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  • 1 Erma-Pack Inc. H-1094 Budapest, Angyal u. 15/a II. 6. Hungary
  • | 2 Institute of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of West Hungary H-9200 Mosonmagyaróvár, Lucsony u. 15-17. Hungary
  • | 3 Institute of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of West Hungary H-9200 Mosonmagyaróvár, Lucsony u. 15-17. Hungary
  • | 4 Institute of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of West Hungary H-9200 Mosonmagyaróvár, Lucsony u. 15-17. Hungary
  • | 5 Kaiser Food Inc. H-9151 Abda, Bécsi út 1. Hungary
  • | 6 Hungarian Meat Research Institute H-1097 Budapest, Gubacsi út 6/b. Hungary
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The shelf-lives of major commercial cooked meat products (i.e., Bologna sausage, Italian-type cooked sausage, and cooked ham) packaged under vacuum or modified atmospheres were tested in this study. Samples were taken from commercial meat processing lines, sliced to 1.2 mm thickness and placed overlapped into polypropylene trays sealed with plastic films. The headspace of modified atmosphere packaged formulations consisted of 30% CO2 and 70% N2 or 60% CO2 and 40% N2. The samples thus produced were stored under refrigerated conditions. The values of microbiological, chemical, physical or sensory properties were plotted against storage time, and Gompertz curves were fitted to all time series that changed from an initial to a final value during any period of storage. The influence of headspace CO2 concentration on the properties of sliced cooked meat products varied considerably and, therefore, it was not possible to specify general rules. However, the presence of CO2 in the packaging atmosphere slowed down the rate of microbial growth, thereby delaying the spoilage of meat products. A CO2 level of 60% had beneficial effects on both the microbiological and sensory properties of sliced sausages and cooked ham. It was concluded that cooked meat products packaged under modified atmospheres had a shelf-life of 20 days.

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