Protein oxidation in muscle foods: A review

Marianne Lund, Marina Heinonen, Caroline P. Baron, Mario Estevez

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Protein oxidation in living tissues is known to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of relevant degenerative diseases, whereas the occurrence and impact of protein oxidation (Pox) in food systems have been ignored for decades. Currently, the increasing interest among food scientists in this topic has led to highlight the influence that Pox may have on meat quality and human nutrition. Recent studies have contributed to solid scientific knowledge regarding basic oxidation mechanisms, and in advanced methodologies to accurately assess Pox in food systems. Some of these studies have provided insight into the reactions involved in the oxidative modifications undergone by muscle proteins. Moreover, a variety of products derived from oxidized muscle proteins, including cross-links and carbonyls, have been identified. The impact of oxidation on protein functionality and on specific meat quality traits has also been addressed. Some other recent studies have shed light on the complex interaction mechanisms between myofibrillar proteins and certain redox-active compounds such as tocopherols and phenolic compounds. This paper is devoted to review the most relevant findings on the occurrence and consequences of Pox in muscle foods. The efficiency of different anti-oxidant strategies against the oxidation of muscle proteins is also reported.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)83-95
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

Lund, M., Heinonen, M., Baron, C. P., & Estevez, M. (2011). Protein oxidation in muscle foods: A review. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 55(1), 83-95.