Kansas State University researchers are looking into the question of whether or not an antioxidant could increase the sizzle in America’s love affair with bacon. Meat scientists have known for a long time that meat doesn’t taste as good the longer it sits, even if it’s in the refrigerator. KSU Meat Scientist Terry Houser says the fat in the meat deteriorates over time, a process called oxidation. It’s caused by exposing the meat product to oxygen. “We know that bacon has a problem with oxidation over time,” Houser says, “so we’re looking at finding an antioxidant that can stabilize the fat.” He says the challenge is to add antioxidants to the frozen products so they last longer and keep the flavor that customers want. The KSU study will focus on adding natural antioxidants found in smoke and plant extracts that could possibly be the most effective in preventing oxidation in bacon. After that, Houser says they’ll work on determining how long the antioxidants work and what are the most optimal concentrations. The university research is funded by the National Pork Board.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.