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Effects of high-voltage electrostatic field treatment on the thawing rate and post-thawing quality of frozen rabbit meat

Jia, Guoliang, Liu, Hongjiang, Nirasawa, Satoru, Liu, Haijie
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2017 v.41 pp. 348-356
actin, air, denaturation, electric power, enthalpy, livestock and meat industry, microorganisms, myofibrillar proteins, myoglobin, protein solubility, rabbit meat, rabbits, texture, thawing, water holding capacity
The thawing rate and post-thawing quality of frozen rabbit meat after the use of high-voltage electrostatic fields (HVEFs) were investigated in this study. The thawing efficiency could be significantly improved at voltages of −15, −20 or −25kV, and HVEF treatment resulted in 0.5–1.7log reductions in the number of microorganisms. The rabbit meat thawed at −20kV had optimal qualities, including a high water-holding capacity (WHC) and good texture quality. Although there were structural alterations of the myoglobin treated at −20kV HVEF, the sarcoplasmic protein solubility was not reduced. Additionally, the −20kV HVEF treatment led to less denaturation of the myofibrillar proteins than with still air thawing, as demonstrated by the actin denaturation enthalpy (−0.26±0.085 and −0.12±0.040J/g, respectively). Finally, thawing at −20kV HVEF had little influence on the relaxation of water, including the water mobility, in rabbit meat.This study found that HVEF thawing could shorten thawing time by 60%. Moreover, compared with air thawing, −20kV HVEF thawing led to less denaturation of the myofibrillar proteins, which is very important for further processing in the rabbit meat industry.