Cholesterol photosensitized oxidation in muscle foods
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Cholesterol photoxidation can affect the nutritional quality of fresh meat and fish due to the formation of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), which exert a strong impact on the lipid metabolism and are involved in various chronic and degenerative diseases and disturbance of cell functionality. The evaluation of light sensitized cholesterol oxidation has been reviewed in beef, pork, horse, turkey, and sardine muscle. In the retail market, fresh slices of meat or fish are usually displayed in refrigerated vessels wrapped with plastic film and are exposed to a fluorescent light. Under these conditions, COPs can range from 8.5μg/g of lipids (photoxidized pork meat) to more than 300μg/g of lipids (photoxidized horse meat), corresponding to a maximum of 1.3% of oxidized cholesterol. The oxidative process can be reduced by feeding the animals with antioxidants, such as tocopherols, or by spraying the muscle food with lipid- or water-soluble antioxidants before packaging. However, the combined use of alternative protective packaging and lighting conditions during commercial retail storage, such as the use of red wrapping films, warm tone lamps, and modified atmosphere with low oxygen content, can efficiently prevent photoxidation without modifying the food product composition and sensory properties. The mechanism of formation of B-ring COPs by photosensitized oxidation and autoxidation. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.