Indexed on: 01 Sep '06Published on: 01 Sep '06Published in: Meat Science
In recent years, much attention has been paid to physiological functions of foods due to increasing concerns for health. Although there has been limited information of physiological functions of meat until recently, several attractive meat-based bioactive compounds, such as carnosine, anserine, l-carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid, have been studied. Emphasizing these activities is one possible approach for improving the health image of meat and developing functional meat products. This article provides potential benefits of representative meat-based bioactive compounds on human health and an overview of meat-based functional products. Strategies for designing novel functional meat products utilizing bioactive peptides and/or probiotic bacteria, is also discussed. This article focuses particularly on the possibility of meat protein-derived bioactive peptides, such as antihypertensive peptides. There are still some hurdles in developing and marketing novel functional meat products since such products are unconventional and consumers in many countries recognize meat and meat products to be bad for health. Along with accumulation of scientific data, there is an urgent need to inform consumers of the exact functional value of meat and meat products including novel functional foods.