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Meat Sci. 2003 Nov;65(3):967-72. doi: 10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00312-1.

Staged injection marination with calcium lactate, phosphate and salt may improve beef water-binding ability and palatability traits.

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Department of Animal Sciences & Industry, Kansas State University, 249 Weber Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


Semitendinosus and longissimus muscles from USDA Select carcasses were used to investigate the effects of staged injection of calcium lactate followed by phosphate and salt (PS) on water-binding ability and palatability traits. Calcium lactate (0.2 M) and PS (8.4% and 4.2%, respectively) were sequentially injected (5.5% by weight) into muscles with 0, 1, 3, or 5 h holding time between injections. Treatments also included a double pump of 0.1 M calcium lactate with 0 h holding time between injections and a non-marinated control. Injection of calcium lactate and PS increased (P<0.05) pumped yield and decreased (P<0.05) expressible moisture values compared to calcium lactate injection only. No differences in peak force, total energy, or myofibrillar fragmentation index were observed among marination treatments for either muscle; however, longissimus tenderness was unusually high. Trained-panel evaluation of sensory traits did not differ for the semitendinosus muscle. Staged injection of calcium lactate and PS improved (P<0.05) myofibrillar and overall sensory tenderness scores of longissimus muscle over those of the non-marinated control. However, beef flavor intensity scores were lowered (P<0.05) by addition of PS. Holding time between injections did not appear to consistently influence water-binding ability or palatability traits. These data suggest that separate solutions of calcium lactate and PS may be injected into longissimus muscle to improve water-binding ability and palatability traits.

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