Effects of reducing agents on premature browning in ground beef

H. A. Sepe, C. Faustman, S. Lee, J. Tang, S. P. Suman, K. S. Venkitanarayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This study was performed to investigate the effects of food-grade reducing agents on counteracting premature browning (PMB) and to determine the relative heat stability of different redox states of bovine myoglobin (Mb). Sodium erythorbate (SE), erythorbic acid (EA), sodium ascorbate (SA), ascorbic acid (AA) and ascorbyl palmitate (AP) were added to ground beef (15% fat) at a concentration of 2.3 mM; patties were prepared and stored at 4°C and at -18°C. Surface redness (a* values), lipid oxidation and total reducing activity (TRA) were measured on raw beef, and a* values recorded from cooked internal surfaces. Bovine Mb was purified from biceps femoris muscle and heat capacity was measured using differential scanning calorimetry. All reducing agents decreased lipid oxidation and increased TRA relative to controls (p < 0.05). In general, SE and SA were more effective at maintaining red color in cooked ground beef patties than other reducing agents (p < 0.05). The temperature at peak heat capacity, Tm, of metmyoglobin appeared lower than that of oxymyoglobin and deoxymyoglobin. Reducing agents can maintain Mb in the reduced state, and their addition to ground beef may be one method of preventing PMB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-576
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by beef and veal producers and importers through their $1-per-headcheckoff and was produced for the Cattleman’s Beef Board and State Beef Councils by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and by the Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Connecticut. We thank Dr. Davey Kalonia, School of Pharmacy, for his assistance with T m measurement.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Color
  • Ground beef
  • Myoglobin
  • Premature browning
  • Reducing agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science


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