Alternative meat preservatives to increase food safety

A new natural, formulation-specific preservative designed to lower the risk of cancer and extend the shelf-life of chilled meats has been launched. 

Introduced by Arjuna Natural Extracts, X-tend is made from a formulation that can replace chemical nitrosomyoglobin-forming preservatives, but is non-carcinogenic and is safe to use in chilled meat. It prevents the growth of yeast and mould in chilled meat products.

Nitrosomyoglobin is formed during the curing process of cured meats and results in the red colour of the products. However, some of the volatile nitrosamines formed during curing with nitrates have mutagenic activity. By offering an alternative to nitrosomyoglobin, X-tend can keep meat fresh without jeopardising food safety, said the company.

“We conducted a number of bench trials to measure how X-tend performs in chilled meats preservation,” commented Benny Antony, joint managing director for Arjuna. “The excellent results encouraged us to offer this new, powerful natural preservative formulation to meat manufacturers. It’s a new, clean way of preservation that also can help differentiate cured meat products in the marketplace.”

Arjuna highlighted that the biggest obstacle in replacing synthetic preservatives was to block unwanted flavours that occur while creating the correct functional mix of natural ingredients to combat a range of microbial activities. While retaining the natural colour and freshness of chilled meat products and extending their shelf-life by up to 15 days, it also prevents microbial spoilage, oxidative rancidity, off colour and altered flavour.

“Today’s meat industries are increasingly seeking more ready-to-use solutions that are tailored and natural, allowing for clean-label products,” added Antony. “X-tend is offered in both liquid and powder forms. It is comprehensive, natural solution safeguarding taste, colour, product safety, and increased shelf-life.”

Although an Indian company, Arjuna is focused on the European market and is currently looking for a distributor in the UK. Among its international certifications are kosher and halal classifications.

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