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Effect of Pulsed Electric Field Treatment on Hot-boned Beef

28 March 2015

Electric pulse treatment to some hot boned beef muscles can make the meat more tender.

However, research has also shown that increased frequency on other muscles makes them tougher.

Research from the University of Otago and the Department of Primary Industries in New Zealand looked at the effect of pulsed electric field treatment on hot-boned muscles of different potential tenderness.

The research by Via Suwandy, Alan Carne, Remy van de Ven, Alaa El-Din A. Bekhit and David L. Hopkins investigated the effect of pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment and ageing on the quality of beef M.longissimus lumborum (LL) and M. semimembranosus (SM) muscles.

Muscles were obtained from 12 steers - six steers for each muscle.

The muscles were removed from the carcases four hours after slaughter and were treated with pulsed electric field within two hours.

Six different pulsed electric field intensities with voltages of 5kV and 10 kV and frequencies of 20Hz, 50Hz and 90Hz, plus a control were applied to each muscle to determine the optimum treatment conditions.

Beef from the M.longissimus lumborum was found to get tougher with increasing treatment frequency.

However, the beef from the M. semimembranosus muscle was found to have up to 21.6 per cent reduction in the shear force with pulsed electric field treatment.

Low PEF increased post-mortem proteolysis during chilled ageing.

It showed an increase in both troponin and desmin degradation in beef from the M.longissimus lumborum treated with low intensity PEF treatment at 20 Hz compared to non-treated control samples.

The research is published in the July edition of Meat Science.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

March 2015

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