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Nitrate, nitrite and sorbate in Brazilian meat products

Grant number: 13/05826-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2013
Effective date (End): April 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal researcher:Magali Conceição Monteiro da Silva
Grantee:Estela Mesquita Diegues de Oliveira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Brazil is a very important producer and exporter of meat and meat foodstuffs. The market of processed meat grew from 1.16 to 2.39 million tons between 2000 and 2010, with 3 million tons expected in 2014. A lot of compounds are used to produce processed meat in order to preserve, improve or develop flavor, give color and contribute to the general appearance of the final product, as well as guarantee more extended shelf life. Nitrate and nitrite give the pinkish-red color and flavor characteristic of cured meats, being effective to inhibit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, to prevent "reheated" flavor, typical from cooked and refrigerated or frozen meat, and to retard the development of oxidative rancidity. Linguiça, paio, salsichão, mortadela and copa sausages, ham, salami and sausage, etc, are the main "embutidos" processed meat. Sausage and mortadella sausage are considered those of major acceptance for Brazillian consumers. Brazillian sausage production grew from 230.5 to 567.8 thousand ton between 2000 and 2010, and mortadella sausage from 176.4 to 434.3 thousand ton in the same period. The expectation is about 710.4 thousand tons of sausage and 574 thousand tons of mortadella sausage in 2014. Although the benefits of nitrite in meat products, its use is controversial because of the possible adverse effects to human health. In the same way, sorbic acid and its salts are used as preservatives, stabilizers, and antioxidants in many products, with effective action against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in processed meat, mainly together with nitrite. Sorbate and nitrite produce a series of mutagenic and genotoxic species under gastric pH. The aim of this work is to evaluate nitrate, nitrite, and sorbate levels in Brazillian processed meat products. (AU)

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