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Texture Analysis of processed meat

A processed meat quality greatly depends on its texture, which is the result of the way animals are reared and the way the meat is processed. The texture of the meat can vary due to the highly complex structure of meat muscle tissue and the various processes the raw meat undergo such as slaughter methods, storage time, storage temperature, salting and smoking. It can also be affected by cooking time and temperature. Heat can cause a number of chemical changes associated with the meat muscle fibres and connective tissues and it can also change its water holding capacity. This will produce a much drier meat texture that is less juicy and tender. the biting action of the meat in the mouth is simulated. A meat sample is placed on the analyser test bench and the arm of the texture analyzer contains the load cell, to which a probe or fixture is attached. Depending on the type of meat sample to test, an appropriate probe/fixture is selected to deform, penetrate or cut the meat sample.

The test is conducted as two-cycle compression, using probes that apply force on the meat sample. The Warner-Bratzler test, rapid Slice Shear Force Test and Kramer shear cell can be attached to the universal testing equipment to perform specific testing. The jig in the Warner-Bratzler set can be used for slicing or shearing tests on meat products and vegetables too. For meat testing, a triangular slotted blade is used. The kramer shear cell test can be used to test the firmness of canned and reformed meat. The test includes multiple blades which allows for samples of variable geometry to be sheared.