Biochemical and physical factors affecting discoloration characteristics of 19 bovine muscles.

Research paper by D R DR McKenna, P D PD Mies, B E BE Baird, K D KD Pfeiffer, J W JW Ellebracht, J W JW Savell

Indexed on: 01 Aug '05Published on: 01 Aug '05Published in: Meat Science


Steaks from muscles (n=19 from nine beef carcasses) were evaluated over the course of retail display (0-, 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-d) for objective measures of discoloration (metmyoglobin, oxymyoglobin, L*-, a*-, and b*-values), reducing ability (metmyoglobin reductase activity (MRA), resistance to induced metmyoglobin formation (RIMF), and nitric oxide metmyoglobin reducing ability (NORA)), oxygen consumption rate (OCR), oxygen penetration depth, myoglobin content, oxidative rancidity, and pH. Muscles were grouped according to objective color measures of discoloration. M. longissimus lumborum, M. longissimus thoracis, M. semitendinosus, and M. tensor fasciae latae were grouped as "high" color stability muscles, M. semimembranosus, M. rectus femoris, and M. vastus lateralis were grouped as "moderate" color stability muscles, M. trapezius, M. gluteus medius, and M. latissimus dorsi were grouped as "intermediate" color stability muscles, M. triceps brachi - long head, M. biceps femoris, M. pectoralis profundus, M. adductor, M. triceps brachi - lateral head, and M. serratus ventralis were grouped as "low" color stability muscles, and M. supraspinatus, M. infraspinatus, and M. psoas major were grouped as "very low" color stability muscles. Generally, muscles of high color stability had high RIMF, nitric oxide reducing ability, and oxygen penetration depth and possessed low OCRs, myoglobin content, and oxidative rancidity. In contrast, muscles of low color stability had high MRA, OCRs, myoglobin content, and oxidative rancidity and low RIMF, NORA, and oxygen penetration depth. Data indicate that discoloration differences between muscles are related to the amount of reducing activity relative to the OCR.