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Effects of Oregano Oil Brine Enhancement on Quality Attributes of Beef Longissimus dorsi and Semimembranosus Muscles from Various Age Animals

Scramlin, Stacy M., Newman, Melissa C., Cox, Ryan B., Sepe, Hilary A., Alderton, Amy L., O'Leary, Joseph, Mikel, William B.
Journal of food science 2010 v.75 no.2 pp. S89
oregano, plant fats and oils, brining, beef, beef quality, longissimus dorsi, muscles, animal age, lipid peroxidation, palatability, flavor, raw meat, antioxidant activity, sensory properties
The study reports whether or not oregano oil can reduce lipid oxidation and evaluate palatability variations in beef longissimus dorsi and semimembranosus muscles from various age animals (approximately 18 mo; 18 M, 30 to 60 mo; 30 M, and >60 mo; 60 M). Six muscles of each age group were halved and enhanced with a control brine containing no antioxidants (CN) or a brine containing oregano oil (OR), cut into steaks, and stored in modified atmosphere packaging for 0, 4, 7, and 11 d. Each sampling day, surface color (Minolta L*, a*, b*), lipid oxidation (TBARS), cook yield, sensory analysis, and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) were measured. OR enhancement decreased TBARS values and slowed the rate of decline in a* values (P < 0.05), but had no effect on WBSF, or sensory tenderness and juiciness scores (P > 0.05) compared to CN steaks. OR steaks had less rancidity detection, more off-flavor, lower overall acceptability in sensory analysis (P < 0.05). This indicated oregano oil can effectively reduce lipid oxidation and extend shelf-life of meat products, but further investigation would be needed to avoid off-flavor and acceptability of product quality. Practical Application: Decreases in meat consumption have led the meat industry to become more innovative in product development. Reducing lipid oxidation is a viable method to reduce rancidity, and improving product acceptability. Our research indicated that although oregano oil did reduce lipid oxidation, the adverse effects of flavor were too great, and thus would not be tolerable in fresh meat products at this concentration. However, there is potential to use oregano oil at lower concentrations and in a variety of processed products which could be beneficial to further the use of natural antioxidants.