BACKGROUND: Strips can be easily peeled from raw destructured pork (M. semimembranosus, SM muscle) by hand but in normal meat these strips break. In general, destructured meat is pale in color. Porcine SM muscles have thick muscle fibers which could predispose them to destructuration. This study investigated whether the onset and peak temperatures of thermal shrinkage (To and Tp) of intramuscular connective tissue from SM muscles were associated with muscle fiber thickness, capillary density or extracellular space. We also investigated whether these muscle fiber properties of destructured muscles differed from those of normal muscles.
RESULTS: The destructured and normal muscles were similar in muscle fiber cross-sectional area, capillary density, extracellular space and sarcomere length. To correlated negatively with sarcomere length. The water content of differential scanning calorimetry samples consisting of intramuscular connective tissue was higher in destructured muscles than in normal muscles.
CONCLUSION: Muscle fiber properties (muscle fiber cross-sectional area and sarcomere length) and capillary density are similar in destructured and normal SM muscles. To and Tp of intramuscular connective tissue are similar in destructured and normal muscles. Muscle fiber properties show no association with the thermal shrinkage properties of intramuscular connective tissue. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry