Effect of erythorbate, storage and high-oxygen packaging on premature browning in ground beef

S. P. Suman, C. Faustman, S. Lee, J. Tang, H. A. Sepe, P. Vasudevan, T. Annamalai, M. Manojkumar, P. Marek, K. S. Venkitanarayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Premature browning (PMB) was investigated in ground beef patties with (0.04%, w/w) and without erythorbate. In Experiment 1, patties were stored at 4°C for 48 h; at -18°C for 21 days; or at -18°C for 21 days, thawed at 4°C for 24 h; and cooked. Bulk ground beef was stored at -18°C for 24 days, thawed for 24 h at 4°C, and patties prepared and cooked immediately. In Experiment 2, fresh patties were overwrapped with oxygen-permeable film or packaged in 80% O2/20% N2 (MAP), and stored for 48 h at 4°C, or at -18°C for 21 days, and cooked. Total reducing activity and color (L*, a* and b* values) were measured immediately prior to cooking. Patties were cooked to internal temperatures of 60, 66, 71 and 77°C and internal cooked color was measured. Total reducing activity was higher for the erythorbate treatment than controls for all storage conditions (P < 0.05). a* Values of cooked patties were higher for erythorbate than control treatments under all storage and packaging conditions at 60 and 66°C (P < 0.05). The presence of erythorbate in ground beef patties appeared to maintain red color at cooked internal temperatures of 60 and 66°C. Frozen bulk storage appeared to increase the susceptibility of ground beef to PMB when compared to fresh and frozen patties. Patties cooked directly from frozen state appeared less susceptible to PMB than frozen-thawed and bulk storage. Ground beef appeared predisposed to PMB when stored in high-oxygen MAP at 4°C for 48 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalMeat Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded, by beef and veal producers and importers through their $1-per-head checkoff and was produced for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Additional support was provided by Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Connecticut.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Erythorbate
  • Ground beef
  • MAP
  • Premature browning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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