Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science


Meat Science

First Advisor

Joseph G. Sebranek


Meat preservation in the form of salting, curing, and packaging have been centric to meat consumption for centuries. Current research in processed meats is heavily focused on alternatively-cured meats. Alternatively-cured meats have a greater potential for reduced color stability and shelf life (compared to conventionally-cured counterparts), due to limiting vegetable-like flavors. Development of vegetable-like flavors and natural/organic labeling requirements, meat processors generally reduce the amount of ingredients used, which can lead to quality and shelf life concerns. This study was designed to determine the effects of nitrite-embedded film (NEF) technology on fully cooked all-beef bologna. Specific emphasis was given to NEF’s ability to improve the cured color stability and shelf life of alternatively-cured meats. The research in the current study determined the impact of NEF on internal and external color, internal and external residual nitrate and nitrite, in addition to microbial growth over a 125-day simulated retail display period. An elevated temperature 21-day retail display was conducted on samples that were inoculated with a general unknown bacterial inoculum. Five treatments were manufactured (CON-CF, CJP-CF, CJP-NEF, NT10-CF, NT10-NEF); a conventionally-cured control (CON-CF) in vacuum packaged in conventional film, an alternatively-cured formulation (nitrite from cultured celery juice powder plus cherry powder) vacuum packaged into both conventional film (CJP-CF) and nitrite-embedded film (CJP-NEF). An additional alternatively-cured formulation was produced (Natpre T-10 EML Plus S) and vacuum packaged into both conventional film (NT10-CF) and nitrite-embedded film (NT10-NEF). NEF-packaged products demonstrated a significant increase (P < 0.05) for in-package external a* (redness) values and greater color stability. From day 41 through 125 of retail display, there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in external and internal residual nitrite between treatments. NEF showed no significant difference (P < 0.05) for residual nitrate between any treatments. NEF-packaged product showed no difference (P > 0.05) in internal residual nitrite compared to vacuum packaged treatment counterparts. Reduced color stability was observed in CJP-CF, while CJP-NEF showed improved a* values. NEF packaging demonstrated no difference (P > 0.05) in microbial growth under traditional conditions. NEF exhibited no difference (P > 0.05) between treatments for inoculated elevated temperature microbial growth.

Copyright Owner

Michael Stephen Cropp



File Format


File Size

107 pages