Submitted to: Journal of Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tenderness is not only one of the first criterion a consumer considers when thinking of purchasing meat, but also has proven to be the most difficult factor for meat producers and meat packers to manage. Since tenderness involves the breakdown of muscle/meat structure and since there are many chemical changes occurring in muscle as it becomes meat, we examined a non- -instrumental means of measuring tenderness and at the same time a way to learn more about meat structure and how it is related to meat tenderness. These experiments used striploins with much less than desirable tenderness and which were treated by hydrodynamic pressure processing (HDP) to make them more tender (tenderness or shear values ranged from 11.4 to 6.0 kg). These experiments showed that the protein content found in the myofibrillar (MF) fraction is directly related to meat tenderness, i.e., there is a decline in MF-protein going from tough (11.4 kg) to the more tender hydrodynamically processed (6.0 kg) meat. At the same time, there is an apparent opposite redistribution of proteins to the soluble fraction.
Tenderness, one of the criterion consumers consider when thinking of meat quality, has proven to be the most difficult quality factor for meat producers and meat packers to manage. Furthermore, as recently as 1998 Monin said, "there has been no real progress in the field of meat tenderness assessment since the 1930s when Bratzler (1932) conceived the well-known Warner-Bratzler shear device." Since tenderness involves the breakdown of myofibrillar structure and since there are numerous biochemical changes occurring in muscle as it becomes meat, we examined a noninstrumental (non-Instron) method for assessing tenderness. The method involved homogenization and subcellular fractionation. We therefore, utilized striploins with less than desirable tenderness [control striploin with a high shear of 11.4 kg to hydrodynamic pressure processed (HDP) striploins with a low of 6.0 kg]. Striploins were HDP treated to make them more tender. The data showed clearly that the protein content in the nuclear (predominantly myofibrillar) fraction is linearly related to meat the tenderness of the HDP group such that there is a decline in protein going from tougher (>11.0 kg) to more tender (6.0 kg) meat. At the same time there was an inverse redistribution of proteins to the soluble fraction.