(NaturalNews) An extract from sea buckthorn berries functions as a preservative in meat and may provide an alternative to synthetic antioxidants, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Estonian University of Life Sciences and published in the journal Food Chemistry.
Researchers produced extracts from solid, juiced residue of sea buckthorn berries, then applied that extract to mechanically deboned chicken and turkey. They found that over six days, the extract prevented the oxidation of the unsaturated fats in the poultry meat and that higher doses led to an increased preservative effect. After six days, 50 percent of the antioxidant preservatives in the turkey meat had been lost, while substantially less had been lost in the chicken.
The researchers concluded that a 2 percent concentration of sea buckthorn berry extract is probably optimal. The taste and texture of patties prepared from the treated chicken and turkey were not affected at this concentration.
"It is safe to say that the processing residue of sea buckthorn juice is a good functional supplement to mechanically deboned meat or hand deboned meat products, guaranteeing inhibition of the oxidation of fatty acids as well as enriching the meat products with plant-derived health-beneficial polyphenols," the researchers wrote.
A number of recent studies have indicated that sea buckthorn berry's high antioxidant content leads to specific health benefits.
One study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular consumption of the berries reduced the blood levels of a protein associated with the inflammation that has been linked to diabetes and heart disease. Another study, from the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, reported on a new method of extracting a sea buckthorn berry juice rich in vitamin C, flavonoids and polyphenols. Juice extracted by the new method retains 70 percent of its vitamin C, 50 percent of its flavonoids and 40 percent of its polyphenols.