Sealed Air desires to find a means other than CO or use of nitrites to maintain color associated with freshly cut meat.
Freshly cut meat has a rosy color is due to oxygen binding with myoglobin in the muscle. When meats are anaerobically packaged, oxygen disassociates from the myoglobin. This results in a color change of the meat, which can be misinterpreted by consumers as a loss of quality or freshness. Current approaches to maintaining a red color in vacuum packaged fresh red meats include pre-treatment with carbon monoxide, nitrites, or select spices. These methods either bind irreversibly with heme in myoglobin, or mask the actual color of the meat. Sealed Air would like to identify and develop new and different ways to maintain the fresh red color of vacuum packaged fresh meats.
The following approaches are not of interest:
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