AP may also involve the deliberate altering of the package

environment at a specified time or condition through passive or active

means, but without the inputs and continuous monitoring needed

with controlled atmosphere packaging (CAP) (Yanyun, Wells, &

McMillin, 1994). Intelligent packaging systems have components that

sense the environment and process the information and then allow

action to protect the product by conducting communication functions

(Yam, Takhistov, & Miltz, 2005).

AP functions and technologies include moisture control, O 2 –

permeablefilms, O 2 scavengers or absorbers, O 2 generators, CO 2

controllers, odour controllers,flavour enhancement, ethylene remov-

al, antimicrobial agents and microwave susceptors (Brody, Bugusu,

Han, Koelsch Sand, & McHugh, 2008; Brody, 2009) in addition to

indicators of specific compounds (Vermeiren, Devlieghere, Beest,

Kruijf, & Debevere, 1999) and temperature control packaging.

6.3.1. Antimicrobial packaging

One promising type of active packaging is the incorporation of

antimicrobial substances in food packaging materials to control

undesirable growth of micro-organisms on the surface of foods.

Antimicrobial packaging is an extremely challenging technology that

could extend shelf life and improve food safety in both synthetic

polymers and ediblefilms. The market volume for antimicrobial use in

polyolefins is projected to increase from 3300 tons in 2006 to 5480

tons in 2012 (McMillin, 2008).

Antimicrobialfilms can be defined as four basic categories as

follows (Cooksey, 2005): (1) Incorporation of the antimicrobial

substances into a sachet connected to the package from which the

bioactive substance is released during further storage. (2) Direct

incorporation of the antimicrobial into the packagingfilm (Table 3).

When applied in a hot extrusion material, thermoresistance and

shearing resistance of the antimicrobial must be considered. (3)

Coating of the packaging with a material that acts as a carrier for the

additive. The substance will not be submitted to high temperature or

shearing forces; moreover, it could be applied as the later step. (4)

Antimicrobial macromolecules withfilm-forming properties.

Sachets include O 2 scavengers, CO 2 generators, chlorine dioxide

generators, while bioactive agents dispersed in the packaging may be

O 2 scavenging films, silver ions, triclosan, bacteriocins, spices,

essential oils, enzymes and other additives (Coma, 2008). Extrusion

of the antimicrobial agent into thefilm results in less product-to-

agent contact than application of the agent to the surface of thefilm.

However, agents bound to thefilm surface are likely limited to

enzymes or other proteins because the molecular structure must be

large enough to retain activity on the micro-organism cell wall

while being bound to the plastic. Another approach is the release of

active agents onto the surface of the food. Slow migration of the

Table 3 Natural active components incorporated directly into polymers used for meat packaging.

Active component Polymer/carrier Substrate References
Nisin Silicon coating Beef tissue Daeschel, McGuire and Al-Makhlafi(1992)
PE Beef carcass tissue Siragusa, Cutter and Willett (1999),
Lactic acid Alginate Lean beef muscle Siragusa and Dickson (1992))
Tocopherol LDPE Beef Moore, Han, Acton, Ogale, Barmore and Dawson (2003)
Rosemary extract Polystyrene lamb steaks Camo, Beltrn and Roncals (2008)
Thyme, rosemary and sage spice Cross-linked caseinate
and whey proteinfilm
Ground beef Balentine, Crandall, O'Bryan, Duong and Pohlman (2006)
Oregano extract Polystyrene lamb steaks Camo et al. (2008)
Chitosan Chitosan Cooked ham Ouattara et al. (2000)
Chitosan Chitosan Culture media -Listeria monocytogenes Coma et al. (2002)
Triclosan Plastic matrix Food borne pathogenic bacteria and bacteria
associated with meat surface
Cutter (1999)

Abbreviations: PEpolyethylene, LDPElow density PE.

antimicrobial agents to the product surface improves efficiency and

helps maintain high concentrations. Packages with headspace require

volatile active substances to migrate through the headspace and gaps

between the package and food (Quintavalla & Vicini, 2002). Some

food-related antimicrobial packaging applications have been com-

mercialised (Table 4). Potential antimicrobial agents.Antimicrobial substances are

defined as biocidal products under EU Directives, but would only be

permitted in food packaging if there were no direct impact on the

packaged food quality. This requires that agent migration into food

must be incidental rather than intentional, the agent could not

provide a preservative effect to the food and the agent could not allow

selection of biocide resistance in micro-organisms (Quintavalla &

Vicini, 2002). Potential antimicrobial agents for use in food packaging

systems are organic acids, acid salts, acid anhydrides, para-benzoic

acids, alcohol, bacteriocins, fatty acids, fatty acid esters, chelating

agents, enzymes, metals, antioxidants, antibiotics, fungicides, sterilis-

ing gases, sanitising agents, polysaccharides, phenolics, plant volatiles,

plant and spice extracts and probiotics (Cutter, 2006). Antimicrobial

compounds that have been evaluated infilm structures are organic

acids and their salts, enzymes, bacteriocins, triclosan, silver zeolites

and fungicides (Quintavalla & Vicini, 2002). Triclosan, at 500 and

1000 mg kg


in low density polyethylene (LDPE)films, exhibited

antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria in agar diffusion

assay, but did not effectively reduce micro-organism growth on

chicken breast meat in VP at 7 C (Vermeiren, Devlieghere, &

Debevere, 2002).

Bioactive surface coatings on packaging materials might have

activity based on migration or release by evaporation into headspace

and may be bacteriocins, spices or essential oils (Coma, 2008).

Examination of four polyethylenefilms differing in ethylene vinyl

acetate and erucamide content, and coated with three different

bacteriocins, showed antimicrobial activity against most of the

indicator strains, with antimicrobial agent distribution and roughness

of thefilm related to activity of the packaging (Storia, Ercolini,

Marinello, & Mauriello, 2008).

One of the most promising fields is the incorporation of

antimicrobials such as bacteriocins and plants extracts to the active

packaging and their association to biodegradable packaging such as

alginate, zein (natural) or synthetic polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to reduce

wastes and also, being environment friendly (Aymerich et al., 2008).

Antimicrobial agents such as nisin and chlorine dioxide have

shown effectiveness against bacteria but further technical develop-

ments are needed for commercial implementation (Cooksey, 2005).

Fast- and slow-release ClO 2 sachets reduced total plate counts by 1

1.5 logs in packages of chicken breast meat after 15 days, with no off-

odour detected by sensory panelists, but the colour of chicken

adjacent to the ClO 2 was adversely affected (Ellis, Cooksey, Dawson,

Han, & Vergano, 2006). Nisin incorporated into polylactic acid had

antimicrobial effectiveness against food-borne pathogens such asL.

monocytogenes,Escherichia coliO157:H7 andSalmonella enteritidis

when evaluated in culture media and liquid foods (Jin & Zhang, 2008).

The same approaches to using agents to control micro-organisms may

also be applicable for control of oxidative processes. Rosemary extract,

when incorporated into polypropylene (PP)film, enhanced the

stability of myoglobin and beef steaks by inhibition of metmyoglobin

and lipid oxidation (Nerin et al., 2006). Sensors and indicators.Many intelligent packaging systems use

sensors and indicators for a variety of measurements including

fluorescence-based O 2 gas detection, temperature monitoring, toxic

compounds, freshness through monitoring of specific components,

package integrity and product identification (Kerry et al., 2006; De

Kruijf, van Beest, Rijk, Sipilaeinen-Malm, Paseiro-Losada, & de

Meulenaer, 2002; Potter, Campbell, & Cava, 2008).

A colour-changing sensor was accurately related to the concentra-

tions of amines (microbial breakdown products) in package head-

space, and was also correlated to changes in non-pathogenic microbial

populations offish (Pacquit et al., 2007).

The formation of volatile amines in chicken meat during chilled

storage in air packaging, VP and MAP with 30% CO 2 :5% O 2 was highly

related to total microbial counts and negatively with sensory taste

scores, suggesting that biosensors for the volatiles might be developed

to indicate spoilage in chicken (Balamatsia, Patsias, Kontominas, &

Savvaidis, 2007). However, food pathogen levels were not related to

microbial and sensory spoilage traits in ground beef patties in high O 2

MAP and low O 2 MAP with 0.4% CO or in chicken in low O 2 with 0.4%

CO because food spoilage is defined collectively by factors such as

storage temperature, package atmosphere, light intensity, meat

constituents, initial microbial loads, endogenous enzyme activity

and consumer perceptions that are ineffective to growth and

survivability of food pathogens under controlled conditions (Brooks

et al., 2008). Bioactive edible coatings.Bioactive edible coatings incorporate

an antimicrobial compound in an edible coating, applied by dipping or

spraying onto the food. Edible coatings of polysaccharides, proteins

and lipids can improve the quality of fresh, frozen and processed meat

and poultry products by, for instance, delaying moisture loss, reducing

lipid oxidation and discolouration, enhancing product appearance and

functioning as carrier of food additives (Gennadios, Hanna, & Kurth,

1997 ). The applications of bioactive edible coating in fresh meat

preservation are summarised inTable 5. Future research of AP.As might be surmised from previous

sections of this article, further research is needed in most areas

regarding meat-packaging materials, selection of meat and its

handling before packaging, meat properties under differing condi-

tions, meat in packaging systems and integration of the different

logistical components of the cold chain.

The key research needs for MAP of meat are as follows:

(1) Characterisation of each MAP optionbiochemical effects on

Table 4 Selected commercial antimicrobial packaging for food applications (adapted from Appendini & Hotchkiss, 2002; Devlieghere, Vermeiren & Debevere, 2004).

Active component Tradename Producer
Packaging forms
for food applications
Allylisothio-cyanate WasaOuro Lintec Corp. Sachets
Silver Zeolite AglonTM Agion Paper, plastics
Glucose oxidase
(H 2 O 2 )
Bioka Bioka Ltd Sachets
Triclosan Microban Microban prod. Plastic packaging
Ethanol vapour Ethicap Freund Sachets
Oitech Nippon Kayaku Sachets
Carbon dioxide FreshpaxTM Multisorb technologies Sachets
Verifrais SARL Codimer
Chlorine dioxide Micro-sphre Bernard Technologies Sachets,film,
wraps, plastics
Table 5
Applications of bioactive edible coating in fresh meat preservation.
Bioactive edible coating Substrate References
Agar coatings Fresh poultry Natrajan (1997)
Cold smoked salmon Neetoo, Mu and Haiqiang (2010)
Calcium alginate gels Raw beef Siragusa et al. (1999)
Milk protein-based
Beef muscle Oussalah, Caillet, Salmieri,
Saucier and Lacroix (2004)

appearance and palatability traits, including postmortem tenderisa-

tion processes, and interactions with each MAP system; interactions

of meat components with packaging materials, gases, and headspace

volumes; blooming ability and bloomed colour stability. (2) Addi-

tional and improved methodologies for evaluation of meat and meat

productsinadequate or imprecise analytical techniques for meat in

MAP, particularly with multistage systems; techniques not sufficiently

rapid for continuous process and quality control programs; expensive

or unavailable scanning and digital technologies for analytical or

online meat assessment. (3) Pigment chemistry datacreation and

reversion of deoxymyoglobin pigments under different conditions of

MAP; formation and stability of carboxymyoglobin under different

conditions; fundamental relationships between metmyoglobin re-

duction and O 2 consumption processes. (4) Roles of genetics and

quantitative trait locigenetic inheritance of colour and other meat

traits are not well characterised. (5) Application of AP technologies for

meatimproved petroleum and biological polymers have not been

examined for use in meat packaging; no reports of micro-organism

growth, oxidative stability, package gas concentrations, and other

shelf-life factors for many meat and package interactions. (6)

Nanotechnologies and nanoscale materials: improved mechanical,

thermal and barrier properties of materials would enhance meat

quality and shelf life; methods, materials, safety evaluations, and risk

assessments for meat use have not been reported. (7) Clinical trials on

specific product and packaging interactions and components

insufficient or unavailable information on many MAP systems creates

reliance on inferences for assessments of safety and risk (McMillin et

al., 1999; Mancini, Hunt, Hachmeister, Kropf, & Johnson, 2005;

McMillin, 2008).

7. Hurdle technology (HT)

HT (also called combined methods, combined processes, combi-

nation preservation, combination techniques or barrier technology)

advocates the deliberate combination of existing and novel preserva-

tion techniques to establish a series of preservative factors (hurdles)

to improve the microbial stability and the sensory quality of foods as

well as their nutritional and economic properties (Leistner & Gorris,

1995; Leistner, 2000).

The most important hurdles used in food preservation are

temperature (high or low), water activity (a), acidity (pH), redox

potential (Eh), preservatives (e.g., nitrite, sorbate, sulphite), and

competitive micro-organisms (e.g., lactic acid bacteria). However,

more than 60 potential hurdles for foods, which improve the stability

and/or quality of the products, have been described, and the list of

possible hurdles for food preservation is by no means complete

(Leistner & Gorris, 1995). The influence of food preservation methods

on the physiology and behaviour of micro-organisms in foods, that is,

their homeostasis, metabolic exhaustion and stress reactions, should

be taken into account.

Generally, biopreservation and natural antimicrobials provide an

excellent opportunity for such combined preservation systems. For

example, oregano essential oil, combined with MAP, were studied as

hurdles in the storage of fresh meat and a longer shelf life was

observed over that of the same packaging alone (Skandamis & Nychas,

2002; Chouliara, Karatapanis, Savvaidis, & Kontominas, 2007). In

Atlantic salmon (S. salar)fillets, the greatest extension of shelf life was

obtained by a combination of superchilling and MAP. The samples

with the highest CO 2 concentration (90%) and gas-to-product volume

(g/p) ratio of 2.5 showed the highest shelf life: 22 days versus 11 days

for the control sample (Fernndez, Aspe, & Roeckel, 2009).

Many studies indicate that it is possible to reduce bacterial spores

through combinations of mild heat (Hayakawa, Kanno, Tomita, &

Fujio, 1994; Ross, Griffiths, Mittal, & Deeth, 2003) or nisin (Michiels,

Hauben, Versyck, & Wuytack, 1995; Stewart, Dunne, Sikes, & Hoover,

2000; Garriga et al., 2002; Lee, Heinz, & Knorr, 2003; Jofre, Aymerich &

Garriga, 2008; Ogihara, Yatuzuka, Horie, Furukawa, & Yamasaki, 2009)

and HHP. The combined effect of gamma irradiation in the presence of

ascorbic acid on the microbiological characteristics and lipid oxidation

of ground beef coated with an edible coating were evaluated. Results

showed that lactic acid bacteria andBrochothrix thermosphactawere

more resistant to irradiation thanEnterobacteriaceaeandPseudomo-

nas. Shelf-life extension periods estimated on the basis of a limit level

of 6 log CFU g^1 for APCs were 4, 7 and 10 days for samples irradiated

at 1, 2 and 3 kGy, respectively. However, the incorporation of ascorbic

acid in ground beef did not improve significantly (pN0.05) the

inhibitory effect of gamma irradiation (Lacroix, Ouattara, Saucier,

Giroux, & Smoragiewicz, 2004).

8. Conclusion

This review aimed to describe current methods and technologies

for fresh meat preservation and their developments. In addition to the

relatively mature technologies, such as chilling, freezing and ionising

radiation, new preservation techniques for fresh meat are introduced.

We conclude this review by presenting important opportunities and

some drawbacks of the following new techniques.

1. Superchilling can reduce the use of freezing/thawing for produc-

tion buffers and thereby reduce labour, energy costs and product

weight losses. The other two advantages of the technique are its

capability for prolonging shelf life and improving meat safety.

However, the major drawback is that complex calculations and

measurements of heat transfer and temperatures are required for

each product. More research is required before the wide applica-

tion of this new technology. Furthermore, this process will only

function effectively with improved cold chains, as many current

meat supply chains are comprised of fragmented components

rather than logical cold chain systems.

2. As a mild, non-thermal technology, HHP can inactivate some

product spoilage micro-organisms and enzymes at low tempera-

tures without changing the majority of the sensory or nutritional

properties. However, spores are not sensitive to these pressures

and they can only be inactivated when pressure is combined with

heat or another system such as lactoperoxidase or lysozyme

treatment. Although HHP has certain advantages, it does however

have some drawbacks in that high pressures may result in

discolouration through protein denaturation. Further, commercial-

ly it involves a batch process, which is not convenient for product


3. Active packaging: This technique is attractive to producers as

oxygen scavengers in sachets are effective and enables surface

treatment of food products. As it incorporates compounds into

packing systems to maintain or extend product quality and shelf

life, it can facilitate processing. However, when oxygen scavengers

are incorporated in packagingfilms, as distinct from packet sachets,

their effectiveness is often limited. Efforts have to be made to make

this technique compatible with current legislation. Usually, the

amounts of active compound migrating are not substantial. In

addition, active compounds need to be thermostable when

incorporated in plasticfilms.

4. Natural antimicrobial compounds: Essential oils, chitosan, nisin

and lysozyme are natural compounds. As they can replace chemical

preservatives, they provide the opportunity forGreen labellingto

which consumers are attracted by theirnatural image. This is

imperative in the current world environment in which food quality

and safety food are of prime importance. Nevertheless, they are

often less attractive commercially due to their ability to react with

other food ingredients and some may have low water solubility.

They can also change the organoleptical properties and have a

narrow activity spectrum.

In conclusion, by applying these new technologies to meet increased

demand, the storage life of fresh chilled meat can be largely extended to

many weeks by proper control of the hygienic condition and

temperatures of the product, and by the appropriate selection and use

of preservative methods. Factors restricting the commercial extension of

shelf life are the current processing and distribution systems.


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