Evaluation of Solubilized Proteins as an Alternative to Phosphates for Meat Enhancement



ABSTRACT:  Select grade strip loins (n= 10) were enhanced 10% with either a phosphate or an acid solubilized protein solution. Color score, aerobic plate count, lipid oxidation, purge loss, cook yield, Warner–Bratzler shear force, and sensory analysis were measured to characterize storage quality. The phosphate injection consisted of 4.5% phosphate, 3.6% sodium chloride, 90.9% water, and 1% Herbalox seasoning. Two solutions were prepared for the protein injection: one consisting of 1:9 protein to water and the other an aqueous solution of 1% Herbalox seasoning and 3.6% sodium chloride. Enhancement solutions were injected twice at 5% to create a 10% total injection. It was found that the protein-enhanced steaks were comparable to phosphate-enhanced steaks for percent discoloration and overall acceptability. The phosphate-enhanced steaks performed better than the protein-enhanced steaks for lean color, fat color, aerobic plate count, lipid oxidation, percent purge, cook yield, and Warner–Bratzler shear force. It should be noted that for protein-enhanced steaks, lean color and cook yield, although statistically different, did perform similar to phosphate-enhanced steaks.