Research shows dried plum can be a solid alternative to chemicals. As a scientific study carried out by Texas AgriLife Research shows, dried plums can easily replace BHA and BHT, two petroleum-based antioxidants.

Dried plums used at 3% or 6% levels were as effective as BHA/BHT in retarding lipid oxidation in PR sausage patties. Dried plums at 3% were as effective as BHA/BHT in patties that were cooked, vacuum packaged, and stored at -20°C.And at 6%, dried plums surpassed the efficiency of BHA/BHT for retarding oxidative rancidity. Sensory evaluations indicated that dried plums can:

  • enhance sweet taste
  • decrease salt and bitter tastes
  • mask “cooked pork/brothy, cooked pork fat, spicy/peppery, and sage flavors.”

Overall, pork sausage with 3% dried plums was deemed as acceptable to consumers as patties with BHA/BHT, although patties with 6% plum product did not achieve as high notes.Inclusion of 3% dried plums was effective as a natural antioxidant for suppressing lipid oxidation in precooked pork sausage patties.

(Source: Journal of Food Science, Volume 73 Issue 5, April 2008.)


“This is encouraging news for the industry, because it can now turn to a natural ingredient such as dried plums, which is much more palatable to the consumer and makes for a cleaner label,” says John Taylor.

BHA and BHT–used in both human and pet food–are presently under increased scrutiny, and are mainly criticized by food activists for their carcinogenic potential: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization), considers BHA could be carcinogenic to humans, while the State of California has listed it as a carcinogen.

According to some studies, BHT also has cancer causing possibilities (urinary bladder, and it could be a promoter of thyroid carcinogenesis).