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Food Chem. 2012 Oct 15;134(4):1738-44. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.03.118. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Tenderization effect of cold-adapted collagenolytic protease MCP-01 on beef meat at low temperature and its mechanism.

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State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Marine Biotechnology Research Center, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.


The enzymes currently used to increase meat tenderness are all mesophilic or thermophilic proteases. This study provides insight into the tenderization effect and the mechanism of a cold-adapted collagenolytic enzyme MCP-01 on beef meat at low temperatures. MCP-01 (10 U of caseinolytic activity) reduced the meat shear force by 23% and increased the relative myofibrillar fragmentation index of the meat by 91.7% at 4 °C, and it also kept the fresh colour and moisture of the meat. Compared to the commercially used tenderizers papain and bromelain, MCP-01 showed a unique tenderization mechanism. MCP-01 had a strong selectivity for degrading collagen at 4 °C, showed a distinct digestion pattern on the myofibrillar proteins, and had a different disruption pattern on the muscle fibres under scanning electron micrograph. These results suggest that the cold-adapted collagenolytic protease MCP-01 may be promising for use as a meat tenderizer at low and moderate temperatures.

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