Smoked Sugar Improves Flavor Stability of Frozen Sliced Food Service Bacon
Meat and Muscle Biology
Aerobically packaged frozen bacon has significant challenges to flavor and odor properties as storage length advances. Naturally smoked sugar (NSS), a food ingredient made from applying hardwood smoke to liquid sugar, may possess antioxidant functionality that is beneficial in controlling lipid oxidation in bacon. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine if NSS could be added directly to a bacon formulation to limit the rate of lipid oxidation in frozen, aerobically packaged
... cally packaged bacon. Three replications of this experiment were conducted using 5 pork bellies per replication. Individual bellies were cut in half yielding an anterior and posterior section and then randomly assigned to a treatment combination with either the anterior or posterior section receiving the NSS treatment. Treatment brines consisted of a control (CON) brine or a brine with added NSS injected to retain 12% added solution. After injection, smoking, cooking, and slicing, bacon slices were frozen (-17.8 ± 2°C) and stored aerobically for 0, 40, 80, and 120 d for sensory and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) analyses or 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120 d for thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) analysis. There were significant (P < 0.01) Treatment × Day interactions for oxidized flavor intensity, TBARS, and hexanal concentration. Panelist oxidized flavor intensity scores, TBARS values, and hexanal content increased from d 0 to 120 (P < 0.01) for CON, whereas these measures in bacon manufactured with added NSS did not change (P > 0.16). Sensory ratings for saltiness, smoke intensity, and bacon flavor intensity were higher (P < 0.01) for the NSS treatment compared to CON. The ability of NSS to function as an effective antioxidant in frozen bacon was confirmed by the inhibition of lipid oxidation products and improved sensory panel scores over time.