Palatability, consumer acceptance, and ultrastructural changes of hot-processed pork infused with phosphate, salt, glucose, and potassium chloride
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Two studies were conducted to determine the effect and the feasibility of infusing an aqueous solution containing phosphates, glucose, sodium and potassium chlorides, and calcium carbonate into hot-boned pork muscle to produce a precooked, low sodium, convenience-type pork entree. The first study showed the infusion of 4% glucose, 4% sodium, 3% sodium chloride and 2% potassium chloride (GNPK) tenderized the hot-boned (HB) semimembranosus muscle cooked 2 h postmortem. Adding calcium carbonate to the GNPK solution increased the calcium content of treated muscle but had no tenderization effect on the hot-boned muscle. The results from the second study showed pork loins treated with the GNPK solution were lower in Hunter color measurements than the chops infused with distilled water (DW) or the control (NO). HB-GNPK was lowest in Hunter L, a, b values and cooking losses among the groups. SDS-PAGE electrophoretograms showed that the 30,000 dalton component, a consistent indicator of tenderness of muscle, appeared in HB-GNPK and all the CB treatments but did not appear in HB-DW or HB-NO muscles. Electron microscopy showed that the Z-lines of sarcomeres of muscles treated with GNPK were degraded, which should have made them more tender. Sensory panel rating and Warner-Bratzler shear force showed that the HB- and cold-boned (CB)-GNPK infused roasts were about 3 0% more tender than the CB-DW and CB-NO groups; they were about 43% more tender than the HB-DW and HB-NO roasts. GNPK infused groups also were rated higher in juiciness, flavor intensity and salt intensity than DW or NO groups. The HP-GNPK group contained more fat and less protein than the CB groups. Both CB- and HB-GNPK chops were rated more tender, juicier and more desirable than the other chops. CB-DW and CB-NO groups were rated not different from each other but more tender, juicier and more desirable than the HB-NO and HB-DW chops. Most (> 92.5%) consumers who evaluated the CB- or HB-GNPK chops would purchase the product if available. This study showed that the increased tenderness of HB-GNPK muscle may be due to the accelerated degradation of myofibrillar proteins and that it is feasible to infuse HB pork muscle with glucose, NaCl, pyrophosphates and KCl to produce a hot-boned, precooked, low salt, microwave ready, convenience-type pork product that is superior to the cold-boned products and accepted by consumers.