Although the metabolic changes in muscle postmortem are essentially completed within the first day after death, additional alterations occur in some of the structural proteins of muscle. The calpain proteases are believed to be responsible for the proteolytic cleavage of several proteins including desmin, troponin T, titin, and nebu-lin. The postmortem time course of these protein changes parallels the improvement in tenderness of cooked meat. This process, termed aging, is mostly completed within the first few days in chickens, but extends over a one- to two-week period in beef.
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