Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 131–142 | Cite as

In Vitro Zinc Protoporphyrin IX Formation in Different Meat Sources Related to Potentially Important Intrinsic Parameters

  • Hannelore De Maere
  • Sylvie Chollet
  • Erik Claeys
  • Chris Michiels
  • Marlies Govaert
  • Eveline De Mey
  • Hubert Paelinck
  • Ilse Fraeye
Original Paper


For several years, researchers have studied the formation of zinc protoporphyrin IX in meat, as it is considered to be an important natural colouring agent in dry cured or fermented meat products in the absence of nitrite and/ or nitrate. Until now, however, mainly pork meat is used for these investigations. The goal of this research was to relate in vitro zinc protoporphyrin IX and protoporphyrin IX formation in eight meat sources (chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, beef, veal, horse and porcine liver) to eight intrinsic parameters using partial least squares regression (PLS) analysis. Significant differences in pH, initial metmyoglobin formation, metmyoglobin reduction ability, total heme, zinc chelatase activity, and total iron and zinc concentration between meat sources were found. Water activity, however, was not significantly different between meat sources. Liver tissue and horse meat showed the best ability to form zinc protoporphyrin IX. Formation of protoporphyrin IX was limited in all meat sources. PLS analysis revealed that mainly zinc chelatase activity, followed by total heme, total iron and zinc content, were predominant intrinsic parameters to explain variations in zinc protoporphyrin IX formation. These findings could be important for meat industry in order to establish the production of red coloured nitrite-free meat products.


Zinc chelatase activity Total heme Iron and zinc content Zinc protoporphyrin IX formation 



This work was performed with financial support of internal funding of KU Leuven.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannelore De Maere
    • 1
  • Sylvie Chollet
    • 2
  • Erik Claeys
    • 3
  • Chris Michiels
    • 4
  • Marlies Govaert
    • 1
  • Eveline De Mey
    • 1
  • Hubert Paelinck
    • 1
  • Ilse Fraeye
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group for Technology and Quality of Animal Products, Department M2S, member of Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe)KU Leuven Technology Campus GhentGhentBelgium
  2. 2.IICV – Institut Charles ViolletteLilleFrance
  3. 3.UGent - Lanupro Laboratory for Animal Nutrition and Animal Product Quality, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityMelleBelgium
  4. 4.Centre for Food and Microbial Technology, Department M2S, member of Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe)KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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