Extending Ground Beef's Shelflife

May 6/Food Business Week -- "The objective of this study was to extend the shelflife of ground beef in chilled conditions. Samples were treated with 2% salt, 2% salt + 500-ppm ascorbic acid, or 2% salt + 100-ppm sodium nitrite," scientists in Turkey report.

"The control sample did not contain any additives. Protein, nitrite, moisture contents, pH, thiobarbituric acid (TBA) value, color attributes and microbial counts of samples were determined. Samples were vacuum packaged and stored in refrigeration, and chemical and microbial analyses were performed throughout storage. The pH of samples decreased during storage, and the sample having 2% salt and 500-ppm ascorbic acid had the greatest pH decline. TBA values generally increased (P<0.05) with storage time. Samples having 2% salt + 500-ppm ascorbic acid had the lowest TBA value. On a given storage day, samples having 2% salt + 100-ppm sodium nitrite had lower microbial microbial count than other samples, indicating the antibacterial effect of nitrite," wrote V. Gok and colleagues, Celal Bayar University.

The researchers concluded, "A significant storage time x treatment interaction (P<0.05) existed for almost all quality parameters studied."

Gok and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Muscle Foods ("Extending the Chilled Shelflife of Vacuum-packaged Ground Beef Using Ascorbic Acid, Nitrite or Salt." Journal of Muscle Foods, 2009;20(2):211-226).

For additional information, contact E. Obuz, Celal Bayar University, Dept. of Food Engineering, Faculty Engineering, TR-45140 Muradiye Manisa, Turkey.

From the May 11, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition