Antioxidants are sometimes added to fresh and processed meat and meat products to prevent lipid oxidation (decomposition), stop the development of off-flavours and improve colour stability.
To meet consumer demand for more natural products, food manufacturers are moving towards replacing synthetic antioxidants with natural ingredients such as plant extracts, herbs, spices and essential oils.
In an article in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), authors from Punjab Agricultural University in India looked at numerous studies to identify 27 natural ingredients that can be used as antioxidants in meat and meat products.
The chart below highlights 10 of the more well-known natural ingredients and the type of meat they can be used to preserve:
Mustard leaf kimchi extract Refrigerated raw ground pork
Oregano essential oils Raw and cooked cow meat
Sage essential oils Raw and cooked cow meat
Curry Raw and cooked cow meat
Carrot juice Irradiated beef sausage
Pomegranate juice extract Cooked chicken patties
Kimchi extracts Cooked ground pork
Grape antioxidant fibre Raw and cooked chicken burger
Green tea extract Dry spicy sausage
Oregano extract Irradiated beef burger