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R: Concise Reviews/Hypotheses in Food Science

Meat Products as Functional Foods: A Review

ABSTRACT Numer CT: umerous have demonstrate ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have sought to demonstrate the possibility of changing the image of meat and meat products from thetraditionally accepted image to one of healthy living thanks to the addition (vegetables, extracts, fibers, and so forth), elimination (fats), and reduction (additives) of different ingredients. This article presents a revision of studies published in recent years on the topic and looks at possible future trends in the traditional industry forces agrosector, have occurred sector, analyzing the changes thathave occurred in the traditional meat industry as global forces in the agrofood industry direct it more and more to the design and production of functional foods. Keywords: meat products, functional foods, functional ingredients



he trend toward functional foods has led to the publication of several articles describing studies of the effects of including 1 or more ingredientswith functional properties in various types of food, within which meat and meat products deserve special attention. The object of including functional ingredients in the case of meat is not only concerned with providing it with certain desirable properties but also an attempt to change its image in these healthconscious days. The meat industry is 1 of the most important in the world and, whetheras a result of consumer demand or because of the ferocious competition in the industry, research into new products is continuous. However, such research and the launch of new products is directed at providing healthy alternatives to what has frequently been accused of causing a variety of pathologies ( Jiménez-Colmenero 2000). This unfortunate image derives mainly from the content of fat, saturatedfatty acids, and cholesterol and their association with cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, obesity, and so forth. Regarding obesity, it is very important to understand how meat or meat products affects biological and physiological mechanisms of appetite, satiety, and long-term behavior. Meat and meat products show highly satiating characteristics and, in this respect, functional foodscould be a food-related solution because these types of products could be designed to be less calorifically dense and while remaining more highly satiating and tasty. In this way, the food industry in general, the meat and related products industry in particular, could contribute to making lives easier and more active. Meat is associated with cholesterol, and although it is now accepted that thedietary intake of cholesterol has little bearing on plasma cholesterol, for consumers this is another negative influence on meat’s health image (Higgs 2000). In some cases, the consumer is confused by multiple messages from multiple sources, public skepticism about expert opinion, the public misunderstanding of reports on scientific findings and results, increased media coverage accompanied byrecommendations for corporate marketing strategies and health claims, and competing real-life and lifestyle demands. Furthermore, food packaging could also have a very important influence on food intake (MacAulay and Newsome 2004).

MS 20040498 Submitted 7/26/04, Revised 8/30/04, Accepted 9/10/04. The authors are with Dept. de Tecnología Agroalimentaria, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela,Univ. Miguel Hernández, Orihuela, Alicante, Spain. Direct inquiries to author Fernández López (E-mail: j.fernandez@umh.es).

The underlying idea behind functional food is to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases by curbing the consumption of habitually consumed foods. The formulation of foods according to the beneficial effects that their non-nutritional ingredients may have for the consumer...
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