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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1550-5. doi: 10.1021/jf802933p.

Effects of lactate on beef heart mitochondrial oxygen consumption and muscle darkening.

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Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4040, USA.


The mechanism of lactate-induced beef color darkening is unclear. Our objective was to evaluate the ability of mitochondria isolated from bovine cardiac muscle to utilize lactate as a fuel for respiration. Addition of lactate (4, 8, and 16 mM) to isolated bovine cardiac mitochondria resulted in state IV oxygen consumption at pH 7.2 and 25 degrees C measured using a Clark oxygen electrode. Combining mitochondria with lactate, LDH, and NAD increased state IV oxygen consumption compared with that of lactate alone (p < 0.05). Moreover, oxygen consumption resulting from the addition of lactate-LDH-NAD (0.2 mM each) was comparable to oxygen consumption resulting from the direct addition of NADH (0.2 mM) to mitochondria at pH 7.2. Rotenone reduced (p < 0.05) lactate-mediated darkening in bovine cardiac muscle homogenates. Lactate-induced beef color darkening may be due to increased oxygen consumption by mitochondria, which out-competes myoglobin for oxygen and results in dark colored muscle.

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