Principles Of Meat Science

The major principle of meat science discussed in this chapter is that shortened muscle will be tough when cooked. Meat can age and become more tender, with the aging factors being affected by the amount of shortening and conditions at rigor. This gives rise to a second principle that, since shortening and degree of aging cannot be determined visually, the appearance of a piece of fresh meat cannot predict how tender or tasty it will be. The consequence of these two principles is that the consumer has to have faith that the meat has been processed properly. Such faith is often misplaced. The ultimate aim of meat science is to develop and encourage procedures in the production and processing of animals so that the full potential of tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, as well as good hygiene, can be achieved.

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