The effects of salt and bicarbonate solution on overall meat quality in beef biceps femoris muscle were investigated with the application of chilling and freezing conditions. Muscles were injected to a target of 120% of original meat weight with a solution containing 1.2 M sodium chloride, 0.25 M sodium bicarbonate and 0.1% ascorbic acid (pH 7.2). Half of the meat samples, considered as chill treatment and chill control, were stored at 4°C up to five days; while the other half, frozen treatment and frozen control, were kept in a freezer at -20°C for seven days. Compared with untreated control, treated meats had higher water holding capacity (p<0.05), lower drip loss (p<0.05) and lower shear force (p<0.07) with higher overall acceptability (p<0.05) in sensory evaluation. Morphological observations demonstrated smooth and gummy meat surface due to the solubilization of myofibrillar proteins and the distortion of connective tissue in treated raw meats; and in the case of cooked meat, treatment caused the fragmentation of myofibrils, which might be responsible for a lower shear value in salt-bicarbonate treated beef biceps femoris muscle.
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