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Ultimate pH Level of Beef Plays Critical Role in Tenderness

21 September 2014

The ultimate pH level of beef plays a critical role in the degradation of large structural proteins in the muscle and has a strong effect of the tenderness of the meat.

 

In a study from ANZCO Foods Ltd in New Zealand the effect on meat tenderness of beef ultimate pH and large structural protein changes through aging was studied.

The research team of G. Wu, M.M. Farouk, S. Clerens and K. Rosenvold found that the degradation of titin, nebulin, filamin and myosin is related to meat tenderness.

The study investigated the effect of ultimate pH (pHu) in beef on the degradation of large structural proteins during refrigerated storage using SDS-PAGE.

M. longissimus dorsi from bull carcases were selected and classified into three groups: low pHu (≤ 5.79), intermediate pHu (5.80–6.19) and high pHu (≥ 6.2) muscles.

Samples were then stored at − 1.5 °C for 1, 2, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days.

Meat tenderness was measured at each aging time.

Depending on the ultimate pH of the meat, different protein patterns and degradation rates of structural proteins were found.

Rapid changes of large structural proteins took place within 48 h post mortem. Besides titin and nebulin, degradation of filamin was clearly revealed.

Two more large protein bands corresponding to myosin family members also exhibited fast decline with storage time.

It suggested that the fast degradation of these proteins is a key factor in the improvement of meat tenderness

The research team found that the ultimate pH of the beef plays a critical role in the degradation of large structural proteins.

They said that he degradation profiles were substantially different between the ultimate pH muscle groups and fast degradation of large structural proteins is a key factor in meat quality.

The study is published in the December issue of Meat Science.

Further Reading

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September 2014

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