Document Detail

Centralized packaging of retail meat cuts: a review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10419219     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Centralized packaging of retail meat cuts is growing more popular because of its economies and potential to maintain quality, enhance safety, and extend the shelf life of fresh meat. Requirements for optimizing shelf life of centrally prepared retail cuts for periods up to 15 weeks are slightly different from those needed to extend the shelf life of fresh, chilled meat. Chilled meat primarily deteriorate at the cut or uncut muscle surface. In long-term storage, primal cuts are placed in an atmosphere saturated with carbon dioxide and containing very low residual oxygen. These cuts are held at -1.5+/-0.5 degrees C. When the meat is removed, it is fabricated into retail or food service cuts. New fresh surfaces are created in the process, revitalizing the meat's appearance. After being prepared for retail display, the meat normally has four more days of shelf life. Depending on the meat species, shelf life is usually limited by development of undesirable organoleptic changes, usually defects in color, which are independent of microbial presence. The microbes consist of a lactic acid bacterial population that maximizes under storage conditions at about 10(8) CFU/cm2 well before shelf life ends. Circumstances are different with centralized distribution of retail-ready fresh meat. The wholesale storage period following initial packaging of the retail cuts is about 20 to 30 days. Prepared products must withstand retail display for up to 2 days without further manipulation of package contents. Retail packages are simply moved from their storage container (usually a unit or overwrap containing a modified atmosphere) to retail display, where desirable meat color develops upon exposure to air. Three gas atmospheres have some potential to satisfy storage needs for centralized distribution of retail-ready packages: 100% CO2, 100% N2, or 70% N2 + 30% CO2. Shelf life is limited by undesirable changes in surfaces exposed at initial packaging, caused by growth of psychrotrophic bacteria. If 100% CO2 is used, these are all lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Therefore, initial bacterial numbers on the meat and storage temperature become critical to success. The most attractive storage option is 100% CO2 used at - 1.5 +/-0.5 degrees C. This review presents the reason for that recommendation, along with basic concepts of meat chemistry, a discussion of modified atmosphere packaging, meat microbiology, and current results with simulated centralized packaging of retail-ready meats.
G Tewari; D S Jayas; R A Holley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of food protection     Volume:  62     ISSN:  0362-028X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Food Prot.     Publication Date:  1999 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-09-21     Completed Date:  1999-09-21     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703944     Medline TA:  J Food Prot     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  418-25     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Food Packaging / methods*
Food Preservation
Meat-Packing Industry

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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