The addition of sage extract to turkey meatballs delays oxidation (spoilage)

Compared to other types of poultry, turkey meat is more susceptible to oxidation, even in cold storage. In an attempt to remedy this, a team of Polish researchers carried out a study using the herb sage, which was previously shown to prevent oxidation in minced turkey breast.

The research was published in CyTA – Journal of Food.

  • Fresh turkey breast was minced and divided into three portions. One portion served as the control, while powdered sage leaf extract was added to the remaining portions in varying portions.
  • All turkey breast portions were formed into meatball pairs, sealed with a film, then stored in a refrigerator for nine days.
  • Analyses of the samples occurred on the first, third, sixth, and ninth days of storage. These included total phenolic acids estimation, lipid oxidation examination, microbiological testing, and sensory evaluation.
  • The phenolic compound content of powdered sage leaf extract included flavonoids (20.47 mg of gallic acid per 100 g dry weight) and phenolic acids (20.47 mg), with the total coming to 47.92 mg. Additionally, the tannins content was found to be 4.43 percent, and the potential radical scavenging activity 11.03 percent per 1 mg.
  • Lipid oxidation was measured using Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) values. The most pronounced effect of the sage extract was observed on the sixth day, the least was on the eighth day.
  • Both concentrations of powdered sage leaf extract (0.02 and 0.05 percent) were found to have inhibited the growth of aerobic bacteria. The researchers credited this effect to the presence of terpenes, which are known to hinder bacterial growth.
  • When it came to sensory evaluation, all three types of meatballs nearly scored the same across eight different criteria. The only difference was in juiciness: the meatballs containing 0.05 percent sage had the highest marks.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that sage extract can be beneficial to turkey meat and the meat industry overall. Being able to control lipid oxidation and prevent microbial growth means that sage extract has potential as a natural food preservative.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Gantner M, Brodowska M, Górska-Horczyczak E, Wojtasik-Kalinowska I, Najda A, Pogorzelska E, Godziszewska J. ANTIOXIDANT EFFECT OF SAGE (SALVIA OFFICINALIS L.) EXTRACT ON TURKEY MEATBALLS PACKED IN COLD MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE. CyTA – Journal of Food. 2018; 16(1), 628-636. DOI: 10.1080/19476337.2018.1426632

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