WARF is seeking commercial partners to help develop a new method for extending the storage life of various meat products. 

This method’s inventor, Mark Richards, is a professor in UW-Madison’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is touting his work as a top licensing prospect and a “natural” alternative to synthetic preservatives. 

Richards has created a method for preserving fish, poultry, pork and beef using “very low amounts” of an enzyme called phospholipase A2 combined with rosemary extract. 

According to WARF’s fact sheet on the invention, this combination performed better than synthetic antioxidants in a color stability trial using samples of treated ground turkey and sausage. 

“Moreover, treated meat samples have been shown to remain palatable for up to 10 days longer than conventional products under refrigerated conditions,” WARF wrote in its overview. 

Along with the various meat products identified by WARF, this combination can also be used to preserve vegetarian meat analogs containing certain proteins, the fact sheet shows. Even at relatively low concentrations, it can slow a process called lipid oxidation that leads to discoloration and unpleasant smell in stored meats. 

Plus, the invention has applications in pet food production and rendering industries, WARF says. 

“While the researchers hoped for comparable results as compared to the synthetic system, they actually saw an improvement,” WARF said. “This, coupled with consumer preference for natural antioxidants, make this natural system an advantageous commercial option.” 

See more details: https://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P160260WO01/ 

See a recent related study from Richards: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030917402200359X 

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