The difference centres on the synthetic preservatives commonly used in chilled meats, which contain nitrates. These can generate nitrosamines—chemical compounds suspected of increasing cancer risk.
While some of the volatile nitrosamines formed during curing process with nitrates have mutagenic activity—a high price paid for controlling the growth of yeast and mould—Arjuna claims X-tend’s natural formulation can replace chemical nitrosomyoglobin-forming preservatives while being non-carcinogenic and safe to use in chilled meat.
”We conducted a number of bench trials to measure how X-tend performs in chilled meat preservation,” said Benny Antony, joint managing director of 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.”
The biggest challenge in replacing synthetic preservatives involves flavour masking—or blocking unwanted flavours—while creating the right functional mix of natural ingredients to combat a range of microbial activities.
X-tend’s formulation provides a natural solution for a variety of problems typically encountered in chilled meat products, including microbial spoilage, oxidative rancidity, short shelf life, off colour and altered flavour.
It retains natural colour and freshness, and extends chilled meat shelf life by up to 15 days, the company said.