Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PHYTOME — Result In Brief

Project ID: 315683
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Netherlands
Domain: Industry

Meat processing alternative

With an increasing demand for healthier meat products in the EU, an alternative to nitrite as preservative is needed to ensure meat products safety and improve consumer perception of meat products. Researchers have developed technologies that reduce nitrite in meat products and improve the quality and safety.
Meat processing alternative
The consumption of meat products in many EU countries is stagnating. Consumer perception is increasingly influenced by messages in the media that consumption of nitrite-preserved meat products may contribute to human cancer risk.

The EU-funded PHYTOME (Phytochemicals to reduce nitrite in meat products) initiative developed new meat processing technologies that significantly reduce nitrite levels in meat products through the partial replacement of nitrites by phytochemicals. Researchers found a wide range of natural extracts suitable for meat fortification and preservation that are also rich in bioactive molecules known to enhance human health. In addition, PHYTOME developed new technologies to introduce the selected natural extracts into six different types of meat products.

Project researchers evaluated the new meat products in a human diet study to find out if they have a positive effect on cancer risk markers. They also conducted consumer studies to understand the public response to these new products.

The researchers transferred these new technologies to companies to test them in industrial settings. PHYTOME demonstrated that a combination of phytochemicals and with the minimum safe amount of nitrite is safe and acceptable to consumers.

PHYTOME project results will benefit EU food processing companies as well as consumers. The knowledge obtained regarding natural extracts that can be used in meat processing can immediately be applied in industry.

Related information


Meat processing, nitrite, preservatives, meat products, cancer risk, PHYTOME
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