Alternative technologies for long-term preservation, quality assurance, and safety of meat are continuously pursued by the food industry to satisfy the demands of modern consumers for nutritious and healthy meat-based products. Naturally occurring phenolic compounds are considered promising substances by the meat industry for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, while consumers seem to embrace them for their claimed health benefits. Despite the numerous in vitro and in situ studies demonstrating their beneficial effects against meat oxidation, spoilage, and foodborne pathogens, wide application and commercialization has not been yet achieved. Major obstacles are still the scarcity of legislative framework, the large variety of meat-based products and targeted pathogens, the limited number of case-specific application protocols and the questionable universal efficiency of the applied ones. The objectives of the present review are (i) to summarize the current knowledge about the applications of naturally occurring phenols in meat and meat-based products, emphasizing the mechanisms, determinants, and spectrum of their antioxidant and antimicrobial activity; (ii) to present state-of-the-art technologies utilized for the application of phenolic compounds in meat systems; and (iii) to discuss relevant regulation, limitations, perspectives, and future challenges for their mass industrial use.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited