Inhibition of hazardous compound formation in muscle foods by antioxidative phytophenols

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35 Scopus citations


Individual and mixed herbal extracts, as well as plant spices, are widely used in the preparation of muscle foods to enhance the organoleptic attributes. Abundantly rich in phenolic compounds, many of the phytochemical extracts have been shown to possess strong radical-scavenging and metal ion–binding properties and hence exert antioxidant activity in meat products. Because of their antiradical nature, phenolic acids and flavonoids, such as tea catechins, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and mixed polyphenols derived from rosemary, licorice, and other herbal materials, are capable of inhibiting the formation of harmful secondary products from oxidized lipids and proteins. The inactivation of carcinogenic compounds produced in some nitrite-cured and high temperature–processed meats (e.g., nitrosamines and aromatic amines) by phytophenols has also been demonstrated in recent studies. Here, I describe the application of phytochemical-rich food ingredients in prepared meat and discuss the mechanisms by which plant-derived phenolic antioxidants mitigate toxicant and mutagen production in muscle foods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.


  • antioxidant
  • carcinogens
  • free radicals
  • meat processing
  • phenolic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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