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Open AccessArticle

Changes in Physical Meat Traits, Protein Solubility, and the Microstructure of Different Beef Muscles during Post-Mortem Aging

Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Foods 2020, 9(6), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060806
Received: 19 April 2020 / Revised: 11 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
This study was performed to compare the differences in pH, myofibril fragmentation index (MFI), total protein solubility (TPS), sarcoplasmic protein solubility (SPS), myofibrillar protein solubility (MPS), and the microstructure of seven beef muscles during aging. From the six beef carcasses of Xinjiang brown cattle, a total of 252 samples from semitendinosus (ST), longissimus thoracis (LT), rhomboideus (RH), gastrocnemius (GN), infraspinatus (IN), psoas major (PM), and biceps femoris (BF) muscles were collected, portioned, and assigned to six aging periods (1, 3, 7, 9, 11, and 14 day/s) and 42 samples were used per storage period. IN muscle showed the highest pH (p < 0.05) from 1 to 14 days and the lowest TPS (p < 0.01) from 9 to 14 days with respect to the other muscles. Moreover, the changes in IN were further supported by transmission electron microscopy due to the destruction of the myofibril structure. The highest value of MFI was tested in ST muscle from 7 to 14 days. The total protein solubility in PM, RH, and GN muscles were not affected (p > 0.05) as the aging period increased. The lowest TPS was found in the RH muscle on day 1, 3, and 7 and in the IN muscle on day 9, 11, and 14. The pH showed negative correlations with the MFI, TPS, and MPS (p < 0.01). The results suggest that changes in protein solubility and muscle fiber structure are related to muscle location in the carcass during aging. These results provide new insights to optimize the processing and storage of different beef muscles and enhance our understanding of the biological characteristics of Xinjiang brown cattle muscles. View Full-Text
Keywords: beef muscle; protein solubility; myofibril fragmentation; microstructure; aging beef muscle; protein solubility; myofibril fragmentation; microstructure; aging
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Feng, Y.-H.; Zhang, S.-S.; Sun, B.-Z.; Xie, P.; Wen, K.-X.; Xu, C.-C. Changes in Physical Meat Traits, Protein Solubility, and the Microstructure of Different Beef Muscles during Post-Mortem Aging. Foods 2020, 9, 806.

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