Meat Science. What is Meat Science?. The study of the entire meat industry from the production of the animal to the preparation of the final product to the marketing of the product. Beef Lamb Rabbit Poultry Pork. Veal Venison Sea Food Wild Game Ostrich Emu. Types of Meat.
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USDA photo/Ken Hammond
Traditionally sold as sides,quarters or wholesale cuts
Now mostly sold asboxed beef
Some large packers nowprepare consumer-readymeat in vacuum packagesready for the supermarketshelf.
Genetics is a big factor.
Species and age – younger animals are more tender
Feeding – indirect effect, grain-fed animals are younger at slaughter weight
Muscle variations – amount of connective tissue affects tenderness
Suspension of carcass
Electrical stimulation improves tenderness.
Chilling rate – rapid cooling toughens meat
Aging – beef is aged for 7 to 10 days
Quality grade – age plays a big factor here
Mechanical – grinding or cubing increases tenderness
Chemical – salt or enzymes increase tenderness
Marinades – may include salt, acid, enzymes, alcohol, oil to soften collagen, increase water uptake and break down connective tissues
Freezing and thawing
Carving against the grain improves tenderness