Oxidative Processes in Muscle Systems and Fresh Meat: Sources, Markers, and Remedies

Authors


Direct inquiries to author Bekhit (E-mail: aladin.bekhit@otago.ac.nz).

Abstract

Oxidation of meat occurs under postmortem conditions and is inevitable. This oxidation includes the biochemical changes in meat leading to changes in color pigments and lipids. As a consequence, color deteriorates, and undesirable flavors and rancidity develop in meat thereby impacting on consumer appeal and satisfaction. Across carcasses, there is variation in the rate at which muscle undergoes chemical reactions under postmortem conditions that reflect inherent variation at the biochemical level. It is expected that this underlying biochemical variation will be reflected in living muscle through oxidative processes. The oxidative process of muscle tissues will vary according to an animal's immunity status, temperament, and ability to cope with stress, with all these affected by nutrition, genetics, management practices, and environmental conditions (hot and cold seasons). Identification of biomarkers that indicate the oxidative status levels of animals or muscle tissues in vivo could provide insight as to how the muscle will respond to the anoxic conditions that produce undesirable results in meat. This review outlines the potential use of 1 group of biomarkers, the isoprostanes, in the context of complex biochemical reactions relating to oxidative processes that take place in the biological systems of live animals (in vivo) and subsequently in meat (in vitro).

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