PHYTOME (Phytochemicals to reduce nitrite in meat products) is a major 3-year EU research Project supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme. Project partners include meat processing SMEs, trade associations, research partners and a nutrition consultant.
Initiated in December 2012, the Project aims to develop innovative meat products in which the food additive nitrite has been replaced by natural compounds originating from fruits and vegetables. These biologically active compounds, also referred to as phytochemicals, are known to contribute to improved gut health and are added to the meat as natural extracts.
The PHYTOME Project has developed new technologies to introduce the natural extracts during processing to different types of meat products, while ensuring good sensory quality and microbiological safety of the product. These technologies have been developed and optimised at laboratory scale and then applied by the SME partners in the project to produce the new type of products at industrial scale.
The health promoting effects of these new types of meat products and the response of the general public to these also is also being investigated.
The project aims to introduce the new products to the market in 2016 soon after its finalisation in November 2015.