Natural Phenolic Compounds for the Control of Oxidation, Bacterial Spoilage, and Foodborne Pathogens in Meat
Laboratory of Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals, Department of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), Iera Odos 75 str., 11855 Athens, Greece
Laboratory of Hygiene of Foods of Animal Origin—Veterinary Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(6), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060794
Received: 26 April 2020 / Revised: 6 June 2020 / Accepted: 12 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds: Applications in Foods of Animal Origin)
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.