shubhajit sarkhel Bengaluru India
Innovative Meat tenderization techniques in Food(Meat)processing Industries
Hey, there today I am going to tell about an interesting story regarding Meat tenderization. Now, what is Meat tenderness? Why we are doing this? Well Meat tenderness is recognized as the most important quality trait determining eating quality, and many interventions have been developed in the meat industry to improve the tenderness of low-value muscles and to ensure the consistent tenderness of high-value muscles.It is an important quality parameter determining consumer acceptance and price. Different methods like biological, chemical and mechanical tenderization methods can be used by the meat industry to improve meat tenderness each with its advantages and drawbacks.
Now What is the chemistry behind it? So first you have to know about what is Meat toughness?
Meat toughness depends on three main components: (1) sarcomere length, (2) extent of proteolysis of the myofibrillar proteins and (3) physical phenotype of the muscle and also connective tissue content, composition, genetic and environmental effect. The relative contribution of these three components to the ultimate meat tenderness varies with muscle type, animal, pre- and post-slaughter factors as well as duration and temperature at which the product is stored post-mortem.
There are different types of meat tenderization technique as per my research but unfortunately, they are difficult to implement due to high inhomogeneity of cattle and high processing cost in terms of time and energy (14–21 days of maturation). An alternative would be to influence the “background toughness”.
Here come the innovative techniques that are used now a day in some Industries. Shockwave or hydrodynamic pressure processing (HDP) technology emerged as an alternative method to tenderize meat in the early seventies but the implementation in the industry has been very limited. It is the application of high pressure waves up to 1 GPa in fractions of milliseconds. A shockwave is instantaneously generated and is characterized by the intensity achieved (pressure level) and its propagation along the time continuum (rise time). The shockwave propagates through the surrounding medium with high-energy momentum at speeds greater than the speed of sound. It travels rapidly through the fluids (water) and any objects that are an acoustical match with water. Since meat is composed of 75% water, the pressure wave crosses the meat and at points where acoustic impedances differ, an energy momentum transfer occurs, which in turn creates mechanical stress that tears the muscle structure. This produces called a “rupture effect,” and, as a result, the meat is instantaneously softened and an accelerated maturation of the meat has also been observed. Shockwave technology applied to meat tenderization represents a Low-cost and non-invasive technique which has no negative impact on the microbiological and chemical product stability. It has showed outstanding improvements by reducing the Warner-Bratzler Shear Force by 25% or more. Which means the meat after processing will be very good in quality, juicier and easily palatable for consumers.
Now HPP can be an another alternative novel technology can be used for industries as per my opinion. High hydrostatic pressure is applied statically to a product by means of a liquid transmitter. HPP influences both the structure and function of proteins.HPP modifies only noncovalent bonds and does not affect small flavour molecules or vitamins, therefore, HPP can be used to treat food without affecting nutritional quality, provided extensive heat is not used. In contrast, heat affects hydrogen and covalent bonds and thus results in both unfolding and irreversible denaturation of proteins. HPP can be applied either at ambient temperatures, or in combination with thermal treatment. HPP affects protein conformation and can lead to denaturation, aggregation, and gelation.
However, commercial application is not yet available until existing limitations, such as damage to packaging material during processing, as well as inefficient shockwave or high pressure delivery in an industrial-sized continuous prototype, are overcome. Once this is realized, this two method will produce remarkable improvements in meat tenderness within a very short treatment time and with low processing costs.