The aim of this study was to find new sustainable, Nordic natural antioxidant sources, develop subcritical water extraction (SWE) process for recovering the antioxidant compounds from the most potential raw materials, and to test their antioxidative effects in meat products. The antioxidant capacities of water and 50% ethanol (aq) extracts of 13 berry, grain, and horticultural plant materials as well as hexane/ethanol extracted stilbene fractions from pine heartwood and spruce inner bark were measured in hydrophilic and lipophilic systems. Tree, bilberry leaf (BL), and sea buckthorn leaf (SBL) extracts showed the highest antioxidant capacities. BL and SBL were selected for the development of SWE. The optimal conditions for recovering maximal antioxidative capacities were 110 °C/1 min for SBL and 120 °C/1 min for BL. Dried BL and SBL and the respective optimized subcritical water extracts were applied in chicken slices and pork sausage, and their ability to prevent lipid oxidation was evaluated during 8 and 20 days storage, respectively, at 6 °C. All tested plant ingredients effectively prevented lipid oxidation in the products compared to the control samples. Sensory acceptance of the plant ingredients was good, especially in the chicken product. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the antioxidant effects of SW extracted berry leaves in meat products.
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