Effects of a unique freezing technology on shelf life and quality of variety meats
Parker, Jay David
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The effects of a Unique Freezing Technology (UFT) and conventional (CON) chilling methods on shelf life and quality of variety meats were studied. Objectives of this study were to determine if freezing/chilling treatments, storage temperature, and aging period affected shelf life and quality attributes of variety meats. Livers, tongues, honeycomb tripe, and small intestines (n = 128 each) were collected from a major slaughter facility. Variety meats were divided into UFT and conventional chill treatments. Variety meats were assigned either freezing or chilling treatments. After chilling/freezing treatments were received, variety meats were separated into -4°C and 2°C storage for appropriate aging periods. Once appropriate aging period was achieved, variety meats were evaluated for purge loss percent, off-odor, drip loss percent, water-holding capacity, and proximate analysis. Retail display data was also collected on livers and tongues. Statistical analysis for purge loss percent, off-odor, drip loss percent, water-holding capacity, and proximate analysis were analyzed using the general linear models procedures (PROC GLM) of SAS. Retail shelf life data were analyzed as a repeated measures design through the mixed procedures (PROC MIXED) of SAS. Identification was coded as a repeated measures. Results indicated that UFT 0 tongue (p = .0061) and liver (p < .0001) had lower purge loss percentages when compared to conventional methods when stored at -4°C. UFT 0 intestines (p = .0182) and UFT 4 livers had higher, more desirable odor scores when compared to conventional methods stored at -4°C. Drip loss percentages were lower for UFT 0 liver (p = .0498) and tongue (p = .0108) treatment groups stored at 2°C when compared to conventional methods while UFT 0 (.0095) and UFT 4 (p = .0397) tongue treatment groups also had lower drip loss percentages when compared to conventional methods stored at -4°C. UFT 4 treatment groups stored at 2°C had lower free water percentages and higher bound and immobilized percentages for livers (p = .0117) and tongues (p = .0208) when compared to conventional methods. UFT 0 treatments showed no overall effect on free, bound, or immobilized water when compared to conventional methods. UFT 0 livers had increased moisture percentages when compared to conventional methods stored at -4°C (p = .0497). UFT 4 livers had lower color scores (p < .0001) when compared to conventional methods stored at -4°C while UFT 0 tongues had higher color scores (p = .0434) when compared to conventional methods. Results repeatedly indicated use of UFT to freeze products combined with storage at or below -4°C improved product quality or had minimal negative effects when compared to conventional methods.