Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version



2018 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP105. Lincoln, NE.


© 2017 The Board Regents of the University of Nebraska.


High pressure processing is a non-thermal pasteurization technique to control pathogens, like E. coli. However, color changes in raw beef induced by processing restrict high pressure processing’s use within the beef industry. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of adding curing agents (nitrite) and packaging with or without reducing compounds (ascorbic acid/erythorbate) on color retention in high pressure processed ground beef. High pressure processing resulted in a detrimental effect on the color of the beef patties for all treatments. Lightness and yellowness increased and redness decreased after high pressure processing. The effect remained the same throughout the course of the study (up to 21 days). However, there was less color change in samples treated with reducing compounds. Both inorganic and natural sources of nitrite and ascorbic acid/erythorbate performed similarly in terms of their ability to maintain redness. Treatments leading to formation of nitrosylmetmyoglobin (Fe3+) had less color change as compared to the treatments leading to the generation of nitrosylmyoglobin (Fe2+).