Title

Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Meat / Color and Pigment

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences

Volume

1

Editor

Werner K. Jensen, Carrick Devine and Michael Dikeman

Publisher

Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication Date

2004

First Page

249

Last Page

256

Abstract

Color is an important quality trait influencing consumers' meat purchase decisions. Myoglobin is the sarcoplasmic heme protein primarily responsible for the color of meat. The biochemistry of globin chain, redox state of heme iron, and the ligand bound to the sixth coordinate of heme iron govern the color of raw, cooked, and cured meats. Furthermore, the amino acid sequence of myoglobin influences its interactions with small biomolecules and biochemical attributes such as autoxidation, heme retention, thermostability, and oxygen affinity. Meat industry exploits packaging and antioxidant strategies to manipulate myoglobin chemistry and thus improve the meat color.

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