Volatile Compounds Produced by Irradiation of Commercial Hams and Frankfurters

Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2005. Low-dose irradiation (1.6 kGy) of commerciallyproduced cured, sliced ham and frankfurters resulted in off-odors and off-flavors following the irradiation treatment. Lipid oxidation was not affected by irradiation but gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis showed that several new volatile compounds were produced in the products by irradiation processing. These included heptane, trans-1-butyl-2- methylcyclopropanone, 2-octene toluene and 2- butanone. Changes in odor and flavor of irradiated ham and frankfurters resulting from production of volatile compounds must be controlled before irradiation will be accepted by the industry or by consumers as a means of improved the microbial safety of these products.