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Journal: Meat science


This paper is based on a workshop held in Oslo, Norway in November 2013, in which experts discussed how to reach consensus on the healthiness of red and processed meat. Recent nutritional recommendations include reducing intake of red and processed meat to reduce cancer risk, in particular colorectal cancer (CRC). Epidemiological and mechanistic data on associations between red and processed meat intake and CRC are inconsistent and underlying mechanisms are unclear. There is a need for further studies on differences between white and red meat, between processed and whole red meat and between different types of processed meats, as potential health risks may not be the same for all products. Better biomarkers of meat intake and of cancer occurrence and updated food composition databases are required for future studies. Modifying meat composition via animal feeding and breeding, improving meat processing by alternative methods such as adding phytochemicals and improving our diets in general are strategies that need to be followed up.

Concepts: Cancer, Nutrition, Meat, Saturated fat, Livestock, Pork, Red meat, White meat


The suitability of three potential probiotic lactobacilli strains (Lactobacillus casei CTC1677, L. casei CTC1678 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CTC1679), previously isolated from infants' faeces and characterized, and three commercial probiotic strains (Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, L. rhamnosus GG and L. casei Shirota) was assessed during the manufacture of low-acid fermented sausages (fuets) with reduced Na(+) and fat content. The inoculated strains were successfully monitored by RAPD-PCR during the process. L. rhamnosus CTC1679 was the only strain able to grow and dominate (levels ca. 10(8)CFU/g) the endogenous lactic acid bacteria population in two independent trials, throughout the ripening process. Thus, fuet containing L. rhamnosus CTC1679 as a starter culture could be a suitable vehicle for putative probiotic bacteria delivery. All the final products recorded a satisfactory overall sensory quality without any noticeable off-flavour, and with the characteristic sensory properties of low-acid fermented sausages.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Microbiology, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillaceae


In response to recent claims that synthetic antioxidants have the potential to cause toxicological effects and consumers' increased interest in purchasing natural products, the meat and poultry industry has been seeking sources of natural antioxidants. Due to their high phenolic compound content, fruits and other plant materials provide a good alternative to conventional antioxidants. Plum, grape seed extract, cranberry, pomegranate, bearberry, pine bark extract, rosemary, oregano, and other spices functions as antioxidants in meat and poultry products. Pomegranate, pine bark extract, cinnamon, and cloves have exhibited stronger antioxidant properties than some synthetic options. Plum products, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, rosemary, and some spices all have been shown to affect the color of finished meat or poultry products; however, in some products such as pork sausage or uncured meats, an increase in red color may be desired. When selecting a natural antioxidant, sensory and quality impact on the product should be considered to achieve desired traits.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Meat, Fruit, Cinnamon, Medicinal plants, Pork, Sausage, Spice


Staphylococcus xylosus and Pediococcus pentosaceus isolated from Chinese dried sausage were assessed for their ability to convert metmyoglobin into nitrosylmyoglobin in Mann-Rogosa-Sharp broth model systems and raw pork meat batters without the addition of nitrite. The results showed that samples in model systems with S. xylosus cultures had an absorption spectra that is typical of nitrosylmyoglobin, an obvious pink colour (judged by visual inspection) and a significantly higher a-value than the control samples or samples inoculated with P. pentosaceus. In raw meat batters, the a-values of the S. xylosus samples were almost the same as those for the meat with nitrite added. The complementary analysis of meat batter samples by photochemical information from UV-vis, electron spin resonance and resonance Raman spectroscopy revealed that the existing status of the myoglobin in meat batters inoculated with S. xylosus was mainly pentacoordinate nitrosylmyoglobin. This study provides a potential solution for nitrite substitute in meat products.

Concepts: Electron, Spectroscopy, Staphylococcus, Raman spectroscopy, Raman scattering, Absorption spectroscopy, Pork, Staphylococcus xylosus


The aim of the present study, the third in a series of three papers, is to show the effects of PRKAG3 and CAST gene polymorphisms on the quality traits of the Slovenian dry-cured ham “Kraški pršut” and their interaction with ham producers. Significant interaction of polymorphisms with producer in the case of salt content, lipid oxidation (PRKAG3 Ile199Val), proteolysis index (CAST Arg249Lys) and pastiness (CAST Ser638Arg) indicated that genotype manifestation was reliant on the manufacturing practice. PRKAG3 Ile199Val polymorphism affected several physico-chemical, rheological and sensory traits. The Ile/Ile genotype yielded less salty and softer hams, indicating beneficial effects on dry-cured ham quality. The effect of CAST polymorphisms was less pronounced, although the observed associations with pastiness, proteolysis index and several free amino acid concentrations indicate its possible influence on proteolysis, with haplotype CAST 249Arg/638Ser being associated with a higher degree of proteolysis.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Allele, Amino acid, Metabolism, Effect, Ham, Jamón


Beef burgers were produced using gari to substitute beef in the product formulations at 0% (control), 10%, 15% and 20% respectively. Cooking yield increased significantly (p<0.05) with increasing use of gari. Sensory evaluation of the products revealed significant (p<0.05) differences for acceptability and texture attributes. The acceptability score for burgers produced with 15% gari was not significantly different (p>0.05) from the control without gari. Using gari had no significant (p>0.05) effect on flavor and odor attributes of beef burgers. Texture profile analysis of burgers showed significant (p<0.05) reductions in hardness, springiness, gumminess and chewiness at all levels of substituting beef with gari. Production cost of burgers reduced by 9%, 14% and 18% respectively using 10%, 15% and 20% gari in burgers. The results suggest that gari has promising potential for use in comminuted meat products.

Concepts: Meat, Sensory analysis, Substitute good


Regarding food borne intoxications, the accumulation of biogenic amines must be avoided in all kinds of food products. Moreover, biogenic amines can function as precursors for the formation of carcinogenic N-nitrosamines when nitrite is present. To estimate the food safety of the dry fermented sausages available on the Belgian market, a screening of the residual sodium nitrite and nitrate contents, biogenic amines and volatile N-nitrosamine concentrations was performed on 101 samples. The median concentrations of residual NaNO2 and NaNO3 were each individually lower than 20mg/kg. In general, the biogenic amine accumulation remained low at the end of shelf life. Only in one product the amounts of cadaverine and putrescine reached intoxicating levels. Concerning the occurrence of N-nitrosamines, only N-nitrosopiperidine and N-nitrosomorpholine were detected in a high number of samples (resp. 22% and 28%). No correlation between the presence of N-nitrosamines and the biogenic amines content was observed. Although the N-nitrosamines could not been linked to specific product categories, the occurrence of N-nitrosopiperidine could probably be attributed to the use of pepper.

Concepts: Amine, Ammonia, Food, Food safety, Biogenic amine, Nitrosamine, Garde manger, Sodium nitrite


As part of the project “Religious slaughter (DIALREL): improving knowledge and expertise through dialogue and debate on issues of welfare, legislation and socio-economic aspects”, this paper discusses an evaluation of current practices during Halal and Shechita slaughter in cattle, sheep, goats and poultry. During religious slaughter, animals are killed with and without stunning by a transverse incision across the neck that is cutting the skin, muscles (brachiocephalic, sternocephalic, sternohyoid, and sternothyroid), trachea, esophagus, carotid arteries, jugular veins and the major, superficial and deep nerves of the cervical plexus. In this report, the restraint methods, stunning, neck cutting, exsanguination, slaughter techniques and postcut handling in the abattoir were assessed for religious slaughter. Information about the procedures used during religious slaughter in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Turkey and Australia was collected by means of spot visits to abattoirs. To standardize the information gathered during the spot visits three guidelines were designed, one for each species, and translated into the national languages of the countries involved. The document included questions on the handling and restraint methods (stunning, neck cutting/exsanguination/slaughter techniques and postcut handling performed under religious practices) and for pain and distress of the animal during the restraint, neck cutting and induction to death in each abattoir. Results showed differences in the time from restraining to stun and to cut in the neck cutting procedures and in the time from cut to death.

Concepts: Common carotid artery, Internal jugular vein, Brachiocephalic artery, Livestock, Slaughterhouse, Captive bolt pistol


The present investigation focuses on the textural properties, sensory attributes and color changes of beef frankfurter, beef ham and meat-free sausage produced by different levels of bleached tomato pomace. The texture and color profile were performed using an instrumental texture analyzer and colorimeter. The findings indicated that tomato pomace-added sausages had higher water holding capacity (WHC) compared to that of commercial samples. The frankfurters containing 5 and 7% (w/w) tomato pomace had the highest redness (a*), chroma (C*) and color differences (ΔE) values, while the meat-free sausages containing 7% (w/w) tomato pomace had significant (p<0.05) values for lightness (L*) and yellowness (b*). Furthermore, there were no significant (p>0.05) color differences between beef ham samples (with and without tomato pomace). A significant progression in the textural hardness and chewiness of systems containing tomato pomace was observed as well as higher sensory scores by panelists. According to sensorial evaluations, bleached tomato pomace improved the consumer acceptability and preference.

Concepts: Beef, Meat, Red, Pork, Sausage, Charcuterie, Hot dog, Bologna sausage


Calpastatin is associated with the rate of post mortem degradation of structural proteins due to the regulation of calpain activity. In the present research, the associations between polymorphisms within 6th intron of porcine CAST gene and several meat quality traits were analyzed. The CAST gene polymorphisms affected meat colour, pH, water holding-capacity (WHC) and texture parameters (toughness, firmness, cohesiveness, chewiness, and resilience) measured in longissimus dorsi and semimembranosus muscles. The analysis performed on the most numerous breeds maintained in Poland, suggested that the most interesting polymorphisms were CAST/HpaII and CAST/RsaI, which had the greatest effect on WHC regardless of the breed analyzed and had an effect on meat pH, firmness and toughness for most breeds. Interestingly, for almost all breeds, the significant effect of both mutations on intramuscular fat content (IMF) was detected. The provided data confirmed the use of CAST gene as a genetic marker in breeding programmes which allows performing a selection focussed on improving the quality of pork.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, RNA, Meat, Breed, Pig, Longissimus