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Glenn De Ceulaer Explains How NaturCEASE™ Dry Protects Processed Meat

Posted October 03, 2019

NaturCEASE Dry is Kemin's all-in-one solution when it comes to improving the shelf life of meat products. Our clean label blend does not only maintain a bright colour and fresh flavour, it provides the additional benefit of controlling spoilage organisms. Several scientific studies preceded our final product and at Kemin, we continue our research in order to pursue the best results. 


Glenn De Ceulaer, CLS Associate at Kemin Food Technologies, explains how NaturCEASE Dry was developed.

Glenn De Ceulaer: “Four main parameters need to be measured to determine the shelf life of meat: secondary oxidation products (TBARS) which are formed when lipid oxidation occurs. These lipid oxidation products influence directly other parameters such as colour (redness value) and flavour (sensory). These parameters are tested over time and evaluated to determine the freshness of processed meat products. Furthermore, also microbial spoilage is a key parameter for food safety of meat. Microbial spoilage can also negatively influence meat colour and flavour.”


1. Lipid Oxidation Products

Shelf life of meat is determined by lipid oxidation products which cause off-flavours and off- odours. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) are formed as a by-product of lipid peroxidation (i.e. as degradation products of fats) which can be detected by the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) test, the most often used analysis method to measure the concentration of lipid oxidation products in meat. 

Glenn De Ceulaer: “Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances values (TBARS) of raw minced beef treatments were measured and followed up over time in our NaturCEASE Dry study.”


Average (n=3) TBARS values of raw minced beef treatments, stored at 4°C in the dark. Error bars represent the standard deviation of the samples.


2. Colour

Also, very important to evaluate meat degradation is colour. It is the most important parameter for consumers when selecting meat. 

Glenn De Ceulaer: “A Hunterlab ColorFlex® Colorimeter was used to measure a* values in the NaturCEASE Dry study. Positive a* values indicate a higher intensity of a red colour, whereas a negative a* indicates more greenness.”


Average (n=3) redness values of raw minced beef treatments, stored at 4°C in the dark. Error bars represent the standard deviation of the samples.


3. Sensory

Sensory needs to be evaluated over time in order to determine if the sensory panel can identify rancid untreated meat products with off-flavours versus treated meat products with a specific ingredient combination that keeps the product fresh. Meat samples will be ranked according to preference in taste (rank preference test). 

Glenn De Ceulaer: “In our NaturCEASE Dry study, we conducted a rank preference test. A score from 1 to 5 was given, in which 1 was the most preferred, and 5 was the least preferred. Additionally, we performed an acceptance test so panellists could rate the meat on a hedonic rating scale ranging from 1 (dislike extremely) to 9 (like extremely).”


4. Microbial Spoilage

Microbial spoilage is important to control in order to guarantee meat safety. 

Glenn De Ceulaer: “In our NaturCEASE Dry study, we measured Total Plate Counts (TPC). TPC can be measured to identify if microbial growth is inhibited. This value gives a quantitative estimate of the concentration of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mould in a sample. The count represents the number of colony-forming units (CFU) per g of the sample.”


Average (n=2) change in Total Plate Count (log10 CFU/g) of raw minced beef treatments, stored at 7°C in the dark. Error bars represent the standard deviation of the samples. Error bars represent the standard deviation of the samples.


Testing processed meat

Glenn De Ceulaer: “The meat application will determine how the manufacturer will add our product. If we talk about minced meat, they can add a dry product into the spice mix. For a ham, they can inject a liquid product or dissolve a water-soluble product into the brine. “

Mincing of meat speeds up quality deterioration -rancidity, colour changes and microbial spoilage. This is due to the release of heme-iron, more intensive contact with air (because of an increase in surface area) and microbial contamination caused by grinding.

Glenn De Ceulaer: “The most widely used test for measuring the extent of lipid oxidation in meats is the thiobarbituric acid test (TBA) because of its simplicity and because its results are highly correlated with sensory evaluation scores. When the TBA value increases, rancid taste/smell in the product will also increase. The basic principle of the method is the reaction of one molecule of malonaldehyde and two molecules of TBA to form a red malonaldehyde-TBA complex, which can be quantified spectrophotometrically.”


NaturCEASE™ Dry application testing

Glenn De Ceulaer: “We always test our product in dose response in order to determine the best dosage for each application. If we include different dose rates, we can see which one performs best based on lipid oxidation, sensory etc. Each meat matrix has a different composition and thus our Customer Laboratory Services (CLS) team works in partnership with the customer to find the best solution, also looking to cost-in-use and efficacy. A higher dosage will not always perform better. We have seen studies where a lower dosage disperses better into the matrix, providing better results.”



Why NaturCEASE Dry?

NaturCEASE Dry provides our customers with an all in one solution reflected in one blend. This offers convenience for them versus buying all single ingredients. Also, Kemin offers special blends with ingredients that complement each other.

Glenn De Ceulaer: “The clean label blend is especially developed to protect processed meat products against bacterial spoilage and oxidative rancidity. NaturCEASE Dry offers multiple benefits to meat manufactures as the product contains both antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Using a blend of plant extracts can offer increased protection by capitalising on the specific features of each plant to maximise flavour and colour protection. Furthermore, NaturCEASE Dry does not only maintain a bright colour and fresh flavour, it provides the additional benefit of controlling spoilage organisms. As consumers raise their expectations regarding safety and freshness, NaturCEASE Dry offers you a one stop solution reflected in a blend to meet our customers’ demands.”


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