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Meat Sci. 2012 Dec;92(4):538-47. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.05.024. Epub 2012 May 30.

A new, simple method for the production of meat-curing pigment under optimised conditions using response surface methodology.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156, Iran.


The production of cured meat pigment using nitrite and ascorbate in acidic conditions was evaluated. HCl, ascorbate and nitrite concentrations were optimised at three levels using the response surface method (RSM). The effects of process variables on the nitrosoheme yield, the wavelength of maximum absorbance (λ(max)), and L*, a* and b* values were evaluated. The response surface equations indicate that variables exerted a significant effect on all dependent factors. The optimum combinations for the reaction were HCl=-0.8, ascorbate=0.46 and nitrite=1.00 as coded values for conversion of 1mM hemin to nitrosoheme, by which a pigment yield of 100%, which was similar to the predicted value of 99.5%, was obtained. Likewise, the other parameters were not significantly different from predicted values as the λ(max), L*, a* and b* values were 558 nm, 47.03, 45.17 and 17.20, respectively. The structure of the pigment was identified using FTIR and ESI/MS.

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