Long-term Goals. The primary, long-term term goal of the PDs is to determine the feasibility of utilizing the semi-essential amino acid L-arginine as the substrate to activate the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) system in post rigor skeletal muscle as an innovative novel method to generate nitric oxide and sodium nitrite to cure meat and poultry products. We hypothesize that the addition of the amino acid L-arginine as a substrate can activate the eNOS system in post rigor skeletal muscle to generate nitric oxide (NO) to form nitrosohemachromagen for cured meat color development and residual nitrite as an antimicrobial/antioxidant for product shelf life and safety.The outcomes forthis project are: 1) Develop a better understanding of the factors that impact the ability of the NOS system to generate NO and residual nitrite in the manufacture of cured meat products; 2) Develop processing/operating procedures/parameters for meat processors to effectively use the NOS system to cure meat and poultry products in a consistent and predictable manner and 3) Verify that the amino acid alternative curing system (AAACS) does not compromise food quality or safety.This knowledge will form the basis for a novel amino acid based alternative curing method that eliminates the need for direct or indirect addition of sodium nitrite in cured meat products. Importantly, these efforts will allow for better understanding of the interconnected biochemical mechanisms contributing to the functionality of the NOS system in post rigor skeletal muscle as well as providing additional insight into evaluating the efficacy of the proposed alternative system to eliminate the need for sodium nitrite addition to cure meat and poultry products.Objectives:Year 1: Elucidate the factors that eNOS activity to generate nitric oxide and residual nitrite in in post rigor skeletal muscleYear 2: Determine if the AAACS is comparable to conventionally cured (sodium nitrite) methods in the manufacture of cured meat products.Year 3: Determine if AAACS can control pathogenic growth compared to conventionally cured meat products during thermal processing and chilling.
AN AMINO ACID ALTERNATIVE CURING SYSTEM
Osburn, Wes; Miller, Rhonda; Wu, Gu, .; Ramanathan, Ra, .; Chitlapilly Dass, Sapna; Kerth, Ch, R.
Texas A&M University