Meat tenderness

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Tenderness is a quality of meat gauging how easily it is chewed or cut. Tenderness is a desirable quality, as tender meat is softer, easier to chew, and generally more palatable than harder meat. Conversely, tender pieces of meat generally acquire higher price than harder ones. The tenderness depends on a number of factors including the meat grain, the amount of connective tissue, and the amount of fat.[1] Tenderness can be increased by a number of processing techniques, generally referred to as tenderizing or tenderization.

Influencing factors[edit]

Tenderness is perhaps the most important of all factors impacting meat eating quality, with others being flavor, juiciness, and succulence.[2]

Tenderness is a quality complex to obtain and gauge, and it depends on a number of factors. On the basic level, meat grain, the amount and composition of connective tissue, and the amount of fat.[1] In order to obtain a tender meat, there is a complex interplay between the animal's pasture, age, species, breed, protein intake, calcium status, stress before and at killing, and how the meat is treated after slaughter.[3]

Meat with the fat content, deposited within the steak to create a marbled appearance, has always been regarded as more tender than steaks where the fat is in a separate layer.[3] Cooking causes melting of the fat, spreading it throughout the meat, and increasing the tenderness of the final product.[1]

Testing[edit]

The meat industry strives to produce meat with standardized and guaranteed tenderness, since these characteristics are sought for by the consumers.[4] For that purpose a number of objective tests of tenderness have been developed, gauging meat resistance to shear force, most commonly used being Slice Shear Force test[5] and Warner–Bratzler Shear Force test.[6]

Tenderizing[edit]

Techniques for breaking down collagens in meat to make it more palatable and tender are referred to as tenderizing or tenderization

There are a number of ways to tenderize meat:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Meat processing : Meat Qualities". Britannica. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Troy, D.J.; Kerry, J.P. (2010). "Consumer perception and the role of science in the meat industry". Meat Science. Elsevier. 86 (1): 214–226. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.05.009. Retrieved 17 Aug 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "The Meat Tenderness Debate". Natural Hub. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Luciano, F. B.; Anton, A.A; Rosa, C.F. (2007). "BIOCHEMICAL ASPECTS OF MEAT TENDERNESS: A BRIEF REVIEW" (PDF). Arch. Zootec. (56 (R): 1-8.). 
  5. ^ Shackelford, S. D.; Wheeler, Ph.D., T. L. (2009). "Slice Shear Force" (PDF). Centennial, Colorado: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association USDA-ARS. 
  6. ^ Wheeler, Tommy L.; Shackelford, Steven D.; Koohmaraie USDA-ARS, Mohammad. "Warner-Bratzler Shear Force Protocol" (PDF). U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. 
  7. ^ a b c d e McGee, Harold (2004). ON FOOD AND COOKING, The science and lore of the kitchen. Scribner. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-684-80001-1. 
  8. ^ Solomon, Morse B.; Berry, Bradford W. (June 1998). "Hydrodyne: Exploding Meat Tenderness" (PDF). Agricultural Research. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c LAROUSSE Gastronomique. Hamlyn. 2000. p. 1204. ISBN 0-600-60235-4. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]