Organic Meat Turns to Natural Preservatives

Staff Writer
Researchers are on a quest for natural preservatives that can make organic meat safer
Wikimedia Commons: Alpha

Beef gets even more natural.

As the market for organic and natural meats is rapidly expanding, the demand for a natural-based organic meat preservative rises as well. 

Jeff Sindelar, an associate professor and extension meat specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has recently been testing different natural-based organic acids like cranberry concentrate, grape seed oil, and tea tree extract in an attempt to create a new way to preserve meat without using manufactured ingredients.

Meats that are labeled “organic” or “natural” now make up at least 30 percent of processed meat sold at retail stores. Thus, Sindelar recognizes the urgency in finding a preservative that can be used for organic meat to ensure that these products are safe for consumption once they make it onto the grocery store shelves.

Sindelar and his colleagues, however, recognize the challenges in creating an organic meat preservative, as most ingredients and technologies that can suppress, inhibit or destroy harmful bacteria do not follow the guidelines associated with the “organic” and “natural labels.”

There is hope, though: research has revealed that certain natural compounds like sodium nitrate can work, as well as standard preservatives, even if these natural ingredients are needed in much higher quantities to be effective.

Organic meat preservatives may be just the edge the organic industry needs to boost its marketability to rival traditional meats production. Rest assured that your delicious, environmentally-friendly organic meat is now even safer. 

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