American Meat Science Association

A Novel Amino Acid Based Alternative Curing System

Dr. Osburn’s webinar provided insight into research seeking to develop an innovative alternative curing system. This system takes advantage of an enzyme system found in post rigor skeletal muscle. Addition of an amino acid and subsequent heating activates the enzyme system to generate nitric oxide and residual nitrite without the addition of synthetic or natural sources of nitrates or nitrite. Research data and pictures of products manufactured with this system was discussed. 

Presenter: Wesley N. Osburn is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University appointed in the Department of Animal Science.  He has a teaching and research appointment in Animal Science, Meat Science discipline with a specific focus on value added meat processing.

Here are some great key takeaways:

•    The endothelial nitric oxide synthase system (eNOS) converts L-arginine to nitric oxide (NO).

•    L-arginine is used to activate the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) system in post rigor skeletal muscle to generate nitric oxide and residual nitrite to cure meat and poultry products.

•    Current research findings indicate that the eNOS system can generate NO to produce cured meat color, but this color was not stable and faded over time.

•    Further investigation of L-arginine concentration, and the activity of eNOS under varying time, temperature and pH conditions is needed to improve color stability.

 

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