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This study aimed at investigating influence of nitrate-nitrite contamination in ginger on pink color defect in marinated steamed chicken drumsticks. Three marinade formulations representing different degrees of nitratenitrite contamination were explored (i.e. no ginger (0 ppm) – A, ginger paste #1 containing 30 ppm nitrate – B, and ginger paste #2 containing 30 ppm nitrate + 8 ppm nitrite – C, respectively). Total myoglobin content was measured in chicken drumsticks before marination. Nitric oxide myoglobin (NOMb) was determined in the samples both before and after marination. After cooking, occurrences of pinking, a* value and nitrosyl hemochrome (NHC) content were evaluated. It was found that pink color defect was observed in treatment C. These results indicated that the presence of nitrite in ginger (treatment C) played a significant role in pinking appearance of steamed chicken drumstick. The maximum nitrite contamination in chicken drumstick was also investigated using sodium nitrite solution and it was found that it should not be more than 0.8 ppm. Thus, it is crucial to control the amount of nitrite contamination in ginger paste to avoid pink color defect formation.
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