Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Meat and Meat Products as Functional Foods

12.06.2009
Research on the disease-preventing, health-promoting benefits of meat and meat products makes them a viable contender in the functional food arena. Enriching meats with fiber, probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids may help consumers to associate meat with a healthy lifestyle.

"Meat contains many important nutrients, including bioactive compounds such as taurine, L-carnitine, creatine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and endogenous antioxidants," said Yeonhwa Park, Ph.D., and Secretary for Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Chemistry Division. Studies show CLA may reduce cancer incidence, although this has not yet been shown with human studies.

Meat also contains unique endogenous antioxidants including carosine, anserine and others, along with iron and zinc, nutrients often lacking in the average diet. "Meat also contains a significant source of vitamin B-12," said Dr. Park.

Meat and meat products may be made more functional with some modifications, said Frederic Leroy, Ph.D., professor in nutrition, meat technology and quantitative and predictive microbiology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. "Modification of fatty acid and cholesterol levels in meat may be influenced by selection of breeds and genetic lines, changes in animal feeding practices and additional ingredients added during meat processing," said Dr. Leroy.

Adding probiotics to fermented meat products (i.e. sausage) may lead to health benefits, although this application is still marginal. "Several disadvantages exist when using fermented meats as a probiotic carrier," said Leroy. "For one, fermented meats are not generally considered 'health food' by consumers. Plus technical issues exist. It requires careful selection of probiotic strains since, for example, they would need to have a resistance to bile salts." Fiber-enriched meat products may also offer health advantages, although they can elicit a grainy texture and have a restrictive digestive tolerance. Further studies are needed in this area. Omega-3 enriched meats (currently marketed in Canada) may also soon compete with salmon and other traditional omega-3 rich fish.

Educating consumers about meat creates a challenge for meat marketers, said Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., executive director of nutrition research for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "Fifteen to twenty of the most popular retail cuts—including filet mignon—are considered 'lean' choices," said Dr. McNeill. "But many misconceptions about fat content in meat exist. For example, while meat's saturated fat content is widely publicized, it's also the number one source of monounsaturated fat in the diet."

Marketing meat and meat products as functional foods requires focusing on benefits of the nutrients, particularly meat's high protein content. "Weight control is a major consumer concern," said McNeill. "New advertising helps overcome misconceptions about beef, calling it 'a smart choice.'"

Sources:
Yeonhwa Park, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts
ypark@foodsci.umass.edu
Frederic Leroy, Ph.D.
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
fleroy@vub.ac.be
Shalene McNeill, Ph.D.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
smcneill@beef.org
About IFT
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is a nonprofit scientific society with more than 20,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT serves as a conduit for multidisciplinary science thought leadership, championing the use of sound science through knowledge sharing, education, and advocacy.

Jeannie Houchins | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ift.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>