Impact of nitrite-embedded packaging film on quality and sensory attributes of alternatively-cured and nitrite-free bologna

09 January 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Nitrite-embedded film (NEF) was studied for its impact on quality attributes of alternatively-cured (with a natural source of nitrite from celery juice powder (AC)) bologna and nitrite-free bologna. The objectives of the study were to determine the effects of nitrite-embedded film (NEF) packaging following thermal processing of AC and nitrite-free bologna on quality attributes including lipid oxidation, instrumental color, pigment concentrations, and sensory properties such as cured meat flavor, aroma, and color. Three bologna formulations, each packaged with two packaging films were produced. A conventionally-cured control formulation (with nitrite from sodium nitrite; CON), a nitrite-free formulation (UCC), and an alternatively cured formulation (nitrite from cultured celery juice powder; AC) were packaged in conventional (CF) or nitrite-embedded (NEF) film. Instrumental a* values (measured during both light and dark storage at intervals of 7 or 14 days over 126 days of storage) and cured pigment concentration (measured at 14-day intervals over 84 days of storage) were significantly greater (P < 0.05) for the UCC-NEF treatment compared to its conventional film counterpart, UCC-CF. No significant differences (P > 0.05) for lipid oxidation (TBARS values) were observed with NEF. Trained sensory panelists, who evaluated samples at 14-day intervals over 70 days of storage, found significantly greater (P < 0.05) cured aroma, cured flavor, pink color and less off-flavor for uncured bologna packaged in NEF compared to conventional film. For the uncured bologna formulation, NEF packaging provided cured meat attributes comparable to the control formulation that included nitrite. This is the first time that cured aroma and cured flavor have been observed when nitrite from packaging film is added to heat-denatured (cooked) myoglobin in an anaerobic environment.


cured meat
active packaging
nitrite-embedded film


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