Microbiological, Chemical, and Physical Changes in Fresh, Vacuum-Packaged Pork Treated with Organic Acids and Salts

Authors

  • A. F. MENDONCA,

    1. All authors are at Iowa State Univ. Ames, Iowa 50011. Authors Mendonca, Kraft, and Walker are with the Dept. of Food Technology. Author Molins is with the Meat Export Research Center, Dept. of Animal Science.
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  • R. A. MOLINS,

    1. All authors are at Iowa State Univ. Ames, Iowa 50011. Authors Mendonca, Kraft, and Walker are with the Dept. of Food Technology. Author Molins is with the Meat Export Research Center, Dept. of Animal Science.
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  • A. A. KRAFT,

    1. All authors are at Iowa State Univ. Ames, Iowa 50011. Authors Mendonca, Kraft, and Walker are with the Dept. of Food Technology. Author Molins is with the Meat Export Research Center, Dept. of Animal Science.
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  • H. W. WALKER

    1. All authors are at Iowa State Univ. Ames, Iowa 50011. Authors Mendonca, Kraft, and Walker are with the Dept. of Food Technology. Author Molins is with the Meat Export Research Center, Dept. of Animal Science.
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  • Journal paper No. J-13049 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames IA. Projects No. 2756 and 2252. The authors thank S. Niebuhr for his assistance and M. Weigel for typing the manuscript. The authors also thank the Iowa Pork Producers Council for Partial support of the study. Mention of any company of product name does not constitute endorsement.

ABSTRACT

The effects of selected organic acids and salts on microbial numbers, pH, exudate, and color were studied for vacuum-packaged, fresh pork chops. Pork chops were dipped for 2 min in (v/v) 1% acetic acid, 1% acetic/1% lactic acid, 1.5% acetic/1.5% sodium acetate, 3% acetic/3% sodium ascorbate, 3% acetic/2% NaCl or sterile, distilled water before being vacuum-packaged and stored at 2°– 4°C for 6 weeks. Treatments containing 3% acetic acid resulted in lower aerobic microbial numbers (P < 0.05) and effectively inhibited Enterobacteriaceae. Treatments containing 1% acetic acid, with or without 1% lactic acid, were ineffective. All acid treatments increased exudate and were detrimental to meat color (P < 0.05) although sodium ascorbate reduced color damage. Chops treated with 3% acetic acid/3% sodium ascorbate had the highest Hunter a and L color scores.

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