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Meat Sci. 1995;39(1):127-33.

Structural weakening of intramuscular connective tissue during conditioning of beef.

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Meat Science Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


The structural changes in intramuscular connective tissues endomysium and perimysium during conditioning of beef were investigated using an improved technique of scanning electron microscopy. In beef conditioned for 28 days of 4°C, the endomysium resolved into individual collagen fibrils and the thick sheets of perimysium separated into collagen fibres of 4-8 μm in diameter. These results provide direct evidence for the structural weakening of endomysium and perimysium during conditioning. The structural changes in the intramuscular connective tissue were minimal until 10 days post mortem, but clearly observable after 14 days post mortem. Therefore, it is concluded that intramuscular connective tissue shows the effect on tenderisation of extended conditioning (2-4 weeks) of beef.


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