When beef sternomandibularis muscle was subjected to prolonged cooking, toughness, measured by shearing force across the grain, was reduced by about 50%. The shortened state of the muscle determined the final shear‐force value attained as in normal cooking, being considerably higher in meat at 40% shortening, than in either unshortened meat or in meat shortened by 60%. The tenderising effect of ageing was additional to that from long cooking. Ageing reduced the tensile strength of the myofibrils as measured by resistance to the shearing stresses of homogenisation. Cooking tenderising resulted from a breakdown in the collagen of the interstitial connective tissue. In cooked meat distinct linkages were shown to exist between Z‐lines of adjacent myofibrils. The mechanical strength of cooked meat is ascribed to the tensile strength of the fibrous components of muscle and these lateral linkages.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1976
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