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Cooking temperature effects on the forms of iron and levels of several other compounds in beef semitendinosus muscle

Purchas, R.W., Rutherfurd, S.M., Pearce, P.D., Vather, R., Wilkinson, B.H.P.
Meat science 2004 v.68 no.2 pp. 201-207
beef, steaks, muscles, cooking, internal temperature, surface temperature, iron, heme iron, taurine, carnosine, ubiquinones, creatine, cooking quality, water content
The influence of final cooked temperature on the form of iron present and on the concentration of taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10 and creatine was investigated in surface and inner parts of 30-mm thick steaks from beef semitendinosus muscle (n=6). The use of a fast, dry-heat cooking method with a Silex clam cooker (set at 200 °C) led to cooking times ranging from 5.6 to 8.6 min for final internal temperatures of 60 and 85 °C, respectively. The proportion of iron as soluble haem iron decreased from 65% in uncooked meat to 22% when cooked to 60 °C and then decreased more gradually with increases in final cooked temperature. The proportion of insoluble haem iron increased in a reciprocal manner, while changes in the proportions of soluble and insoluble non-haem iron were relatively small, but increases in the percentage of insoluble non-haem iron with increasing final temperature were significant (P<0.01). Changes in the forms of iron with cooking generally took place more rapidly in surface samples than inner samples. On a dry-matter basis, concentrations of taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10, and creatine all decreased with cooking, but the decreases were greatest for taurine and creatine. Losses of creatine were at least partly due to conversion to creatinine, and, along with the other compounds, probably included some loss in cooking juices. It is concluded that despite these changes with cooking, beef semitendinosus muscle remains a good source of iron and a useful source of the potentially bioactive compounds taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10 and creatine.