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Antioxidant-rich peanut skins may boost meat shelf-life

By Stephen Daniells , 29-Jun-2010
Last updated on 29-Jun-2010 at 11:53 GMT

Extracts from peanut skin that are rich in antioxidant compounds may preserved the colour of raw beef and slow its spoilage, suggests a new study.

According to findings published in International Journal of Food Science & Technology, extracts from peanut skin at a level of about 0.06 per cent were as effective as the synthetic preservatives BHA and BHT at a level of 0.02 per cent.

The results indicate that the peanut skin extract could offer a natural alternative to more established synthetic preservatives such as butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT).

“The effectiveness of PSE as antioxidant at concentration 0.06 to 0.10 per cent was similar to that of 0.02 per cent BHA⁄BHT, the most commonly used antioxidant in commercial food products,” wrote researchers from North Carolina A&T State University.

“At this dose range, no undesirable discolouration or off-flavour was observed in treated meat. Therefore, PSE at concentration of 0.06 to 0.1 per cent can be used as a safe and effective natural antioxidant to inhibit lipid and myoglobin oxidation in cooked and raw ⁄ fresh beef, respectively, as to prevent the development of warmed-over-flavour in cooked meat and discolouration in fresh ⁄ raw meat,” they added.

Any use of the ingredient would have to take in concerns over peanut allergies, however. The reaction to peanut allergy can be so severe that only very tiny amounts can be enough to trigger a response.

With peanut allergy potentially fatal for some people, food manufacturers are already bound by certain regulations, depending on the country, to highlight possible allergens in a food product, such as the EU’s Labelling Directive 2000/13/EC.

Natural vs synthetics

The Greensboro, NC-based scientists investigated the effects of a peanut skin extract to inhibit the oxidation of lipids in cooked and raw ground beef.

Levels of the peanut extract ranged from 0 to 0.1 per cent, and compared this with 0.02 per cent BHT and BHA (Sigma-Aldrich). “Results show that addition of peanut skin extract to raw ground beef before cooking significantly inhibited the formation of peroxides and TBARS in cooked GB during the refrigerated storage,” stated the researchers.

The extract also preserved the meat pigments, thereby maintaining the “fresh redness of treated meat”, they stated.

While the extract showed an antioxidant potential, it was less successful as an antimicrobial.

“Hence, PSE can primarily serve the dual purposes of preserving the colour of raw GB and preventing lipid oxidation in cooked products,” concluded the researchers.

Source: International Journal of Food Science & Technology
Volume 45 Issue 7, Pages 1337-1344
“Potential of peanut skin phenolic extract as antioxidative and antibacterial agent in cooked and raw ground beef”
Authors: J. Yu, M. Ahmedna, I. Goktepe

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