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Meat Sci. 2010 Sep;86(1):49-55. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.04.021. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Healthier meat products as functional foods.

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Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


A promising approach to improving health care would be to produce a healthier food supply as a preventive health care strategy. The food supply could be improved by producing functional foods that have nutritional profiles that are healthier than conventional products. However, production of functional foods is not always easily accomplished since they must also taste good, be convenient and reasonably priced so that consumers will regularly purchase and use the products. Meats have great potential for delivering important nutrients such as fatty acids, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants and bioactive peptides into the diet. However, to produce successful products with these ingredients, technologies must be developed to increase their stability and decrease their flavor impact on muscle foods. In addition, many regulatory hurdles must be overcome for the commercial production of meats with added nutrients. These include redefinition of standard of identities and policies that allow front of the package nutritional claims. Without these regulatory changes, production of healthier meat products won't become a reality since these products would not have a competitive advantage over unfortified meats.

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