Chemical Changes In Chilled Meat


  • There is a slight degree of breakdown of muscle protein by endogenous enzymes or by those of the microorganisms, which is due to the chemical changes that take place after slaughter.
  • The meat odour becomes progressively more marked but never disagreeable, the flavour may be described as stale, rendering the meat unpalatable but not repulsive.
  • The storage life of meat is more dependent on the chemical changes that take place in fat rather than in muscle, for fat rancidity even in slight degree is objectionable.
  • The condition of the fat therefore determines the length of storage.
  • While the lean muscle of a carcass may be still improving in flavour; the changes in fat may render the meat repugnant and unmarketable.
  • Rancidity is most likely in the kidney fat and in hot weather; the retail butcher removes the kidneys and fat of home killed beef soon after slaughter.
  • In EEC approved plants these are always removed prior to weighing.
Last modified: Wednesday, 13 April 2011, 3:57 PM