Interest exists in the manufacture of functional meat products whereby synthetic antioxidants are replaced with naturally-sourced compounds. Therefore the aim of this study was to determine the bioactivity of pork and beef patties containing ellagic acid (600 mu g/g), lutein (200 mu g/g) or sesamol (500 mu g/g). Cooked pork and beef patties were subjected to an in vitro digestion procedure and the resultant micelles were added to human intestinal Caco-2 cells. Supplementation with micelles from lutein-enriched pork patties protected (P < 0.05) against H2O2-induced cell injury whereas the presence of control beef, lutein-enriched beef or ellagic acid-enriched beef, at levels >=20\% (v/v), enhanced (P < 0.05) oxidant-induced cytotoxicity. None of the pork patties significantly modulated cellular glutathione content. Micelles from all the enriched pork patties significantly protected against H2O2-induced DNA damage. In conclusion, the cytoprotective and genoprotective effects of ellagic acid, lutein, and sesamol, when incorporated into meat systems, depend greatly on the food matrix. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.