In response to recent claims that synthetic antioxidants have the potential to cause toxicological effects and consumers' increased interest in purchasing natural products, the meat and poultry industry has been seeking sources of natural antioxidants. Due to their high phenolic compound content, fruits and other plant materials provide a good alternative to conventional antioxidants. Plum, grape seed extract, cranberry, pomegranate, bearberry, pine bark extract, rosemary, oregano, and other spices functions as antioxidants in meat and poultry products. Pomegranate, pine bark extract, cinnamon, and cloves have exhibited stronger antioxidant properties than some synthetic options. Plum products, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, rosemary, and some spices all have been shown to affect the color of finished meat or poultry products; however, in some products such as pork sausage or uncured meats, an increase in red color may be desired. When selecting a natural antioxidant, sensory and quality impact on the product should be considered to achieve desired traits.
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