Phenols in Olive Mill Byproducts Can Be Effective Preservatives in Fresh Meats

A study in Italy revealed that phenols can be used as antioxidants in raw and cooked fresh pork sausages, preventing lipid oxidation and in limiting the oxidative degradation of cholesterol.

By Ylenia Granitto
Oct. 9, 2017 08:16 UTC

According to a recent study con­ducted in Italy, phe­nols from olive veg­e­ta­tion water can be effec­tive nat­ural preser­v­a­tives in fresh meat.

Olive Oil Times had the oppor­tu­nity to pre­view research that will be pub­lished in the November issue of LWT Food Science and Technology and which were achieved through the close col­lab­o­ra­tion of Stefania Balzan, Barbara Cardazzo, Enrico Novelli and Luca Fasolato from the University of Padova; Agnese Taticchi, Stefania Urbani and Maurizio Servili from the University of Perugia; Giuseppe Di Lecce and Maria Teresa Rodriguez-Estrada from the Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna; and Izaskun Berasategi Zabalza from the University of Navarra.

We wanted to test an alter­na­tive approach to the use of syn­thetic addi­tives in this type of food, as well as to ver­ify the effi­ciency of nat­ural antiox­i­dants.- Giuseppe Di Lecce, University of Bologna

Nowadays, the replace­ment of chem­i­cal addi­tives with nat­ural com­pounds in food prepa­ra­tions is a mat­ter of great inter­est, both to con­sumers and to the food indus­try,” Giuseppe Di Lecce told Olive Oil Times. Consumers not only have a strong expec­ta­tion of foods with the fewest or low­est pos­si­ble level of addi­tives but also tend to sharply dis­tin­guish between nat­ural and syn­thetic extra ingre­di­ents.”

Giuseppe Di Lecce

Many peo­ple believe that processed meat is unhealthy. The con­sump­tion of fresh ground meat prepa­ra­tions is very wide­spread due to their pleas­ant taste and ease of cook­ing, but accord­ing to a sur­vey on the health ben­e­fits of processed meats, half of the respon­dents believed that processed meat con­tains large quan­ti­ties of harm­ful chem­i­cals,” said Di Lecce, who has also served as a judge or panel leader at all five edi­tions of the annual New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC).

Nevertheless, food addi­tives like antiox­i­dants must be used to con­trol lipid oxi­da­tion dur­ing food pro­cess­ing and stor­age, in order to pre­vent ran­cid­ity, dete­ri­o­ra­tion of sen­sory qual­ity and pro­duc­tion of free rad­i­cals which are involved in a series of chronic degen­er­a­tive patholo­gies other than can­cer.

On this basis, we wanted to test an alter­na­tive approach to the use of syn­thetic addi­tives in this type of food, as well as to ver­ify the effi­ciency of nat­ural antiox­i­dants,” he explained.

The well-estab­lished pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil to human health is mainly attrib­uted to the antiox­i­dant actions of a com­pos­ite class of hydrophilic phe­nols. Accordingly, in this study researchers used a puri­fied phe­no­lic extract obtained from fresh olive veg­e­ta­tion water aris­ing from the Moraiolo olive cul­ti­var.

The entire exper­i­ment was per­formed in three repli­cates, each one using slightly more than 40 kg (88.1 lbs) of shoul­der and belly pork that was ground, mixed with salt and divided into three batches. With the goal of avoid­ing sec­ondary and non-stan­dard­iz­able antiox­i­dant effects from other ingre­di­ents, no spices were added.

Each batch was fur­ther mixed and stuffed into bovine cas­ings by using a hydraulic pis­ton-type stuffer. The sausages, nearly 100 g (3,52 oz) each, were left to drip and then stored with­out pack­ag­ing in a dis­play cab­i­net under alter­nat­ing expo­sure to flu­o­res­cent light to sim­u­late retail shops and butcheries.

At zero, 7 and 14 days, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive num­ber of sausages from each batch were sam­pled and frozen in liq­uid nitro­gen before being stored at 80°C (?112°F) until analy­sis. At the same times, the same num­ber of sausages from each batch was cooked, cooled in an ice bath, stored for 72 hours at 2 – 4°C (35.6 – 39.2°F) and then frozen in liq­uid nitro­gen before being stored at ‑80°C (-112°F) until an analy­sis.

The meat prod­ucts were eval­u­ated before and after an aer­o­bic stor­age for 14 days. Adding the phe­nol extract at dif­fer­ent con­cen­tra­tions, researchers found a decrease in pH, dia­cyl­glyc­erols, per­ox­ide value, thio­bar­bi­turic acid reac­tive species, and cho­les­terol oxi­da­tion prod­ucts. Sensory analy­sis revealed sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences between con­trol sam­ples and those enriched with the extract, but the enriched sam­ples were never con­sid­ered unpleas­ant by the pan­elists.

The results revealed that the puri­fied phe­nol extract showed effi­cacy in pre­vent­ing both pri­mary and sec­ondary lipid oxi­da­tion and in lim­it­ing the oxida­tive degra­da­tion of cho­les­terol in raw and cooked fresh pork sausages. Phenols proved to be an effec­tive antiox­i­dant in these food prod­ucts, thus result­ing a poten­tial ingre­di­ent to ensure qual­ity and safety of meat prepa­ra­tions.

This approach has many advan­tages,” Di Lecce observed. For the meat indus­try, in a per­spec­tive of a pro­gres­sive reduc­tion in the use of syn­thetic addi­tives toward the so-called clean label; for con­sumers, in terms of ben­e­fits from the health stand­point; for the olive oil sec­tor, with a view to a more sus­tain­able approach in man­ag­ing byprod­ucts and pro­vid­ing an added value to the waste­water,” Di Lecce con­cluded.


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