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Food & Health : Food Chemicals Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Green tea extracts extend shelf-life for meat products
By Ben Wasserman
Feb 17, 2008 - 5:51:08 PM

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SUNDAY FEB 17, 2008 ( -- Green tea extracts may be used to extend the shell-life of meat and prevent off-flavors, according to an Indian study in the March, 2008 issue of Food Chemistry.

The study led by researchers from the Defense Food Research Laboratory in Mysore showed meat treated with a green tea extract did not show signs of microflora or spoilage.

Green tea has been linked to a variety of health benefits including lower risk for cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease and enhanced weight loss, reported.

Green tea contains 30 to 40 percent of water extractable polyphenols compared to 3 to 10 percent in black tea.  Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin (EC) are the four major polyphenols present in tea leaves.

In the study, the researchers prepared a green tea extract using ethanol and tested it on fresh mutton at ambient temperature (25 degree Celsius and 85 percent relative humidity.

K.V. Kumudavally and colleagues reported that the green tea extract inhibited microflora spoilage for up to four days without having any negative impact on the sensory and physical quality of the meat.

Additionally, free fatty acids due to spoilage in the green tea extract treated meat at the end of storage testing were significantly lower than that in the control, 1.5 versus 4.1 grams per 100 grams respectively.

The authors said green tea extracts should be safe to use to extend the shelf-life of meat as the tea has been used safely on a daily basis all over the world for thousands of years.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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