Journal: Meat Science, vol. 73, p. 511–520, 2006
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: none
This paper illustrates that fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging can be used to measure the extent and distribution of lipid oxidation in meat. Minced turkey thighs and pork semimembranosus muscles were stored for 7 and 12 days at 4 °C in high oxygen (O2) modified atmosphere packages and vacuum. Turkey meat packed in high O2 atmosphere was oxidised already after 7 days of storage. The sensory rancid odour score was 4.7 (on a scale from 1 to 9) and the TBARS value was 1.86 mg MDA/kg. There was also an increase in fluorescence emission intensity in the 410–550 nm region, which arises from lipid oxidation products. The combination of unsaturated fatty acids and access to O2 resulted in lipid oxidation gradients in the turkey meat samples, and these gradients were clearly visualised by fluorescence images. In comparison, pork meat was more stable against lipid oxidation, with TBARS values <0.2 mg MDA/kg and no development of fluorescent lipid oxidation products was detected. The fluorescence spectra measured in the present experiment suggest that turkey thighs and pork semimembranosus muscle in addition to protoporphyrin also have a natural content of Zn protoporphyrin. The porphyrin content was higher in pork meat than in turkey meat. It increased during storage time when the meat was packed in vacuum, and it decreased with O2 availability. The distribution of porphyrins in the meat was visualised by fluorescence imaging.