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Abstract

Consumers rely heavily on fresh meat color as an indicator of wholesomeness at the point of sale, whereas cooked color is exploited as an indicator of doneness at the point of consumption. Deviations from the bright cherry-red color of fresh meat lead to product rejection and revenue loss. Myoglobin is the sarcoplasmic heme protein primarily responsible for the meat color, and the chemistry of myoglobin is species specific. The mechanistic interactions between myoglobin and multiple extrinsic and intrinsic factors govern the color of raw as well as cooked meats. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current research in meat color and how the findings are applied in the meat industry. Characterizing the fundamental basis of myoglobin's interactions with biomolecules in postmortem skeletal muscles is necessary to interpret the chemistry of meat color phenomena and to engineer innovative processing strategies to minimize meat discoloration–induced revenue loss to the agricultural economy.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-food-030212-182623
2013-02-28
2024-04-21
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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