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Meat Sci. 2008 Jan;78(1-2):114-29. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.07.007. Epub 2007 Jul 14.

Decontamination technologies for meat products.

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IRTA, Finca Camps i Armet, E-17121 Monells, Girona, Spain.


Consumers demand high quality, natural, nutritious, fresh appearance and convenient meat products with natural flavour and taste and an extended shelf-life. To match all these demands without compromising safety, in the last decades alternative non-thermal preservation technologies such as HHP, irradiation, light pulses, natural biopreservatives together with active packaging have been proposed and further investigated. They are efficient to inactivate the vegetative microorganisms, most commonly related to food-borne diseases, but not spores. The combination of several non-thermal and thermal preservation technologies under the so-called hurdle concept has also been investigated in order to increase their efficiency. Quick thermal technologies such as microwave and radiofrequency tunnels or steam pasteurization bring new possibilities to the pasteurization of meat products especially in ready to eat meals. Their application after final packaging will prevent further cross-contamination during post-processing handling. The benefits of these new technologies and their limitations in an industrial application will be presented and discussed.

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