La revue Viandes et produits carnés

La revue française de la recherche en viandes et produits carnés  ISSN  2555-8560

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Discoloration of veal ribs

Bone discoloration is a serious issue for the veal meat industry: storing veal ribs in a high-oxygen modified atmosphere packaging may result in bone marrow oxidation, therefore darkening the bone. This study dealt with the impact of three processing factors on bone discoloration during storage.
The cooling of the ribs (to facilitate slicing), the delay between slaughter and carcass cutting, the length of meat maturation before cutting and conditioning of the ribs were studied. Two trials were carried out: one compared two cooling methods (20 min at -25°C and 1 night at -2°C) and the other two different time intervals between slaughtering and carcass cutting (1 to 3 days) crossed with two different lengths of meat maturation before cutting and conditioning (4 to 6 days). The ribs were stored for 8 days at +2°C then 3 days at +8°C. Observations were made on days 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 after conditioning. The discoloration of the bones was determined using sensorial (a professional jury) and instrumental (Colorimeter CR 400) methods.
The results show that cooling is an important step for bone discoloration: cooling for one night at -2°C is detrimental as compared to cooling for 20 minutes at -25°C. However, increasing maturation time does not seem to have an impact: both maturation times (1 and 3 days) can be used. Increasing meat maturation from 4 to 6 days before cutting slightly discolors the bones.  
Therefore rapid cooling associated with a short maturation time should allow decreasing discoloration of bones during storage of veal ribs.

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