Irradiation significantly decreased the redness of ground beef, and the visible color of beef changed from a bright red to a green/brown depending on the age of meat. Addition of ascorbic acid prevented color changes in irradiated beef, and the effect of ascorbic acid became greater as the age of meat or storage time after irradiation increased. The ground beef added with ascorbic acid had significantly lower ORP than control, and the low ORP of meat helped maintaining the heme pigments in reduced form. During the aerobic storage, the S-volatiles disappeared while volatile aldehydes significantly increased in irradiated beef. Addition of ascorbic acid at 0.1% or sesamol + α-tocopherol at each 0.01% level to ground beef prior to irradiation were effective in reducing lipid oxidation and S-volatiles. As storage time increased, however, the antioxidant effect of sesamol + tocopherol in irradiated ground beef was superior to that of ascorbic acid.
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