The overall goal of this project is to enable more rapid product development, improved process design, better control of product quality, more effective use of equipment, and improved economic returns for the largest sector of the U.S. food industry. <P>The objectives are: To quantitatively visualize, at the cellular level, the transport processes involved during marination; to develop a mathematical model for the coupled transport mechanisms occurring during marination; to validate the model via laboratory- and pilot-scale; and to evaluate the impact of heat stress on turkey meat quality and to correlate the quality indices with the genetic properties to commercial turkeys.<P> Scholarly analyses of project outcomes will result in presentations at national meetings (e.g., the Institute of Food Technologists and the Reciprocal Meat Conference), peer-reviewed journal articles (e.g., J. Food Sci, Meat Sci, Poultry Sci, or J. Food Eng), and articles in trade magazines (e.g., Meat Marketing and Technology), particularly addressing the issue of project impact on the industry state-of-practice in marination/enhancement. <P>Additionally, Dr. Booren conducts an annual industry workshop on marination/processing at Michigan State University, and the results of this project will be directly integrated into the materials presented at these workshops, which directly impacts industrial practice in Michigan.
Non-Technical Summary: Value added muscle foods continue to be a major focus in Michigan. This is because muscle foods, which are one of the most expensive and popular protein sources in the consumer diet, have continued to focus on convenience. Processing techniques are continually being changed and updated to improve safety, efficiency as well as develop new, consumer desirable products for entry into the marketplace. These studies will provide new knowledge in process function, food ingredients and biochemical properties of meat which are essential to maintain consumer convenience expectations. This research will stimulate rapid development of new products and improve existing products. It will also promote effective process designs targeted at processed meat product quality and safety, thus improving economic returns for this industry. <P> Approach: Muscle tissues from three species will be obtained fresh from local processors. Two Longissimus dorsi from both sides of each beef and pork and two pectoralis major from turkey will be taken after 6 days, 2 days, or 1 day of aging following slaughter for the beef, pork, and turkey, respectively. The muscles will then be cut into cubic samples (6 cm x 6 cm x 6 cm) before various marination (salt, phosphate, vacuum tumbling, and tumbling time) treatments are assigned. Chemical, microscopy and transport visualization of ingredient analyses will be completed prior to development of a mathematical model for the coupled transport mechanisms occurring during the marination process. Given the potential for a complex, tightly-coupled set of model equations, it is likely that global optimization methods (available in Matlab) will be used to robustly estimate the model parameters. The model will undergo validation trials, the purpose of which is to quantify the accuracy of the new model in predicting the overall uptake of marinade (as a function of time) and the spatial concentration of the marinade components in the product. The marination treatments, n=40 plus a control, will include different salt/phosphate combinations, vacuum/no vacuum, and different tumbling times. Growth-selected commercial tom turkeys will be donated by an industry grower and the random-bred turkey line (RBC2 line) will be obtained from Ohio State University. Birds will be raised from hatchlings at the MSU Poultry farm until slaughter. Blood samples will be collected during growout and the animals will be genotyped with respect to two alleles. Market birds of each genotype will be exposed to different levels of heat stress prior to slaughter. The pectoralis major muscle from one side will be collected within 5 minutes of death, and immediately sectioned, snap frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80C for total RNA extraction and SR preparation. The pectoralis major muscle from the remaining side will be used to evaluate meat quality indices. Quality indices will be correlated with the genetic properties to commercial turkeys and compared to the random-bred turkey line (RBC2 line). It is anticipated that this research will help the meat industry achieve improved quality, yield, and throughput goals. In addition the work studying quality traits and the relationship to stress will affect value added products and ultimately their water-holding properties.