Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Animal Science
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 26, 2006
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A variety of techniques has been designed and evaluated for tenderizing meat over the years. These techniques, applied individually or in combination, have included tenderizing enzymes, extended refrigerated aging, temperature conditioning, carcass electrical stimulations, vertebral column or pelvic separation, alternative carcass suspensions, and pressure-heat treatments. However, these techniques are not without problems and concerns. This book chapter reviews results from various studies evaluating the use of hydrodynamic pressure processing (HDP) to tenderize meat. The HDP process has been shown to be very effective at improving meat tenderness in a variety of meat cuts and from a variety of species. When compared to conventional aging for tenderization, HDP was more effective.
Technical Abstract: The hydrodynamic pressure process (HDP) has been shown to be very effective at improving meat tenderness in a variety of meat cuts. When compared to conventional aging for tenderization, HDP was more effective. Tenderization occurs in fractions of a millisecond. When energy, space, and labor costs are considered for aging meat with or without additional postmortem tenderization treatments, the HDP process may offer the meat industry a new alternative for tenderizing meat. Although the effectiveness of the HDP process has been repeatedly demonstrated in beef, pork, lamb and poultry, the commercialization has been hampered by four technical problems: safety, throughput, packaging, and performance. Aside from the obvious safety concerns when using explosives, the use of explosives necessitates a type of batch processing system that is incompatible with the high throughput of most modern meat processing plants. Meat has to be vacuum packaged and all the air removed from each package to prevent rupturing or tearing during the HDP process. The vacuum packaging material for the HDP process must be robust enough to withstand the brisance or shattering power of the explosive. Before these issues can be resolved to develop a successful commercialized system, further understanding of how to maximize the shock wave properties and the effects of the shock waves on the muscle system must be determined.