Sheryl Barringer and a researcher team at Ohio State University conducted the study by spraying a 20 per cent bovine gelatin solution onto beef tenderloins, pork loins, salmon fillets, and chicken breasts.
They then packed the meats in a modified atmosphere mix of 80 per cent oxygen and 20 per cent carbon doixide. In storage all of the gelatin-coated fresh meat products showed a reduction in purge.
The gelatin reduced purge by acting as a barrier to water loss, the scientists found.
The gelatin-coated beef had a reduction in colour deterioration, gelatin-coated pork a slight reduction of colour deterioration, and salmon and chicken had no reduction in color deterioration, they found.
The gelatin coat reduced color deterioration by acting as a barrier to oxygen, but also had a negative effect on color due to its own color deterioration, they stated in a paper.
There was no change in lipid oxidation with any of the gelatin-coated meat products.
The gelatin coat was not an effective barrier for lipid oxidation at refrigeration temperatures, they noted.
The scientist also conducted a sensory analysis of the beef tenderloins. The analysis confirmed that colour deterioration was reduced, and that flavour was not affected by the application of a gelatin coat.
"The gelatin coat was equally effective during light and dark storage," they stated. "It was more effective on vacuum-packaged products than on modified-atmosphere-packaged products."
The study was published in the July edition of the Journal of Food Science.
It is the latest in studies relating to gelatin coatings. A previous study from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that fish gelatin could be used to extend the shelf life of frozen foods.
Coating fish with alginate, pectin, gellan gum or even water markedly reduces fat absorbtion in the final production of par-fried fish, the USDA scientists found.