Cooking And Meat Tenderness Meat Tenderness Texture

For consumers, the most important eating quality for meat is tenderness, which is generally rated on a consumer scale where high values are good. If the meat is evaluated by an instrument, the concept of tenderness is reflected in shear force values, where the lower it is, the better the meat. The word tenderness, however, does not completely describe the quality attribute, because various processed meats such as frankfurters are tender, yet do not have the texture associated with whole tissue meats. The tenderness/texture quality, a rather individual characteristic, is governed by a complex relationship between the myofibrillar structure and connective tissue structure, the response to which in turn is probably modified by associated juiciness parameters arising from fat and retained water. As a broad generalization, tenderness is more closely allied to myofibrillar factors, and texture is related to the connective tissue components. Texture is often noticed as the wad of tissue that remains after chewing. Ideally, to make a proper appraisal of meat, trained taste panels should always be used, but this is generally not feasible. An objective measuring device such as a tenderometer to measure the shear force is therefore desirable. It should be remembered, however, that many tenderometers measure only myofibrillar tenderness components to any degree of accuracy, although the measurements are influenced by extreme connective tissue variations. To some extent, texture issues are of lesser importance in cuts used for grillings, as only low connective tissue cuts are used.

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