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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11F031 UCC (Teagasc) €308,173

Project Title:

High Pressure Processing to Control Pathogens in Ready-to-eat-Traditional cooked meat products with reduced-sodium, lower preservatives and no artificial colours or flavours.

Project Coordinator:

Dr Malco Cruz-Romero

Project Abstract

Sodium in meat products has a variety of functions: microbiological safety, preservation, taste, flavour, texture, structural integrity, nutrition, and colour (Kuhn, 2010). The reduction of sodium in meat products presents significant challenges to developed meat products maintaining quality attributes in an acceptable and affordable manner (Clemens, 2012). E.g. too little sodium in meat products can result in unstable emulsions with poor texture. High pressure processing (HPP), is an alternative method for food preservation (Barbosa-Cánovas & Bermúdez-Aguirre, 2011), fulfilling consumer requirements for minimally processed and additive-free products and inactivates pathogenic and spoilage micro-organisms including Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Listeria at room temperatures, maintains sensory and nutritional properties and contributes to the development of meat products with lower salt content. Hurdle technology presents vast opportunities for processing and preserving food of excellent quality (Rodriguez-Calleja et al., 2012). The objectives of this project are to reformulate traditional meat products (ham and frankfurters) with significantly reduced sodium and preservatives, investigate the use of HPP and organic acids as hurdles to control pathogens and increase shelf-life in these products. The impregnation of flavour by HPP on lower cost meat small joints of beef and pork leading to added-value-products will also be investigated. Through shelf life extension, a reduction in retailer supply chain wastage of these products is foreseen, improving sustainability in the manufacture of these products. Pilot scale processing will be used to determine consumer acceptability, storage shelf-life, handling and packaging requirements. Overall production costs per unit will be determined by a commercial HPP.

Final Report:

Final Report 11F031 (pdf 382Kb)