The objective of this study was the attempt to increase the colour stability of cured meat products stored at chilling conditions, which were manufactured with the addition of natural antioxidants in the form of rosemary, sage, and clove extracts. The meat material studied comprised m. quadriceps femoris taken from 48 h post-mortem pig carcasses. The meat was minced in a laboratory grinder; next, it was homogenized using a curing brine of the following composition: 2 % of curing salts (99.5 % of NaCl and 0.5 % of NaNO2), 0.5 % of phosphates, 0.5 % of carrageenan, and natural antioxidant extracts (the amounts of rosemary extracts were 200 and 400 ppm, the amounts sage extract were 100 and 200 ppm). The colour variations of experimental meat products exposed to light (250 lx) for 0, 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h were assessed directly after their thermal treatment, and one month after their chilling storage. The colour variations were assessed based on the determined parameters of L*, a*, b* colour features, Colour Forming Ratio (CFR), and sensory analysis results. It was found that the rosemary extract added during the manufacturing process of experimental meat products impacted their colour tone that became redder. The addition of sage extract to the experimental meat samples during their production process caused their colour to become lighter. The variants containing 400 ppm of rosemary extract and 200 ppm of sage extracts were characterized by the highest (max) heme pigment conversion degree of the meat colour.
curing of meat, colour stability, natural antioxidants, rosemary, sage