Cooked sausage in a fry pan

December 20,2018

Clean Label Oxidation Prevention for Frozen Cooked Meat

Protecting Frozen Cooked Meats While Pleasing Consumers

Consumers love the convenience of frozen prepared meals that fit their busy lifestyles, but they also want to see clean label products free from ingredients such as artificial preservatives. As manufacturers respond to this consumer demand by reformulating for clean, simple labels, they face many challenges. Cooked, frozen meat products are especially susceptible to oxidation and warmed-over flavor development during shelf life due to the process of cooking, freezing, storage, and reheating.

Traditionally, artificial preservatives such as butylated hydroxyoanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate and citric acid have been used to delay oxidative rancidity in cooked frozen meat products. While attempting to remove artificial ingredients such as these from labels, manufacturers are faced with challenging decisions as they seek the best solutions to protect their brand quality and reputation. Fortunately, clean label shelf life solutions can answer these challenges effectively.

Study Offers Clean Label Alternative

Our recent study evaluated natural plant extracts vs. synthetic antioxidant options in protecting foods from oxidation. The study examined the effectiveness of these ingredients in fighting lipid oxidation and off-flavor development in cooked frozen pork sausage patties over a period of twelve months, comparing meat treated with traditional synthetic antioxidants vs. natural plant extracts such as rosemary/green tea blends, as well as untreated meat.

Results demonstrated that clean label alternatives such as FORTIUM® RGT12, a blend of rosemary/green tea, prevent oxidation as effectively as synthetic options while maintaining higher scores with sensory panelists.


Real Results Mean Real Success

Study highlights include these specifics:

  • Natural plant extracts, specifically rosemary extract, can be used as clean label alternatives to synthetic antioxidants to help prevent deterioration in product quality.
  • While FORTIUM® R10 Dry rosemary extract delayed oxidation as compared to the untreated pork patties, the unique blend of rosemary and green tea extracts in FORTIUM® RGT12 Plus Dry was more effective throughout the full 12-month shelf life.
  • As compared to a blend of synthetic antioxidants, FORTIUM® RGT12 Plus Dry provided a similar delay in lipid oxidation but maintained higher sensory scores during one year of frozen shelf life.


FORTIUM® RGT12 Plus Dry should be considered for cooked pork sausage applications as a clean label solution to protect product quality during long-term frozen storage.


Find out more about FORTIUM RGT.

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