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The effects of irradiation on quality of injected fresh pork loins

Davis, K.J., Sebranek, J.G., Huff-Lonergan, E., Ahn, D.U., Lonergan, S.M.
Meat science 2004 v.67 no.3 pp. 395-401
pork, loins (meat cut), brining, salts, phosphates, lactates, injection, food irradiation, food storage, refrigeration, storage time, food processing quality, meat tenderness, color, volatile compounds, shear strength, lipid peroxidation, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, malondialdehyde, thiols, dimethyl sulfate, ethane
A comparison of irradiation effects on injected and uninjected fresh pork loin quality was conducted. Sixty pork loins from pigs of similar genetics were obtained from a pork harvesting facility immediately prior to processing. Thirty loins were injected with a brine composed of 2.17% salt/3.04% phosphate/20.8% lactate brine while thirty were not injected. Injected loins were pumped to 13% added weight. Ten loins of each group of thirty were not irradiated while an additional 10 loins were irradiated at 2.2 kGy and the final ten loins were irradiated at 4.4 kGy. Lipid oxidation, color, purge, volatiles, and tenderness were measured on sections of the treated loins after 0, 7, 21, and 35 days of refrigerated storage. Lipid oxidation was minimal for the 0 and the 2.2 kGy-treated loins, but was significantly greater (P<0.05) at day 35 for the loins treated with 4.4 kGy. Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force measurements were significantly lower (P<0.05) for the injected loins, but irradiation did not have an effect on shear force. Purge was significantly lower for the uninjected loins irradiated at 2.2 kGy than for those irradiated at 0 and 4.4 kGy. The injection treatment did not alter the effects of irradiation on the quality characteristics measured.