ABSTRACT: Dialdehyde starch (DAS) was added to pork ham batter. The effects of DAS on the meat protein gel during heating were investigated using thermal and rheological analyses. In this study, the degree of DAS oxidation was controlled by the reaction time. The DSC thermogram showed that increasing the degree of oxidation resulted in DAS having a higher gelatinization temperature and lower heat absorption. In dialdehyde starch/meat (DAS/M) composites, meat protein reduced the availability of water to starch and raised the gelatinization temperature and heat absorbed by the composites. The G′max of the composites was greater than the linear combination of their components. The rheological properties of DAS were a major factor affecting the properties of its composites. Scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy with the aid of histologic technique revealed the network and distribution of DAS and DAS/M composites. The protein matrix formed the backbone of the network and gelatinized starch was trapped in the protein structure.