Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

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Review Article


Using Natural Antioxidants in Meat and Meat Products as Preservatives: A Review


Majid Aminzare1, Mohammad Hashemi2, Elham Ansarian1, Mandana Bimkar3, Hassan Hassanzad Azar1, Mohammad Reza Mehrasbi1, Shahrzad Daneshamooz4, Mojtaba Raeisi5, Behrooz Jannat6, Asma Afshari2*

1Department of Food Safety and Hygiene, School of Public Health, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran; 2Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran; 3Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran; 4Department of Microbiology and Virology, School of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran; 5Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Health, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran; 6Halal Research Center of IRI, FDA, Tehran, Iran.


Abstract | Lipid oxidation is one of the most important problems that decrease the shelf life of meat and meat products. Antioxidants are used to reinstate free radicals thereby retarding lipid oxidation, delay development of unpleasant-flavors, and improve color stability.Application of synthetic antioxidants to mitigate oxidative damage may consider unsafe for consumers. Furthermore, the recent growing in the understanding of the consumers about these hazards resulted in the replacement ofsynthetic antioxidants with natural bioactive compounds. Plant materials are rich sources of bioactive phenolic compounds; hence they can be an effective alternative to synthetic antioxidants. This review presents an overview regarding the new advances in the application of natural antioxidant compounds such as herbs, spices, fruits, plant essential oils and extracts in meat and meat products to improvetheir quality and shelf-life.


Keywords | Meat, Lipid oxidation, Natural antioxidant, Essential oil, Extract


Editor | Kuldeep Dhama, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Received | December 03, 2018; Accepted | January 23, 2019; Published | March 30, 2019

*Correspondence | Asma Afshari, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran; 3Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran; Email:

Citation | Aminzare M, Hashemi M, Ansarian E, Bimkar M, Azar HH, Mehrasbi MR, Daneshamooz S, Raeisi M, Jannat B, Afshari A (2019). Using natural antioxidants in meat and meat products as preservatives: a review. Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 7(5): 417-426.


ISSN (Online) | 2307-8316; ISSN (Print) | 2309-3331

Copyright © 2019 Aminzare et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




Meat and meat products are an excellent source of essential nutrients with high-quality proteins, fat and mineral. There are a wide variety of meat products including cured meats, patties, nuggets, meatballs and etc. (Aminzare et al., 2016). Lipid oxidation is a major cause of deterioration in meat and meat products due to their high fat content and low water activity leading to loss of nutritional value, unpleasant flavor and texture, and water holding capacity (García-Lomillo et al., 2017; Ding et al., 2015). Cooking of meat involves the formation of hydro-peroxides that can be easily broken down to various volatile organic compounds such as alkanes, alkenes, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, esters and acids that are responsible for reducing the sensorial quality and leading to oxidative flavors, loss of pigments and vitamins in meat and meat products (García-Lomillo et al., 2017). Heating process disrupt the muscle cell structure, deactivates anti-oxidative enzymes and produces catalytic iron from myoglobin leading to an intense pro-oxidant environment in which both lipids and proteins can be affected. Grinding can destruct muscle cell membranes so the reaction between unsaturated lipids with pro-oxidant substances such as non-heme iron increases lipid oxidation (Gallego et al., 2015). Furthermore, heme pigments (myoglobin and hemoglobin) are also oxidized in a coupled lipid-pigment reaction, which causes a color change. Antioxidants can be added to meat and meat products during processing to delay lipid oxidation. Plant polyphenols and essential oils (EOs) are considered as major natural source of bioactive compounds to increase the shelf life of meat and meat products. Different synthetic antioxidants, such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), tert-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), propyl gallate (PG), and nitrite are used in the meat industry. Nowadays, because of the possible health risks and toxicity of these synthetic compounds on human health and increasing tendency to consume natural components, their use has been limited. Several types of research have been conducted to find a new and natural source of antioxidants to replace with synthetic antioxidants (de Florio Almeida et al., 2017; Ehsani et al., 2012).


There are different bioactive compounds in plant sources such as phenolic compounds, carotenoids, tocopherols, and etc. Nowadays EOs are widely used in the food industry because of their ability in retarding the food spoilage, improvement of organoleptic quality, and pathogen growth inhibition (Hashemi et al., 2016). These compounds are classified as “Generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) food additives for human consumption with pharmaceutical, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Aminzare et al., 2016). Plant polyphenols may be offered as alternatives to EOs. It has been reported that polyphenols have a variety of biological effects such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities (Ehsani et al., 2017). In this review, the potential application of different bioactive compounds derived from plant sourcesin the meat and meat products have been reported. Furthermore, this review aimed to study the effect of replacing natural antioxidants with synthetic components to delay the oxidative reactions in meat and meat products.


Mechanisms of Lipid Oxidation

Lipid oxidation is initiated byionized hydrogen (H+) which is separated from an unsaturated fatty acid and form an alkyl radical (Ro). Lipid radical’s formation is thermodynamically undesirable and is usually initiated by the presence of other radical compounds (Ro), single oxygen, and decomposition of hydroperoxides (ROOH) or pigments that act as colorants (Ahna et al. 2007). The alkyl radical (Ro) change the position of the double bond (Cis to trans) and produce a conjugated diene system. The Ro can react with oxygen to form a high-energy peroxyl radical (ROOo) (Chaijan, 2008). The peroxyl radical can then react with another hydrogen atom (H+) from another unsaturated fatty acid to form a ROOH and a new Ro. This process propagates to another fatty acid (Falowo et al., 2014).


Consequences of Lipid Oxidation on Meat and Meat Products quality

Severalfactors can affect lipid oxidation in meat and meat products including high ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as components of membrane phospholipids, lack of antioxidants, high concentrations of pro-oxidants and reactive radical species, presence of high amounts of salt (NaCl) and free molecular oxygen that is usually entered into meat mixture during processing. Researchers have proved that salt can reduce the activity of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase (Jiang & Xiong 2016). Oxidative deterioration of meat and meat products results in the development of off-flavor, discoloration, formation of toxic compounds, loss of nutrients, drip losses and thus shorten the shelf life (Contini et al., 2014; Palmieri et al., 2007). Under normal physiologic conditions, the molecular oxygen exposes a series of reactions that causes generation of free radicals. During the metabolic reactions, a small amount of the consumed oxygen is changed to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). Free radicals, especially, ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) which can interact with fatty acids, nucleic acids and proteins, take a part as intermediate agents in several homeostatic processes (Moylan et al., 2014). In general imbalance between the production of ROS and antioxidant leads to oxidative stress, which often causes functional and structural damages to muscle organelles, cells and tissues. Myofibril protein can be affected by ROS during the storagewhich affects meat quality and damage cellular structure. Evidence showed that ROS reduce collagen synthesis in the muscle, which increases meat toughness and decrease solubility of collagen (Falowo et al., 2014; Archile-Contreras and Purslow, 2011).


Oxidation Reaction in Meat Sample

The word ‘antioxidant’ means any substance that can either delay or prevent the oxidation of an oxidizable substrate. Various factors can promote lipid oxidation including presence of oxygen, metal ions, moisture, heat, and light, therefore to prevent or retard oxidation in susceptible foods, oxygen and metal catalysts should be removed and foods must be kept at low temperatures and be protected from light (Rather et al., 2016).


Antioxidants prevent lipid peroxidation by preventing a chain reaction, scavenging ROSs, breaking the auto-oxidative chain reaction, quenching O2- radicals and preventing peroxides developments, and binding to catalysts such as metal ions. There are large numbers of components that have been proposed to possess antioxidant activity (Shah et al., 2014). Some natural antioxidants inhibit the development of free radicals and promotion of ROS. The antioxidant activity of them is due to their molecular structure, -OH groups and ortho-3, 4-dihydroxy structures which increase the antioxidant activity of natural components. Plant pigments such as anthocyanins have –OH groups, which can donate H· (Rather et al., 2016).


The most important antioxidants are those that interrupt the free radical chain reactions. These compounds usually contain aromatic or phenolic rings which donate H+to the formed free radicals during oxidation and are converted to radical intermediates. These intermediate radicals are stabilized by the resonance (delocalization) of the electron within the aromatic ring and formation of quinone structures (Maqsood et al., 2014).


Natural Antioxidant in Meat and Meat Products

Plants are potential source of valuable bioactive substances and have been evaluated as natural antioxidants to improve the chemical quality of meat and meat products (Shah et al,. 2014). Nowadays, many studies have been done to use different medicinal plants as potent antioxidant sources for food preservation and improve nutritional quality of meat products. Most of the plants (herbs and spices) have relatively high macronutrients (such as protein, fat, and carbohydrate), micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and less anti-nutritional properties. Additives with antioxidant properties have been developed to control lipid oxidation and formation of the secondary breakdown products in foods. The total antioxidant potential of plant materials such as culinary herbs, spices, vegetables, as well as fruits and oilseed products is related to ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene (vitamin A precursor), numerous flavonoids, and other phenolic compounds (Rather et al., 2016).


Spices and herbs are used in foods for their flavor and often contain high concentrations of phenolic components with an extreme H-donating activity.The major anti-oxidative phenolic compounds in plants can be classified into groups including phenolic diterpenes (carnosic acid andcarnosol), flavonoids (quercetin and catechin), phenolic acids (gallic, rosmarinic acids and caffeic acid), and volatile oils (carvacrol, eugenol, thymol, and menthol) (Falowo et al., 2014). The plant extracts obtained from different sources such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices have been proven to possess strong antioxidant activity because of their high content of phenolic compounds. These extracts are prepared from the plant materials by using different solvents and extraction methods. Extraction process should provide the highest yield and quality of target compounds. There are many techniques to obtain antioxidants from plants, such as supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), Soxhlet extraction (SE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and subcritical water extraction (SWE) and etc. In general, in solvent extraction process the plant materials are cleaned, washed, dried, and ground into fine powder. There are different solvents for extraction purpose such as acetone, methanol, pure ethanol, 70, 80, 90% ethanol, dimethyl sulfoxide and water (Shah et al., 2014). Recently, green technologies such as SFE or pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) often along with the use of GRAS solvents as water, carbon dioxide (CO2) or even ethanol have been developed. There are different and controlled combinations of temperature and pressure in PLE method, which can improve extraction efficiency. In fact green extraction techniques are effective assays to extract bioactive compounds from natural sources (Alañón et al., 2017). Plant essential oils are secondary metabolites which are applied as flavoring and preservative agents. Different properties of EOs are due to flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenoids as the most important secondary metabolites in EO (Hashemi et al., 2017). In order to decrease or inhibit oxidative reactions in meat foods, antioxidant components are usually used at an average level. Higher concentration may cause various side effects through pro-oxidative action. (Falowo et al., 2014).


Data from scientific reports indicate that most plants contain a wide variety of components with antioxidant activity. Fruits, oilseeds, herbs and spices extracts and essential oils are the most important antioxidant sources used in meat and meat products.


Fruits Extracts

In general, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants. Pomegranates, strawberry, kinnow, acerola, white grapes, plums, black currant, annatto, bearberries, banana, and sapodilla are some samplesthat contain relatively high concentrations of antioxidants. These fruits have been well documented for uses in industry considering their antioxidant activity (Table 1). Annatto (Bixaorellana L.) seeds powder which has been used as a natural coloring agent in food contains bixin and nor-bixin apocarotenoids as antimicrobial and antioxidant agents. Cuong and Chin (2016) showed that this additive can retard lipid and protein oxidation in pork patties. Acerola (Malpighia emarginata L.) fruit extract with a high content of phytochemicals is well known as an excellent food source of vitamin C. It was shown that Acerola can improve color and lipid stability and decrease rancid flavor of raw salted beef patties without affecting microbial load (Realini et al., 2015). Grapes are recognized as a power house of antioxidants. Grape by-products such as grape pomace (wine pomace) are a rich source of phenolic compounds with great medicinal properties, but usually is wasted from juice/wine processing industries. García-Lomillo et al. (2017) indicated that beef patties formulated with skin fraction of red wine pomace had the lowest lipid oxidation. Munekata et al. (2015) indicated that application of peanut (Arachishypogaea L.) skin extract (PSE) as a natural antioxidant in cooked chicken patties can prevent lipid oxidation during refrigerated storage. The presence of bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, stilbenes, flavan-3-ols, biflavonoids, isoflavones, flavanols, and flavones in PSE makes it a natural alternative for synthetic antioxidants which reduces the loss of redness and prolonging the shelf life of sheep patties (Munekata et al., 2016).


Table 1: Fruit-based natural antioxidants in meat and meat products


Type of treatment Meat product Impact on product References
Pomegranate juice, pomegranate rind powder extract Cooked chicken patties Protecting against oxidative rancidity was better than BHT

(Naveena et al,. 2008)

Strawberry fruit extract Cooked chicken patties Strawberry could act as a potential antioxidant source in meat products

(Saha et al,. 2011)

Acerola fruit extract Raw beef patty Addition of acerola retarded lipid oxidation

(Realini et al,. 2015)

Wine pomace Raw beef patty Inhibited lipid oxidation

(García-Lomillo et al,. 2017)

White grape Raw beef patty Inhibited lipid oxidation under modified atmosphere packaging

(Jongberg et al,. 2011)

Kinnow and pomegranate fruit extracts Raw chicken patties Inhibited lipid oxidation

(Devatkal et al,. 2011)

Grape Raw pork patties grape extract showed the most antioxidant activity compared to synthetic antioxidants

(Lorenzo et al,. 2014)

Black currant Raw pork patties Significantly increased lipid and protein oxidation

(Jia et al,. 2012)

Annatto Raw pork patties Samples containing annatto seed indicated lower TBARs and PV values (Cuong and Chin 2016)
Banana and sapodilla peels extract Poultry meat Decreasing of TBARs values vs. control and BHT treatment was observed

(Devatkal et al,. 2014)

Peanut skin extract Cooked chicken patties Little color change but it can be used as a potent antioxidant

(Munekata et al,. 2015)

Peanut skin extract Raw sheep patty Peanut skin extract was introduced as an appropriate antioxidant instead of BHT

(Munekata et al,. 2016)

Peanut skin extract Salami PSE retarded lipid oxidation and preserved sensory properties of salami

(Larrauri et al,. 2013)


Table 2: Use of oil seed as antioxidants in meat and meat products


Type of treatment Meat product Impact on product References
Grape seed extract Cooked pork patties Grape seed extract had the potential to inhibit oxidative rancidity as well as current synthetic antioxidants

(Sasse et al,. 2009)

Adzuki bean extract (AE) Pork sausage Results suggested that Adzuki bean extract was a potential antioxidant

(Jayawardana et al,. 2011)

Soybean oil Mortadella-type sausages Overall properties and oxidative stability were improved

(Morais et al,. 2013)

Sunflower oil Raw pork meat Decreasing in PV and increasing in TBARs was observed.

(Cardenia et al,. 2011)

Sunflower oil UK-style sausages Fatty acid composition was improved without adversely affecting the colour or lipid oxidation.

(Asuming-Bediako et al,. 2014)

Grape seed extract Raw and cooked beef patty Grape seed extract was more powerful to inhibit TBARs formation and protecting a values than BHA and BHT (Colindres and Brewer 2011)
Grape seed Dry cured sausage “chorizo” Meat-based ready-to-eat meals

Improved the quality and increased the shelf life of products.


The added agents did not change the sensorial properties and were stronger than sodium ascorbate to retard the lipid oxidation

(Lorenzo et al,. 2013)


(Price et al,. 2013)

Olive oil Dry fermented sausages Inhibited lipid oxidation and MUFA+ PUFA/SFA ratios in samples was improved (Ansorena and Astiasaran 2004)
Rapeseed oil UK-style sausages No adversely affecting color and shelf life. Reduction in saturated fatty acids profile

(Asuming-Bediako et al,. 2014)


Table 3: Use of herbs and spices extracts as antioxidant in meat and meat products


Type of treatment Meat product Impact on product References
Soy sauce Raw beef patties The combined addition of soy sauce and ascorbic acid greatly improved color stability and retarded lipid oxidation.

(Kim et al,. 2013)

Olive and wine extracts Cooked beef and pork Olive extract showed more stronger antioxidant activity than wine extract (DeJong and Lanari 2009)
Cloudberry, beetroot or willow herb Pork patties cloudberry extract was as potent as quercetin

(Rey et al,. 2005)

Rosemary extract Liver pâtés Decreased the amount of sodium nitrite used in pates

(Doolaege et al,. 2012)

  Liver pâtés Rosemary effectively retarded oxidation (Haile 2015)
Green tea, chestnut and grape

Liver pâtés


Green tea (camellia sinensis) and grape extracts were more effective antioxidants

(Pateiro et al,. 2014)

Jabuticaba peel extract Bologna sausages Sensory attributes and shelf life were improved

(de Almeida et al.,2015)

Strawberry tree and dog rose extract





Applying of phenolic extracts decreases oxidation reactions without changing their color and texture properties.

(Armenteros et al.,2013)

Rosemary extract and whey powder Wiener sausages The oxidation was retarded

(Coronado et al,. 2002)

Olive and tea extract Cooked beef and pork

Tea (Camellia sinensis) showed better antioxidant activity than olive extract

(DeJong and Lanari 2009)

Ulam raja leaves extract (UREX),

green tea extract (GTE)

Beef patties UREX showed a strong lipid oxidation inhibitory effect vs. GTE

(Reihani et al,. 2014)



Caesalpinia decapetala (CD)

Beef patties


TBARS levels were significantly lower and color stability was higher in the samples containing plant extracts or BHT than the control.

(Gallego et al,. 2015)

Curry leaves extract

Chicken patties Lipid oxidation was reduced in the samples

(Devatkal et al,. 2012)

Ganghwayakssuk Chicken patties oxidative stress was reduced

(Hwang et al,. 2013)


Pork patties


Du-zhong leaf extract decreased TBARs formation the same as BHT

(Xu et al,. 2010)


Sappan wood extract, rehmania or angelica extracts

Meat TBARs values was decreased of (Han and Rhee 2005)
Rosemary and oregano extracts Beef burgers PUFA and MUFA were decreased while slight increase of SFA content were observed

(Trindade et al,. 2010)


Chicken nuggets





Pork sausages


Rosemary extracts improved the oxidative stability in frozen chicken nuggets.


The rosemary extract was more effective for inhibiting increased TBARs values or loss of red color in raw frozen sausage and equally effective as BHA/BHT in lowering lipid oxidation of precooked-frozen sausage

(Rocio Teruel et al,. 2015)





(Sebranek et al,. 2005)

Bee pollen extract Pork sausage Lyophilized bee pollen was effective in retarding lipid oxidation

(de Florio Almeida et al,. 2017)

Tea catechins Beef and chicken patties Tea catechins showed more anti-oxidation activity compared to vitamin C under cooking and anaerobic conditions.

(Mitsumoto et al,. 2005)

Lutein, sesamol, ellagic acid and olive leaf


Pork sausages



Increasing of WHC and reduction of TBARs values was observed under MAP condition

(Hayes et al,. 2011)


White peony extract, red peony extract, moutan peony extract Meat Oxidation in meat decreased (Han and Rhee 2005)
Fenugreek leaves extract Chicken patties Reduction of TBARs values was more than BHT in the treatments

(Devatkal et al,. 2012)


Mate leaves


Fermented sausages



Formulation with 0.4 wt% of mate leaves extract showed the lowest TBARs values compared with the control

(Beal et al,. 2011)


Tomato, red grape, olive and pomegranate

by-products extract

Raw lamb patties This study show that the grape and olive pomaces extracts could be an effective additive to replace sodium ascorbate in meat products.

(Andrés et al,. 2017)


Table 4: Use of plant essential oils in meat and meat products


Type of treatment Meat product Impact on product References

Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil

Cooked sausage

TBARs value decreased and sensory scores didn’t show significant differences vs. control samples

(Moarefian et al,. 2013)

Mentha piperita

essential oil (MPEO)


Cooked sausage




At the end of storage sample with 20 ppm of MPEO samples showed lower TBARs and peroxide values compared to samples with 40 and 60 ppm of MPEO and control

(Moarefian et al,. 2012)


Oregano essential oil


Bologna sausages


It can use under vacuum condition to improve the shelf-life of products

(Viuda-Martos et al,. 2010b)

Satureja montana L. essential oil (SEO)

Mortadella-type sausages

The use of SEO reduced amounts of sodium nitrite

(Coutinho de Oliveira et al,. 2012)

Rosemary or thyme essential oils Mortadella-type sausages

Reduced residual nitrite levels and improved shelf life of product

(Viuda-Martos et al,. 2010a)

Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil

Lyoner- type sausage

Improved sensorial properties, did not modify protein, ach and fat content, slowed rates of oxidation

(Aminzare et al,. 2015)

Clove essential oil red meat

This natural additive incorporated in corn starch edible films could improve the stability of raw samples

(Babuskin et al,. 2015)

Sage essential oil liver pâtés

The use of these plants would be an appropriate option as an antioxidant effects in meat and fat products

(Estévez et al,. 2004)

Oregano essential oil

Dry fermented sausage Petrovská klobása

At the end of the storage, the content of aldehyde was lower treated samples vs. the control.

(Krkić et al,. 2013)

Cinnamon essential oil Red meat The cinnamon essential oil incorporated in edible films could improve the self-life of raw red meat

(Babuskin et al,. 2015)

Rosemary essential oil Porcine Frankfurters developed desire aroma properties of frankfurters

(Estévez et al,. 2005)

Rosemary essential oil Liver pâtés Rosemary essential oil was introduced as a good antioxidant source in liver pâtés

(Estévez et al,. 2004)


 Table 5: Use of dietary fibers in meat and meat products


Type of treatment Meat product Impact on product References
Kinnow rind powder (KRP), pomegranate rind powder (PRP) and seed powder (PSP) Cooked Goat meat patties Reduction in TBARs values were lower in PRP, followed by PSP and KRP vs. control

(Devatkal et al,. 2010)

Dried Plum Pork sausage The addition of 3% dried plum puree limited lipid oxidation, enhanced sweet taste and decreased salt and bitter tastes

(Nunez de Gonzalez et al,. 2008)

Litchi flower powder Pork meatballs Reduced oxidation and increased sensorial acceptance

(Ding et al,. 2015)

Grape seed flour Frankfurter protein, oxidative stability, dietary fiber and water holding capacity were improved (aOzvural and Vural 2011)
Noni puree mixed

Beef patties


This natural ingredient decreased lipid oxidation and improved the shelf life

(Tapp et al,. 2012)

Spinach, onion, red pepper, tomato powder Turkey meat patties These vegetable powders can be used as a natural antioxidant and cause increasing vegetable intake

(Duthie et al,. 2013)

Tomato paste Mortadella-type sausages Improved nutritional properties, but did not affect textural and sensory properties

(Domenech-Asensi et al,. 2013)

Sage Chinese-style sausage Reduced textural deterioration, retarded TBARs and protein carbonyls formation

(Zhang et al,. 2013)

Leek and onion Greek traditional sausages Sausages with leek, starter culture and ascorbic acid had the best score for odour, taste and overall acceptability.

(Fiesta et al,. 2004)

Gentiana lutea root


Beef patties


The addition of G. lutea and ascorbic acid showed reduced changes in lipid oxidation

(Azman et al,. 2015)


Tomato pulp powder Pork luncheon roll Treatments with 50mg nitrite and 1.5% TPP showed similar or better sensory attributes compared to the treatments containing no TPP and a nitrite level of 100mg/kg of product.

(Hayes et al,. 2013)

Yellow pea, green pea Turkey meat patties Use of chemically complex vegetable powders was offered as an alternative to individual antioxidants for increasing shelf-life

(Duthie et al,. 2013)

Leek powder Fermented sausages The use of freeze dried leek powder showed a 50% reduction in nitrite addition

(Tsoukalas et al,. 2011)

Citrus fiber Mortadella-type sausages Enhanced fiber levels

(Viuda-Martos et al,. 2010a)

Orange dietary fiber Bologna sausages The shelf-life of product under vacuum condition was improve

(Viuda-Martos et al,. 2010b)



Oilseeds are the basis for a wide range of foods, animal feeds and other products. Grape seed, soybeans, Adzuki bean and many vegetable seeds are used as a potential source of seed oils. Grape seed extract) GSE (is a rich antioxidant source. Several studies proved antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of GSE on meat and meat products such as dry-cured sausage “chorizo”. It was also shown that combination of Clove EO with different concentrations of GSE can be effective against spoilage microorganisms in raw materials, such as buffalo patty (Tajik et al., 2014). Soybean oil is another vegetable oil extracted from the soybean seeds (Glycine max). Soybean oil contains more than 60% PUFA; however, it has been shown that higher concentrations of soybean oil doesn’t affect oxidation rate of mortadella (Morais et al., 2013). Menegas et al. (2013) indicated that the use of standard amounts of corn oil in fermented chicken sausages caused no significant chemical, microbiological, physical, or sensory changes during storage. Table 2 shows some researches about the use of seed oil as antioxidants in meat and meat products.


Herbs and Spices Extracts

Several studies showed that extreme antioxidant activity has been found in herbs, spices, and extracts so they can be used as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products. Soy sauce contains several antioxidants such as melanoidins, phenolic compounds, and free amino acids. The use of soy sauce in raw beef patties showed decreasing in lipid oxidation of meat products (Kim et al., 2013). Herbal tea prepared from Camellia sinensis is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds such as catechin and flavonoid compounds. Itcould be replacedwith synthetic antioxidants in frozen beef patties (Reihani et al., 2014). The antioxidant properties of rosemary extract (RE) are due to the presence of phenolic diterpenes, such as carnosic acid and carnosol. Nitrite concentration decreases dramatically when RE is added to liver pates without a negative effect on color (Doolaege et al., 2012). De Florio Almeida et al. (2017) showed that lyophilized bee pollen (LBP) contains antioxidant compounds such as vitamin Cas well as polyphenols. Hence, The LBP extract presented powerful antioxidant effects in raw and cooked refrigerated pork sausage. The leaves of caesalpinia decapetala (CD) contain cassane diterpenoid, caesaldecan, spathulenol, 4,5-epoxy-8(14)-caryophyllene, squalene, lupeol, resveratrol, quercetin, astragalin, and stigmasterol. Beef patties formulated with CD extract showed better color and oxidative stability compared with control patties (Gallego et al., 2015). Table 3 shows some studies about the application ofherbs and spices extracts in meat and meat products.


Essential Oils

Many plantessential oils (EOs) are known as rich antioxidant sources (Coutinho de Oliveira et al., 2012; Ehsani et al., 2017; Shah et al., 2014). Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) contains phenolic and polyphenolic compounds and act as a good inhibitor of primary and secondary oxidation products in Lyoner- type sausage (Aminzare et al., 2015). Thymol, p-cymene, linalool, and carvacrol available in Satureja Montana L. EO could reduce the use of sodium nitrite of mortadella-type sausages (Coutinho de Oliveira et al., 2012). Petrovskáklobása is a traditional dry fermented sausage that has been manufactured for over 250 years. It is produced from pork meat, spices and fat. Coating with chitosan incorporated with oregano (Origanum vulgare) EO indicated a reduction in lipid oxidation of dry fermented sausages (Krkić et al., 2013). Application of some important essential oils in meat and meat products are listed in Table 4.


Dietary Fiber

The concept of antioxidant dietary fiber (ADF) has been accepted as a natural product with both of the physiological and antioxidants properties. Dried fruit, extracts and/or powders of some plants or their by-products can be good sources of ADF (Eskicioglu et al., 2015).


Ding et al. (2015) indicated that litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) is a fiber rich of polyphenols and is considered as an effective natural antioxidant which reduce lipid and protein oxidation of frozen cooked meatballs. Sage (Salvia officinalis) contains phenolic compounds, such as carnosol, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid. During storage of refrigerated Chinese-style sausage formulated with ground sage, areductionin TBARs values and textural deterioration and no negative effects on the sensory properties were observed (Zhang et al., 2013). Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) pulp powder is rich in carotenoids (particularly lycopene, β-carotene, phytoene, and lutein), flavonoids, vitamins E and C, and fiber. The use of this natural additivecould decrease nitrite supply in pork luncheon roll (Hayes et al., 2013). Table 5 indicates some researches about the use of by-products as antioxidants in meat and meat products.




Oxidation is a major problem that decreases the shelf life of meat and meat products. Synthetic compounds are used to delay oxidation reactions. However, because of the increasing consumer’s demand to replace synthetic antioxidants with natural bioactive compounds a wide variety of researches have been done to find new and natural sources of antioxidant compounds. There are different chemical compounds derived from plants that can be used in meat and meat products as natural antioxidants which have been isolated from different plant parts like leaves, stems, roots, fruits, bark and seeds. It should be considered that the use of these natural additives is limited by their extreme flavor, which can have adverse sensory effects on meat and meat products. Future studies should be done toward the investigating of new technologies such as high pressure processing, pulsed electric fields and ultrasound combined with natural antioxidant in order to improve the antioxidant properties in meat and meat products.




The authors would like to thank Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran for their support.


Conflict of interest




authors contribution


Majid Aminzare designed and monitored the study.Hassan Hassanzad Azar, Mohammad Reza Mehrasbi and Behrooz Jannat searched the database.Elham Ansarian and Shahrzad Daneshamooz drafted the article. Mohammad Hashemi, Mojtaba Raeisi and Mandana Bimkar revised the article. Asma Afshari checked and submitted the article and revised it according to reviewer’s comments.




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