Food Structure


Study of structure of muscle provides information on the location and arrangement of various components and the changes which may be inflicted upon them. The structura l features of muscle have been descr ibed in detail down to the molecular level, but rega rding its use as a food, special interest centers on the connective tissue component and on myofibri llar proteins . Muscle comprises about 1/3 of the live weight of the a ni mal and is not static , but rather is subject to major changes in properties associated with growth, repair and se nescence. It is apparent that the nervous and hormona l systemsexert a stro ng influence on the properties of muscle and greut potential exists for regulation of muscle via control of these systems. Major advancement has been made in relati ng properties of meat to state of contraction, and current effort is centered on relating properties of meat to changes resulting from post -mortem degradation of muscle proteins. The microstructure of emulsions has been described with interest concentrated on the protein membrane surrounding the 1 ipid globules, but as of yet, utilizat i on of this information by the industry has not occurred. The challenge for the future is to utilize the enormous amount of structural information known about muscle to improve its use as a food.

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