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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meats Safety & Quality Research » Research » Research Project #426481

Research Project: Water Holding Capacity Mechanisms of Meat

Location: Meats Safety & Quality Research

Project Number: 3040-31430-006-01-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2014
End Date: Apr 30, 2018

Determine the mechanisms that govern the water holding capacity of pork, and to develop analytical techniques and statistical models capable of monitoring these mechanisms.

Our research strategy for solving the challenges related to monitoring and optimisation of WHC in pork: Generate information about the individual mechanisms affecting WHC and quantify the relationship between them and the final WHC, using multivariate statistical tools generally, and multi-block methods in particular. Develop a model system using myofibrillar extracts where we will alter pH and provoke protein proteolysis and oxidation in order to study in detail the protein changes observed under these conditions. We will develop rapid and non-destructive spectroscopic tools for monitoring of the most important individual mechanisms. Candidate techniques: Fluorescence spectroscopy (e.g. for protein oxidation monitoring), FT-IR spectroscopy/microspectroscopy (e.g. for protein structure analysis) and NIR spectroscopy (e.g. for water and protein structure analysis). We will combine information about external parameters (e.g. production history, processing data etc.) with information about individual WHC mechanisms and the final WHC, in order to create a basis for optimisation of WHC.