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Impact of Freezing and Thawing on Meat Quality

19 April 2012

A comprehensive review conducted by researchers at the Department of Food Science and the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa looked at the effects of freezing and thawing on the physical quality parameters of meat.

The research team, Coleen Leygonie, Trevor J. Britz and Louwrens C. Hoffman, found that the formation of ice crystals during freezing damages the ultrastructure and concentrates the solutes in the meat.

This, in turn, leads to alterations in the biochemical reactions that occur at the cellular level and influence the physical quality parameters of the meat.

The quality parameters that were evaluated in the study that is published in Meat Science were moisture loss, protein denaturation, lipid and protein oxidation, colour, pH, shear force and microbial spoilage.

The researchers also looked at the mechanisms employed to mitigate the effects of freezing and thawing.

These included the use of novel methods of freezing and thawing, ante and post mortem antifreeze protein inclusion and vitamin E supplementation, brine injection and modified atmospheric packaging.

The resarch team said that future research is required to improve mitigation mechanisms.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.
April 2012

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