Lipid oxidation in meat: mechanisms and protective factors – a review

Abstract Lipid oxidation in meats is a process whereby polyunsaturated fatty acid react with reactive oxygen species leading to a series of secondary reactions which in turn lead to degradation of lipids and development of oxidative rancidity. This process is one of the major factors responsible for the gradual reduction of sensory and nutritional quality of meats, thus affecting consumer acceptance. Therefore, the control and minimization of lipid oxidation in meat and meat products is of great interest to the food industry. In view of this, some technologies have been developed, such as vacuum packaging, modified atmosphere, and use of antioxidants. The aim is understanding the lipid oxidation mechanisms responsible for sensory and nutritional quality reduction in meat and meat products and identify the most effective methods to control this process. Lipid oxidation in meat can be controlled using different strategies, such as animal dietary supplements, addition of antioxidants, processing, and the use of special packaging. Better results can be obtained by using synergistic strategies and focusing attention on food safety and to prevent negative effects to other sensory properties.