Onion Enhancer For Processed Meat

Irish researchers have revealed that onion extract, rich in the natural antioxidant quercetin, may improve the shelf life of a processed meat product and enhance its flavour.

The scientists, from the Food Science Department at University College Dublin (UCD), report in the journal Food Chemistry, that a brined onion extract significantly reduced lipid oxidation in turkey rolls over seven days of storage, relative to controls, and was seen to improve flavour when tasted by 30 volunteer tasters.

"While the production of an antioxidant effect by the flavonoid components of the added onion juice was obviously a positive effect, the broader influence of the juice on the overall sensory quality of the cooked turkey breast may well be of greater importance in terms of its potential to yield a commercial product with superior shelf life and improved sensory attributes," the researchers wrote in their report.

The overall aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of producing a premium quality turkey breast roll product incorporating a purely natural flavour-preserving/enhancing ingredient, the researchers said.

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