<OL> <LI> Improve meat-to-film sealant adhesion during meat and poultry product cooking. <LI>Increase fresh meat and poultry color stability while reducing purge loss. <LI> Investigate light intensity, processing-packaging systems and pigment concentrations for enhancing cured meat color retention and product shelf life.
Neutral and alkaline salts combined at optimum processing concentrations will be evaluated in three cooking methods for effects on meat-to-film adhesion measures and amount of in-package fluid accumulation as various flexible film sealants are utilized. Vacuum skin packaged fresh meat and poultry will be evaluated for enhancing visual and instrumental (CIE) color measures and amounts of drip loss during extended shelf life storage at 4 C. Visual panel analyses will be used for determining cured meat color stability and spectrophotometric (400-780 nm) analyses will be used in differentiating nitrosylhemochrome, nitrosylmyoglobin and total hemochrome alternations in varying light intensities (lux) and with differing initial product concentrations of myoglobin.