Main content area

A review of natural antioxidants and their effects on oxidative status, odor and quality of fresh beef produced in Argentina

Descalzo, A.M., Sancho, A.M.
Meat science 2008 v.79 no.3 pp. 423-436
livestock and meat industry, meat production, pastures, beef cattle, grazing, antioxidants, feed composition, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, glutathione, beef, oxidative stability, beef quality, odors, reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, protein degradation, raw meat, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, superoxide dismutase, enzyme activity, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, free radical scavengers, Argentina
Meat derived from pasture feeding, is associated with a high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants are incorporated within cell membranes and protect tissues against oxidation from reactive oxygen species. This maintains the overall quality of meat and secondary products. This paper reviews the implications of incorporating natural antioxidants into fresh beef, focusing on the benefits of feeding cattle good quality pasture. Pasture samples typically have higher levels of α-tocopherol, β-carotene, ascorbic acid and glutathione than feedlot samples. These compounds retard lipid and protein oxidation in fresh and stored meat, and preserve the color and odor quality of beef. The significance of antioxidant enzymes is variable, because their behavior depends on individual redox status before slaughter. Understanding total antioxidant activity requires information on antioxidant and pro-oxidant status. With an abundance of pasture, Argentina has a natural advantage in producing meat with a high antioxidant value.