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Evaluation of topical antioxidants and packaging materials to decrease the incidence of bone discolouration in pork retail cuts
C. R. Raines and M .E. Dikeman

Color characteristics were evaluated on 48 pork backbones. After 6 d postmortem, six 1-inch-thick sections of lumbar vertebrae were cut from each backbone. Lumbar vertebrae were treated with different concentrations of ascorbic acid, with combination treatments of ascorbic acid and natural antioxidants, or left untreated.


Bone colour in fresh retail cuts is important to consumers. High-oxygen MAP and PVC overwrap trays are packaging methods conducive to red colour development, but bone discolouration or darkening can be a problem in these systems. It has been shown that feeding antioxidants to livestock, and the application of antioxidants in processing, both can inhibit bone darkening. Recent research at Kansas State University has shown that the application of 2.50 percent ascorbic acid minimises beef bone discolouration within these packaging systems.

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Article made possible through the contribution of Kansas State University.

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