Vitamin E

Effect on Meat Color and Flavor
  • Sharon L. Melton


Consumers associate the bright red color of raw meat with freshness; dark, brownish raw meat generally is discounted in price for quick sale. The bright red color is due to the presence of 40 to 60% of the surface meat pigment being in the oxymyoglobin form that turns brown upon oxidation to metmyoglobin. An antioxidant such as α-tocopherol located in the tissue cell walls inhibits the oxidation of lipids and oxymyoglobin and increases the case life of fresh meat. Dietary supplementation of cattle diets with 1,000 IU α-tocopheryl acetate per head per day for 100–120 days prior to slaughter increases the a-tocopherol level in fresh tissue to ≥3 µg/g and the fresh meat case-life by 1 to 2 days. The supplementation cost presently is borne by the cattle feeder, but for successful production of such beef, the retailers, who benefit the most by the increased case-life, must pay the price


Lipid Oxidation Supplemental Vitamin Dietary Vitamin Gluteus Medius Ground Beef 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon L. Melton
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Food Science and TechnologyThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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