Food Structure


The microstructure and stability of raw meat batters treated with five chemical agents were investigated by electron and light microscopy. Six batters were made with NaCI (2.5%). five of which were treated with either hydrogen peroxide (H,O,), B- mercaptoethanol (B-ME), ethylenediamine- tetraacetic acid (EDTA), urea or Tween 80. The Tween 80 treatment produced a highly unstable raw batter with significant (P > 0.05) fat and water losses. None of the other treatments produced an unstable raw batter.

Microstructural examination revealed that, except for Tween 80, the chemically-treated raw batters were stable and showed some similarity to the control in their microstructure although they had distinctive differences between themselves. The H,O, and ~-ME batters differed in their microstructure. This appeared to reflect the differing levels of disulphide bonds present in these batters. The EDTA-treated batter had a very discontinuous matrix but contained stable fat globules surrounded by an interfacial protein film (IPF). The ureatreated batter showed a good fat globule distribution in a cohesive matrix, while Tween 80 resulted in a highly aggregated matrix and widespread fat globule destabilization. Very little of the fat present in the raw batters of this treatment was localized within an IPF.

The results suggest that hydrophobic interactions are important in raw batter gelation. The findings further indicate that non-protein emulsifiers may act mainly by blocking the adsorption of meat proteins to the fat surface to form an IPF and that IPF formation is the major mechanism by which fat is stabilized within meat batters.

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