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1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, 3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES, Nutrition, Dietetics, Public and environmental health
Carbon monoxide (CO) has many value-added benefits in meat packaging due to its colour stabilising effects and enhancement of meat quality attributes. The regulation of CO within meat packaging varies worldwide and remains a topical and controversial issue. CO is prohibited in the EU for use in meat packaging mainly due to fears it may mask spoilage therefore misleading consumers. The issue of consumer acceptance of CO was not considered. This article reviews the most pertinent literature to assess if the problems associated with the prohibition have been addressed. Applying CO pretreatments prior to vacuum packaging enhances colour while allowing discolouration to occur by the use-by-date, thereby addressing concerns about safety. Recent work showing European consumer acceptance of CO in meat packaging demonstrates its future potential within the EU. The information provided may support framing future policies intended to assure consumer protection, safety, choice and interest. Re-evaluation of permitting CO as a packaging gas within the EU may be warranted.
Van Rooyen LA, Allen P, O'Connor DI. The application of carbon monoxide in meat packaging needs to be re-evaluated within the EU: An overview. Meat Sci. 2017 Oct;132:179-188. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2017.03.016. Epub 2017 Apr 20. PMID: 28465017.