The Influence of Packaging Methodology on Fresh Beef Surface Color
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Packaging techniques and materials used throughout the meat industry are evolving as technology is developed. Most notably, the rise in use of thermoforming vacuum packaging within the fresh meat industry has prompted research to focus on alternative packaging methods for fresh meat. The comparison of packaging materials and method of packaging were investigated to determine the effects on fresh beef surface color and storage period during two simulated retail display periods of fresh beef. The first study evaluated vacuum packaging films recycle-ready (RRF), standard barrier (STB), and enhanced barrier (ENB) on ground beef surface color. Packaging type resulted in significant differences (P < 0.05) where ground beef packaged in ENB had greater values for lightness (L*), redness (a*), chroma (C*), red to brown (630/580), and calculated relative values of deoxymyoglobin. In the second study, whole muscle beef strip loin steaks were assigned to either vacuum-ready packaging (VRF) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) overwrap packaging. Steaks packaged in PVC had greater (P < 0.05) redness (a*) values until day 5, whereas VRF steaks had greater (P < 0.05) a* values from days 10 to 35. PVC steaks had greater (P < 0.05) values for hue angle from days 5 through 35. Furthermore, lipid oxidation for VRF packaged steaks was less (P < 0.05) from day 10 to the conclusion of the study. The results from these studies suggest that packaging materials, can influence fresh beef surface color.