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Electron beam irradiation of vacuum-packaged pork

 

A Chinese study published in Meat Science journal aimed to explore the effects of different levels (0, 8, and 12 kGy) of low-energy electron beam (LEEB; 0.2 MeV) on the quality and shelf-life of vacuum-packaged pork stored under chilled and superchilled conditions for 30 days. 

LEEB irradiation promoted lipid and protein oxidation, regardless of the levels used. Combined 8 kGy LEEB irradiation with superchilled storage significantly elevated a* values and preserved acceptable sensory characteristics of pork until day 30, unlike the other treatment combinations. This synergistic treatment also significantly reduced total viable counts and total volatile basic nitrogen contents, and thus extended the shelf-life of vacuum-packaged pork to >30 days, which may be due to the antibacterial effects on PhotobacteriumCarnobacterium and Lactobacillus

In conclusion, it is recommended that the 8 kGy LEEB irradiation level be applied to pork and that it should be used in combination with superchilled storage to preserve meat quality and extend the shelf-life of vacuum-packaged pork. 

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