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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1997 Oct;37(6):561-89.

Unraveling the chemical identity of meat pigments.

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Department of Biochemistry and PA Pure Additions, Inc., Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.


This review examines the chemistry of nitrite curing of meat and meat products as it relates to the development of cured meat color and provides a detailed account of how nitrite-free processed meats could be prepared using the preformed cooked cured-meat pigment (CCMP). Thus, a chemical description of meat color, both raw and cooked, and characterization of nitrosylheme pigments follows. Based on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), visible and infrared spectroscopic studies, evidence has been provided to support the hypothesis that the chemical structure of the preformed CCMP is identical to that of the pigment prepared in situ after thermal processing of nitrite-cured meat and is in fact a mononitrosylheme complex. An appendix, which describes the basic principles of EPR spectroscopy used in the context of this review, is attached.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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