Color and Heat Denaturation of Myoglobin Forms in Ground Beef


  • Contribution No. 99-211-J from the Kansas Agr. Exp. Station, Manhattan, KS 66506. The technical assistance of Rae Jean Hunt and Trine Ludvigsen is gratefully acknowledged.

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To determine the effects of myoglobin forms on internal cooked color in ground beef, patties containing predominantly deoxy-(DMb), oxy-(OMb), or metmyoglobin (MMb) were cooked to 55, 65, or 75 °C. Only patties with DMb appeared red and undercooked at 55 °C, and their color became progressively more brown at 65 and 75 °C. Patties with OMb and MMb were brown at 55 °C and could be mistakenly perceived as being cooked enough to consume. Judging the doneness of ground beef using internal cooked color alone would be valid only if the pigment at time of cooking was predominantly DMb. In model studies, DMb had greater thermal stability than MMb especially at higher pH.