Friday, April 23, 2021

Meat texture

The quality of meat is determined by a number of factors that affect palatability (tenderness, juiciness and flavor). Texture is one of the most important characteristics of meat. It is a feature that can be defined by certain homogeneous properties which are detected by human senses relating to vision, hearing, somesthesis and kinesthesis.

Meat juiciness plays a key role in meat texture, probably contributing to its variability. Juiciness means the amount of juice “liberated” during chewing the meat.

Properties of beef texture include both initial (first bite with incisors) and overall tenderness (after multiple chews) as well as more complex sensory attributes of chewing and mouthfeel with multiple descriptors such as fiber cohesiveness, adhesion, friability, chew count, mealiness, mushiness, softness, amount of residual connective tissue, rubberiness, and hardness.

The tenderness of cooked meat will be largely influenced by connective tissue and myofibrillar components. This is because during heating, a number of chemical changes associated with the muscle fibers and connective tissues occur.

The textural properties of meat are often adapted by food processing, where the aim is often to make the structure of meat, and food in general, more delicate and easier to chew.

The most common method to measure meat texture, the Warner–Bratzler shear force, uses a standardized blade, but has many other unstandardized aspects that limit absolute comparisons of results. Warner-Bratzler Fixtures measure the force required to cut through a piece of meat. The fixture consists of a steel frame supporting a triangular shear blade. This test measures the maximum force as a function of knife movement and the compression to shear (cut off) a sample of meat. The result of this measurement shows the hardness (toughness) of meat.
Meat texture

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