Developing Functional Pork
May 19/Cork, Ireland/Food Weekly Focus -- According to a study from Cork, Ireland, "The effects of lutein (100, 2001mu g/g muscle), sesamol (250, 500mu g/g muscle), ellagic acid (300, 600mu g/g muscle) and olive leaf extract (100, 200mu g/g muscle) on lipid oxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances TBARs), color (CIE L*, a*, b*), pH, texture profile analysis (TPA), water holding capacity (WHC), cooking losses and sensorial properties of fresh and cooked pork patties were investigated. Raw and cooked minced pork (M. longissimus thoracis et lumborum) containing added lutein, sesamol, ellagic acid or olive leaf extract were stored aerobically or in modified atmosphere packs (MAP) for up to eight and 12 days, respectively."

"Lutein, sesamol, ellagic acid and olive leaf extract had no significant effect on microbial status, cook loss, pH or WHC. Lipid oxidation was reduced (P<0.001) in raw and cooked pork patties stored in aerobic packs and in MAP following addition of sesamol, ellagic acid and olive leaf extract. Antioxidant effectiveness in raw and cooked patties was in the order: sesamol = ellagic acid > olive leaf extract > lutein. Lutein increased (P<0.001) b* yellowness values in raw pork patties. Addition of lutein, sesamol, ellagic acid and olive leaf extract to pork had no detrimental effects on the organoleptic properties of cooked patties but altered (P<0.05) instrumental textural attributes," wrote J.E. Hayes and colleagues, University College.

The researchers concluded, "Highlight the potential of using natural functional ingredients in the development of functional pork products with enhanced quality and shelflife."

Hayes and colleagues published their study in Meat Science ("Evaluation of the Effects of Selected Phytochemicals on Quality Indices and Sensorial Properties of Raw and Cooked Pork Stored in Different Packaging Systems." Meat Science, 2010;85(2):289-296).

For more information, contact J.P. Kerry, University College Cork, Dept. of Nutrition & Food Science, Food Packaging Group, Cork, Ireland.

From the May 24, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition