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- Coloring Pigments Found in Meat Main Page
- Myoglobin
- Hemoglobin
- Color Intensity
- Meat Color and PH
- Color Stability
- Cooked Meat Pigments
- Pinking of Uncurred Cooked Products
- Irridiscence in Processed Meat Products

Coloring Pigments Found in Meat

Meat color is important because it is the initial impression a consumer gets of a product. Color has a major impact on the purchase decision. Color is the single most important factor of meat products that influences consumer buying decision and affects their perception of the freshness of the product. Knowing the factors that affect color is important to understanding problems when they occur. Everyone dealing with meat products should have a working knowledge of the color. Color is dependent on:

  • pigment content

  • ultimate pH
  • rate of pH decline postmortem
  • physical characteristics of muscle
  • ingredients

Muscle pigments absorb certain wave lengths of light and reflect others. These pigments are:

  • Myoglobin (80 - 90% of the total pigment)
  • Hemoglobin
  • Cytochromes
  • Catalase
  • Flavins
  • Other colored substances

Main pigments are myoglobin and hemoglobin. Meat is a combination of different fiber types. These fiber types affect the perceived color of the meat product.Muscles are made up of a mixture of fiber types. The myoglobin content of each fiber type is different, contributing to the differences in color