The objective was to use natural pigments to replace sodium erythorbate (NaEry), a synthetic compound used as an antioxidant in sausage formulations, and to evaluate the oxidative stability of the samples. Six assays were prepared in which sodium erythorbate (ERY) at 0.05 g/100 g was substituted by norbixin (NOR), lycopene (LYC), zeaxanthin (ZEA), beta-carotene (CAR) or dextrose (used as a control (CON)). Physical, chemical, color, texture and sensory parameters were measured on the first day and after 45 days of storage at 4 degrees C. All pigments used in the sausage formulations were able to maintain the oxidative stability of the sausages (MDA equivalents <0.38 mg/kg). Zeaxanthin and norbixin were the most efficient antioxidants of those tested. This antioxidant effect might be associated with the intermediate polarities of these two compounds, which would allow them to concentrate in the membrane lipids or emulsion interface, where lipid oxidation is most prevalent. Other volatile secondary products of oxidation besides MDA should be evaluated in further studies involving natural pigments and sensory oxidative stability.
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