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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

Meat Color and pH

The rate and extent that muscle pH declines postmortem greatly affects meat color. If the pH declines to the normal pH of 5.5-5.7 within 45 min or less, the muscle will appear very pale and soft (PSE). A very low ultimate pH (<5.4) will also result in a paler color.

If the pH does not drop postmortem, the meat will be dark. The color changes observed with PSE and DFD meat are mostly due to structural changes in muscle.

  • Some of the changes are due to the rate of myoglobin oxygenation

  • The changes in pH affect the charge on the proteins making up the muscle.

  • Changes in protein charges alter the spacing between the fibres of the meat, and this affects how light is reflected and absorbed, and thus affects the visual appearance