Food Manufacturing, News

A natural alternative to preserve meat

According to research from the University of Queensland, a native bushfood has proven to be a promising natural alternative to synthetic chemicals used to preserve meat.

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation PhD scholar Michel Beya said the Kakadu plum’s high antioxidant and antimicrobial properties make it the perfect candidate for a plant-based preservative to extend the shelf life of meat.

“The extraordinarily high vitamin C content of the fruit, which is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants, offers powerful preservation qualities,” said Beya.

The Kakadu plum works to preserve meat by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and precents the oxidation of meat products.

Beya, who worked with the Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods on the project, said consumers are increasingly concerned about how meat is preserved because of health, environmental and ethical considerations.

“There’s also growing interest in sustainable and ethical food production practices, raising questions about the environmental impact of chemical preservatives and the treatment of animals in the food chain,” said Beya.

Beya said Kakadu plum is a chemical-free alternative with antimicrobial properties which makes it a sustainable and effective choice for preservation.

The research findings showed beef patties had a significant reduction in rancidity rates, In addition Beya said, “as well as inhibiting microbial growth more effectively than samples without preservatives.”

Kakadu plum is a tree prevalent in northern Australia and wild harvested on Country.

Beya said his research showed preservation was another avenue for using Kakadu plum in Indigenous enterprise while allowing for inter-generation transferral of knowledge and customs.

The research was published in Meat Science.

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