Submitted to: Annual Meeting of Research and Development for Military Food & Packaging
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 11, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Achieving consistently tender meat has been the objective of numerous research studies over the past 50 years. The Hydrodyne process has been previously shown to be effective in tenderizing meat. This process uses a small amount of explosive to generate a shock wave in water containing vacuum-packaged meat. Tenderness improvements are the result of rupture of tissue in the interior of muscle fibers. The U.S. Department of Defense continually tries to reduce costs in purchasing meat by obtaining lower grade, but often less tender meat. This paper outlines approaches to be taken in a research study to improve not only tenderness in military meat items but also properties and procedures of freeze drying, rehydration, restructuring, emulsification, marination, high temperature processing and oxidation. The Hydrodyne process offers the military the opportunity of improving various properties of meat products while reducing cost.
Technical Abstract: Providing consistently tender meat is a high priority goal of the animal and meat industry. The Hydrodyne process is a revolutionary new system for tenderizing meat. The process uses a small amount of high energy explosive to generate a supersonic-hydrodynamic shock wave in a tank of water containing vacuum packaged meat. The shock wave, which occurs in fractions of a second, passes through objects in the water that are an acoustical match with water. Transmission electron microscopy of myofibrils has provided evidence that tenderization from the Hydrodyne process is probably due to physical disruptions in areas adjacent to Z lines and disappearance of the I band region. Improvements in tenderness as determined by shear force measurements have been as high as 76 percent (beef), 33 percent (pork) and 66 percent (lamb). The tougher the muscle initially, the greater the magnitude of tenderness improvement. Tenderness and texture problems can appear in military meat products due to high temperature processing, individual meal portion packaging and prolonged storage before consumption. Studies with the military using Hydrodyne technology will include: (1) use of lower grade muscles for cost reduction, (2) restructured, freeze dried and rehydrated products, (3) use of high thermal processing, (4) marination, and (5) effects on lipid oxidation and storage life. Studies will also consider the application of the Hydrodyne process on bacterial reduction and color stability.