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Meat Sci. 2008 Jun;79(2):270-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.09.010. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Water-soluble precursors of beef flavour. Part II: Effect of post-mortem conditioning.

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Department of Food Biosciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AP, UK.


Changes in glycolytic metabolites, nucleotide degradation products, free amino acids and other amino compounds were monitored in beef muscle (M. longissimus lumborum), stored for 21days at 4°C, in order to evaluate how post-mortem conditioning may affect flavour formation in beef. The major effects observed in sugar-related substances were the dephosphorylation of the phosphates of glucose, fructose and mannose, to yield their free sugars, as well as the breakdown of inosine 5'-monophosphate, to give a sixfold increase in ribose. Total reducing sugars increased by only 15% during conditioning, while glycogen levels remained unchanged from 2days post-slaughter. Free amino acids increased during conditioning, particularly between days 7 and 14. Phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, leucine and isoleucine were the amino acids showing the greatest increase with conditioning time, with methionine, in particular, showing a sevenfold increase during the conditioning period. The effects of these precursor changes on cooked beef flavour are discussed.

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