Preserving Meat Color Naturally

According to The Power of Meat 2015 study, 65% of consumers sift through meat packages every time they shop, with product appearance being the number two factor when selecting and buying meat and poultry.  (The first is price.) Bright red color typically indicates product freshness, so shoppers often reject ground meat that has begun to brown in the display case.

Yet preserving the red color of meat and keeping it from oxidizing in packaging can be challenging, especially as consumer demand for clean, natural food products grows. 

Plum ingredients can be part of the solution, helping to maintain the brightness of fresh and cooked meat products, according to Rick Perez, research and development chef consultant for Sunsweet Growers in Yuba City, Calif. 

“Plum ingredients can provide an indirect way to preserve or enhance color, but they are not a replacement for nitrates/nitrites or other products designed to preserve color,” Mr. Perez explained.  “If the application is about removing phosphates, fresh plum concentrate can help with color, especially with poultry, as phosphates tend to bleach out the meat, making it whiter. With red meat, a lot depends on packaging. Fresh plum concentrate alone won’t stop oxidation. What it does do is extend shelf life, which improves visual sensory analysis.” Read the story from Food Business News.