Several members of the Institute of Food Technologists (ift) have stated, that concerns about the application of carbon monoxide (CO) with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of meat are scientifically, unfounded. Supported by the FDA declaring, that CO is a colourless, odourless, ‘invisible’ gas and therefore can not directly transfer colour to meat, they even conclude, that there is no deception for the consumer arising.
The authors Drs. Joe Sebranek (Iowa State University), Mel Hunt (Kansas State University), Daren Cornforth (Utah State University) and Susan Brewer (University of Illinois) consider CO as useful for fresh-meat packaging because the gas binds with the muscle pigment myoglobin to produce a bright red colour, which is preferred by consumers.
Critics argue, that this red colour looks even fresh, if bacteria have grown on the meat. Hence, consumer and product safety can be at risk. Sebranek et al. explain that there is no greater risk associated with bacteria growth using CO technology than with any other packaging system. They are convinced that CO packaging is suitable to increase product safety. They point out that the presence or absence of bacteria of public health significance on meat is independent of meat colour. Finally, they recommend to leave the marketplace decide on success or failure of this technology.
Source: FoodTechology 05/06, p. 184