Effects of antioxidants on bone marrow discoloration in beef lumbar vertebrae in different packaging systems



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Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service


To evaluate how antioxidants might prevent bone marrow discoloration, beef lumbar vertebrae held at 35.6°F for 6 or 14 days postmortem before packaging were cut into 1- inch-thick sections and packaged into 1) PVC overwrap; 2) high-oxygen (80% O2, 20% CO2) modified atmosphere packages (MAP); or 3) ultra-low-oxygen (70% N2, 30% CO2) MAP. Before packaging, bones were treated with: no treatment application (control); 1.25% or 2.5% ascorbic acid; 0.1% or 0.2% rosemary; or a combination treatment of 0.15% Origanox™ + 0.3% ascorbic acid. Packages were displayed under continuous fluorescent lighting for 4 days at 35.6°F. Untreated lumbar vertebrae and those treated with 0.1 or 0.2% rosemary discolored to gray or grayish-black, as measured by visual color scores and instrumental a* values, in PVC and high-oxygen MAP. The 1.25% ascorbic acid and 0.15% Origanox™ + 0.3% ascorbic acid were able to maintain desirable color scores through day 2 of display in PVC and high-oxygen MAP, but not after 4 days. The 2.5% ascorbic acid treatment was most effective in preventing discoloration and maintaining initial color in both PVC and high-oxygen MAP. In ultra-low-oxygen MAP, the 1.25% ascorbic acid treatment was as effective as the 2.5% ascorbic acid treatment in preventing bone marrow discoloration. In general, discoloration tended to be greater in bones held 14 days postmortem before packaging than in those held 6 days. Ascorbic acid treatments, particularly the 2.5% application, were effective in preventing bone marrow discoloration.



Beef, Antioxidants, Lumbar vertebrae, Packaging systems