Water-Holding Capacity of Fresh Meat


Water-holding capacity of fresh meat (ability to retain inherent water) is an important property of fresh meat as it affects both the yield and the quality of the end product. This characteristic can be described in several ways, but in fresh products that have not been extensively processed, it is often described as drip loss or purge. The mechanism by which drip or purge is lost from meat is influenced by both the pH of the tissue and by the amount of space in the muscle cell and particularly the myofibril that exists for water to reside. Numerous factors can affect both the rate and the amount of drip or purge that is obtained from the product. These factors can include how the product is handled and processed (number of cuts made and size of resulting meat pieces, orientation of the cuts with respect to the axis of the muscle cell, rate of temperature decline after harvest, temperature during storage and even the rate of freezing and temperature of frozen storage). Also of extreme importance is the metabolic state of the live animal at the time of harvest. This can be influenced by the genetic make-up of the animal and by the way the animal was handled. Ultimately, characteristics of the muscle in the live animal can have a Water-Holding Capacity of Fresh Meat Author Elisabeth Huff-Lonergan, Iowa State University

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@inproceedings{Lonergan2006WaterHoldingCO, title={Water-Holding Capacity of Fresh Meat}, author={Elisabeth Huff - Lonergan}, year={2006} }