Stina BurriDoctoral Student, , , MSc. in Animal Science
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- Engineering and Technology
- Medical and Health Sciences
- Meat, Colorectal cancer, Antioxdants, PCR, Microflora, Lipid oxidation
The SUSMEATPRO (Sustainable plant ingredients for healthier meat products) project was initiated as a response to the vision of the European Union to achieve safe and sustainable food systems by 2020. The meat consumption in the world is currently increasing and the European consumption it is considered excessive. This can be assigned to both environmental consequences as well as several health risks. One of the main health related hazards is colorectal cancer (CRC) which is the third most prevalent cancer type in the world leading to 600 000 deaths in 2008. Epidemiological and experimental research has shown that the risk of being diagnosed with CRC increases with high intake of meat, especially of red and processed kind. Meat is however our most important protein source in the diet, containing e.g. proteins of high biological value, B-vitamins and essential minerals and is a very healthy food component when consumed in reasonable amounts. However, red meat contains heme iron and free iron, more so than in other types of fresh meat which is believed to be involved with CRC either as it is or when combined with nitrite in processed meat. Research has shown that the heme iron induces lipid oxidation and thereby promotes carcinogenesis in mouse intestines. It was also found that an excessive intake of red meat may induce the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) if in presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). The ROS play an important role in DNA damage and in the disruption of normal cell proliferation of epithelial cells of the gut. This then leads to an increased risk of CRC due to the lack of intestinal cell repair. The SUSMEATPRO project (2015) is currently focusing on the previously mentioned oxidation mechanisms that lay as potential causes for CRC upon consumption of red and processed meat. The hypothesis of the project is that an increased intake of antioxidants together with red and processed meat would prevent oxidation and thus lower the risk of CRC. Many plants contain compounds with antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In this first step of the project, the aim is to screen, evaluate, and analyse local horticultural waste material so as to find the most potent plant compounds to be added to meat products without increasing an already surcharged environmental impact.