Muscle structure and water retention in fresh and cooked meat products

Raw meat is cooked to achieve a palatable and safe product. However, meat shrinks upon cooking due to protein denaturation which results in reduced yield by loss of liquid (cook loss). The moisture content of meat is also linked to the perceived juiciness by consumers.

The objectives of this project were to determine the underlying structural events that cause shrinkage of beef upon cooking, resulting in reduced yield by the loss of liquid, and investigate interventions to manipulate/minimise this.