• Ageing is the holding of carcasses just above its freezing point so as to obviate microbial spoilage, and this process is accompanied by an enhancement in tenderness and flavour of meat.
  • The enhancement in flavour is mainly attributed to inosine(inosine monophosphate), a breakdown product of ATP(adenosine monophosphate).
  • The breakdown of protein and fat during ageing resulting in formation of hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, actaldehyde, acetone, and di-acetyl and an increase in free amino acids also adds to the development of characteristic meat flavour.
  • The improvement in tenderness is on account of the subtle proteolytis that take place in the cytoskeletal proteins.
  • Calpains are causally responsible for the proteolysis associated with ageing, which brings about the tenderness associated with ageing
  • Ageing period in different species of food animals
    • Cattle : 14 days
    • Sheep and Goats : 7 days
    • Pigs : 5 days
    • Chicken : 2 days
  • Techniques commonly adopted to decrease ageing periods include electrical stimulation of carcasses (should be within half an hour of slaughter, to be effective); Calcium chloride infusion into carcasses or injection into meat
Last modified: Friday, 23 December 2011, 12:10 PM